We wake up and go.  We work and work, then go home and work.  We feed, talk and spend time with our family.  Then we workout, clean up and try to sleep.  But, we can't.  We worry and fester about work and family.  Then we wake up after less than the recommended 7-8 hours and go to work.

We strive to succeed, year in and year out.  And every year, our definition of success is a little less clear.   We know what we want, but after awhile, we just aren't too sure why we want it.

A closer look

It doesn't happen every day, but sometimes something wakes us up to take a closer look at where our life is headed.  It's often a crisis and not always at midlife.  It can be spurred by anything or nothing, but one thing for sure, it's a period of clarification of what's really important and why.

Note to self.  Life isn't perfect.

That was then.

We wanted the perfect spouse, house and kids.  We wanted the education, career and friends.  Our religion and faith would be ever present and rarely doubted. Except for dignified wrinkles, our bodies would be unaltered by the hands of time.  We would always make time to have our greying hair perfectly cloaked with the desirable shade of Auburn No. 5 by our stylist, Veronique at Spa De Jour de Fantasia.  Life would be happily ever after.

This is now.

Eventually we start to see the little fissures in our plan.  But we just keep going because the more we stop to examine why our life seems a little less vibrant, the sky a little greyer and the neighbors grass a little greener, the worse we feel. 

So, we keep our eyes closed.  We work and work and work.  We feed, clean and try to sleep, all the while denying the possibility of that day when reality jumps out in front of us and seems to destroy everything.  Like a freight train racing down the track it's headed right for the middle of our perfect life.  

This is on it's way.

We start to hear it in the distance when problems arise, money runs short, patience runs thin, spouses stray, and jobs are lost.  We sense it, we know it's out there rushing towards us.  If we lay in bed, real still, in the middle of our sleepless nights, we can hear it.  Rushing.  Rushing.

Rushing toward our little family, every past-due bill brings it closer, argument makes it louder.  But, still we work tirelessly to keep it away.   If we work enough, give more and live less we can keep that eye opening experience from wrecking our utopian, fantasy world.

Life was but a dream (or was it a nightmare)

Blinders off.

Our eyes wide open, no time for fear, rational thought or clarity, despite the enormity of what is happening, the train is suddenly right in front of us.  We are awakened in as quick a flash as the train is gone.  Our marriage is over, and divorce is our wake-up call.

Suddenly, we seem to be living in Stepford Connecticut without our blinders and wonder how and when we ever decided they looked good on us (moreover that life looked better to us, with them).   

A life not fit for living

Regardless, it’s over.  Forever marriage.  Perfect family.  Model home.  Who can live like that?  Clearly not us.  Certainly not me.

It's like we were drunk on "happily ever after" and "honey, you can grow up to be anyone, anything.  You could even be President one day."  Ha!  Even Hillary knows what a bunch of bull sh*t that one was. 

Let's face it!  It's not because we aren't smart enough to be anyone or anything, but because something or someone, somewhere made us feel like we had to be everything to everyone which happens to be a great barricade to being anything and anyone. 

And heck, let's face it, in my case at least, I'm pretty sure I was one of those "someones", capable of great self-defeating "busy work". 

A million miles per hour in circles is now just circles under my eyes and a dumbfounded look on my face that says, "WTF?!" 

Trying to get back to normal suddenly gets complicated

The dark night is still and clear.  What could happen, has happened.  Our sight is clouded by reasonable uncertainty while a seemingly unreasonable divorce is making us feel a million miles from where we belong.

At some point we realize our trek back home, back to a place of comfort is going to be harder than once thought.  One reason we struggle is that we may have not been home for years before that eye opening, divorce experience.  We were simply going though the motions of life, but not really living it.

So where do we go from here?  

Life is better when we accept it's imperfections, as well as our own

While the divorce and marriage problems force us to formerly face what's happening or not happening in our life, it's that journey home that presents the discovery of a lifetime.  The "neither here, nor there feeling" a divorce can provoke that initiates a life assessment is the beginning of that quest that has the power to rewire your life.

Asking the hard questions

  • When was the last time you really had time to be yourself, really laugh, cry and just be you?
  • Do you have the courage to not smile and say you're okay when you are very much, not okay? 
  • When did you talk with someone and really let your defenses down or just say what you really wanted to say?  
  • Do you remember a time when you could let it all hang out there and really not worry about what anyone was thinking?
  • Could you fail to keep everyone's expectations as your main priority and determine your success primarily based on your own happiness rather than theirs?

Help others by being true to yourself

To make a significant impact on others, discontinue managing your perfect world through the eyes of everyone else so you can finally live a perfectly happy life by way of imperfect means.

Put yourself first.  Leave the dishes in the damn sink, bed unmade and floor unvacuumed.   Show your value in ways that earn respect rather than ways that make you everyone's problem solver.  

Enjoy some time talking with someone you really never knew, do something you never really do or go somewhere you never really go?   Do something for the sake of doing rather than for the sake of achieving.  

What would you do if you were only obligated to do nothing at all?

Maybe you would just sit in the old chair outside in the backyard where the exotic plants never grew and just enjoy the nice evening breeze.  You would accept your overgrown wildflowers and grassy garden without all the finer things and finally laugh about everything that really never was anything...important. 

Find your true destiny

It's the time you would finally let go of all the perfect plans and expectations of what everyone expects you to be.  You could realize that sometimes doing nothing at all is the opportunity to finally discover how to be anyone or anything. 

This "garden quest" could be the way to discover how to truly be "you", successful by your own terms. 

You would realize it's okay not be okay sometimes.  You would accept others and their flaws because you could finally accept your own.  You could breath for once and finally exhale.

You could accept life is a series of imperfection that seamlessly glides on a plain of natural perfectionism.   

We learn more from bad than from good

It may seem odd, but we often gain more wisdom from the bad times we experience.  Perhaps this occurs because difficult experiences are more apt to gain our full attention. 

After all, when things are good, we want to keep them good.  So, we close our mind and our ears to all those freight trains we know are out there.  We keep our lives moving so fast we hardly have time to stop to see where our "good" times have gotten us.  If we're happy and healthy, they probably have us moving in the right direction.  But, when we're not, it's a good chance our life is in much need of attention.    

Sadly, for most of us, it will take those freight trains, those life events like divorce, to wake us in order to realize a need for a reevaluation of our goals, our choices, our ideologies.   

Somehow, we sleep better once we are fully awake, beginning a new journey to the place where our heart, home & life can really grow

No. it doesn't happen every day, nor should it.  But sometimes it's exactly what it takes to find what's needed to get our life moving in the right direction.

 It's the journey to that little wildflower garden with an old patio chair.  It says, "You found me."  



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