Life is Full of a Number of Things

‘Life is full of a number of things…’ That was a saying my mother used to quote quite often. Many of us just finished a year that contained ‘a number of things’: unexpected events, circumstances, obstacles, and other interesting life artifacts.

And for some of us, it has resulted in a good deal of change, some completions, and even some truncations. We find we can’t or aren’t going in the same direction anymore. We can’t do… or be… ‘that’ anymore.

Every so often, what we take as routine …falls apart, no longer works, or just ends. Sometimes it is a relationship or a career. Sometimes it is something we have taken for granted around finances, work, health, even tried and true ways of relating to each other. Sometimes it is the clear and definitive end of an embedded illusion or even a long held dream about how things will turn out or how things are supposed to be. Some of these ‘sometimes’ are currently mine.

When the end of something seems pretty clear but the ‘what next’ isn’t yet fully known, it can be rather uncomfortable for a while. If I am not what I was and I am not what I will be, what and who am I in this moment? And how do I be and what do I do when I don’t know where I am going to end up? In other words, what do I do in the mean time?

I think the answer is….something. Be something; do something – see what sticks and what doesn’t. What that requires from me is at least a little flexibility for a little while, a little willingness to explore, a little courage to try a few things, despite a strong urge to impose stability and structure now for comfort. It means I have to be prepared to fail a few times and learn from it (my favorite definition of experience), to miss the mark and take aim again, to gather the fragments and reconstruct, to scan for other options (firstly, to have faith that there are other options), to start again… and even again. Thank goodness, I don’t expect perfection from myself or others.

So, my challenge to myself is to give myself the space, to be okay with not knowing …again, to be kind to myself when I blow it, to get up, dust myself off, and look around for those other options. And certainly to laugh. Or cry. Or even to laugh and cry at the same time – something at which I happen to be quite talented. FYI, gentle reader, if you ever need a trick to get control of your tears, it is a proven fact that it is physically impossible to cry while drinking a glass of water.

And through all of this, I want to see things straight – as they really are – not the way I wish they were. And I want to remember that the future holds as many possibilities as the past, maybe not in the way that I thought I wanted, but possibilities are there – if I am willing to exchange my current telescopic view…and my rearview mirror, for the vistas in front of me.

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