A Look Beyond the Tough Questions
Our Current State
Being isolated has had different effects on different people. Some of the people I have a good deal of contact with have spent the last three months taking inventory of their lives — easier to do when you’re alone. We rarely have this many consecutive hours to just sit and think. Contemplating the decisions you’ve made and where you are in your life can we frightening and sometimes easier to avoid. Do you ever look at your friends and/or family members and think, so and so has settled?
Over the past few months I’ve had several people in my life say, “I don’t want to settle.”
It seems to be a common theme of late and I think it has a lot to do with control or a lack thereof. I’m certainly feeling it. Can’t control the virus, the economy, the media, big business, family situations and so forth. When this happens, you look for aspects of your life you can control. I’ve always been super neat and clean going way back to my childhood. When crazy things were happening all around me, I realized the one thing I could do was create an orderly physical environment. I noticed that people all around me noticed.
I liked when people said, “Christopher, you’re so neat.” I still do; it’s one thing I know to be true.
One of my favorite sayings is, “Everything has a place and there is a place for everything.” I know I can take that cliché to the extreme, but I enjoy order.
I have to be careful not to be that way with my dog Paco. I know that over-grooming him will make him very uncomfortable. I have to remind myself that he is a dog and dog’s seem to like being a little unkempt sometimes. I can keep up with his teeth and shots and Frontline and allow his hair be a bit messy. I know, very devil may care of me.
Settle for What?
You have to ask yourself why you are settling. I have actually heard people say (out loud): “I cannot imagine finding anyone better.” No wonder divorce rates are so high. Here’s another one I’ve heard: “I’m not worthy of better.” I’m not sure which thought is more damaging to the ego.
Many people hate their living situation. They piss and moan about the location or their rent or the size of their place, but they stay right where they are and settle. You’ve heard all of the excuses: too busy to move, can’t afford to pay more, the schools are good here, my parents live nearby, I’m close to my favorite shops, I have a lot of closets, and so on.
What about those who settle for less from themselves?
“I’m not going to quit this job, I’ll never find another.”
“College is too expensive and I don’t have the time anyway.”
“I have to put my kids first.”
“I’ll never be good enough.”
The Life You Choose
The reality is that we are the rulers of our own universe. Excluding those who live under lock and key and have no choice in matters. You get to choose how you live and who you live with.
You get to decide if your good enough, old enough, smart enough, worthy enough, healthy enough. All you. Shit or get off the pot for gosh sakes.
Regrets are such a waste of time. We can’t change the past; however, we can learn from it. Repeating the same mistakes over and over are nobody’s fault but your own.
Some Words to Live By
- Always listen to your own inner voice.
- Never blame anyone else for your mistakes.
- Set goals for yourself and assess those goals on a regular basis.
- Treat yourself the way you want others to treat you.
- Don’t pay attention to what others think about you.
- Money does matter; however, it is not your only consideration.
- When someone tells you that they no longer want to be with you, they are probably telling you the truth — let them go.
- You will never know unless you try.
- Nobody is born great, greatness is achieved.
- Kindness and gratitude will come back to you.
- Give yourself a day off now and then.
- Travel the world.
- Be empathetic.
- Be spontaneous.
- Dream big!
- Be bold!
“There’s a problem with wounded birds . . . either they fly away from you one day, or else they never get better. They stay hurt no matter what you do.”
Excerpt from Jodi Picoults, Picture Perfect
My niece sent this to me this week and it spoke to me. I would replace “a man” with “an individual.”