It was told to me once in my formidable years that life lessons keeps on coming until you get the message. The first time a lesson comes to us, it is only for us to become aware, the second time it comes to us it is for us to learn, and the third time it comes to us it is for us to move. Like many things that I was told as a child, I filed this message away in my memory banks never knowing if and when I would ever need it again. However, today almost some forty years later, I would finally take from this lesson its truth, life lessons keep coming until you act.
To give you a clear picture of what I am talking about, it all started with me wanting to improve my current situation. I have been out of work and have been running around in my mind trying to figure out how I would go on with my life when I realized I was stuck.
I was getting frustrated with applying for jobs day after day, to have my applications rejected and to receive the standard line; we’ve decided not to go any further with your application due to the large volume of applicants that have responded who we think are better suited for the position. Often when one is faced with the situation of having to reinvent himself or having to prove himself repeatedly, it becomes hard to see clearly. He finds it hard staying motivated and sometimes it feels easier just to sit back on the couch, throw ones feet up and vegetate. When something like this overcomes you, the lost of a job, it can be difficult looking to the brighter side of things. Many will tell you that you must never give up, they even may offer some philosophical aphorism they believe will explain you through your current situation.
But what if the reason is not apparent to you? How does one stay motivated? I found myself asking everyone in earshot. How does one keep going putting himself out there and on the line?
My wife who is a God-send told me that we must. She told me it was up to me to keep myself motivated. She went as far as to tell me how I could use the time to do the things I always dreamt of doing but was never able to do but with one caveat, I would have to plan it out and follow through.
Her suggestions were many. I could study a new language, or practice an old; I could volunteer (my time) to charity, or learn to swim, the possibilities were there. I knew she was right and I told her as much but I just didn’t know where to start, I just couldn’t seem to get my head around it but I would do as she suggested. I promised myself shortly after our conversation that I would make a plan and stick to it.
That was about a month ago and all I have to show for my time is a flatten couch, a bigger belly, and oh, I’ve started a smoking habit I don’t know if I will ever be able to get from under. I knew things had to change but I just didn’t know where to begin. I needed more time, precious time which was at a constant pace slipping through my fingers. See anyone can fall off the wagon and get stuck with the changes of life, even me.
In an attempt, a masked effort to take back the controls of my ever changing life, I called a friend who I hadn’t seen or spoken to in awhile. My friend is a personal trainer and also a full-fledged food guru, he told me he could fit me in for a ‘quick’ visit in town that day since one of his clients had forgotten to cancel their appointment.
Excited to be out in the mist of life again, I hopped on my bike and travelled across town for my appointment and it felt great to be outdoors. We met up at a local coffee shop. The shop was filled with a mixed crowd of young and old people alike, all trying to look disinterested and important. My friend was dressed in his trainer’s pack and he looked the part; clean shaven, clear skin, no belly; and arms that would make any strong man proud and he was my age.
I slumped to the table where he was seated and sat down next to him. A waitress, a young girl that looked like she should have been in school (High school) came immediately over and I ordered a cup of coffee because I loved the taste of coffee and tobacco, of course my friend is a non-smoker who doesn’t drink coffee but what he also doesn’t do is preach, thus our odd friendship.
However what he did do was give me a look as if to say, “if you insist on killing yourself, then by all means go ahead – I can’t stop you” and what’s even worse about this is while he is looking at you and you are reading his thoughts, he’ smiles with or at you, one can never tell.
Into our conversation, he asked how my job search had been going. I told him what everybody was getting, what everybody knew. We, all were being affected in one way or another by the economic crisis. After agreeing he then asked me, how I was spending my days, his eyes moving up and down my body before resting at my waist, which made me uncomfortable. I told him not much was happening and he smiled that unnerving smile again. He asked me if I had thought about pursuing any other possibilities. I told him with everything going on, that was all I was doing, examining other possibilities. He wanted to know how that was working for me; and he and I both knew the answer.
He asked about my writing, if I still enjoyed doing it. I answered yes, but with the current situation I was finding it hard to focus, that’s when he said to me, I needed a schedule. The same schedule I had neglected to make months ago. In fact the same schedule my wife had been pestering me to make only a few weeks ago.
After my friend departed for his next appointment, I sat in the coffee shop and told myself that the first thing I would do the following week would be to make that schedule. No more getting up in the mornings only to turn on the TV, make coffee and smoke cigarettes; come next Monday morning I was going to jump body and soul back into life.
But when the next Monday rolled around I woke-up exhausted which frustrated me because I was starting to feel guilty. Earlier that morning I promised the wife I would do my best to create a productive day and after she left off to work, the first thing I did was roll myself a cigarette, made a fresh pot of coffee and turned on the TV. I sat there as I had grown accustomed, to think and to dream away the day knowing that nothing would change unless I made the change, when suddenly the phone rang.
It was a former colleague of mine. She wanted to know how things were going with me. She also wanted to invite me and the Missus to an event that some local writers and poets were organizing not too far from where we lived. I tried to get out of attending, I told her I wasn’t interested in meeting new people, besides, I hadn’t written anything in weeks and didn’t feel myself good company; that’s when she told me what I could no longer ignore.
I needed a schedule; a list to stay active and to excite me. I listened to what my ex-colleague said and although I wasn’t too proud to admit I knew she too was right, I realized I had become resistent to change, only focused on what wasn’t. That is when I made the connection and the coin dropped. Life lessons keeps coming to us over and over until we move. After the phone call I made up my mind that today would be my day 1 of a 30 day plan of action.
I had wrestled with uncertainty and doubt for too long. I had to step out on faith. This was no new thing for me because I’ve been here many times before but what I forgot is one has to trust completely in the possibilities of the unknown.
This morning after running three miles, I took out my pen and began to write. It is now 0945 hours, my next task is to check out the want ads and apply to at least three vacancies. This is only the beginning *Fitzgerald@2012