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Posts Tagged ‘Fear’

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Why is it the old and familiar is what we go back to, even when we know there is better out there?

I’m sitting at my desk at work this morning, on hold, cradling the phone receiver on my shoulder, trying to multi-task, when I think “can’t believe I’m cradling this big, old bulky phone receiver.” Then I smile at the nice old comfortable feeling of it.

First thing to know is that if you aren’t over 40 you probably won’t appreciate the ‘nice old comfortable feeling’ part.
But I became aware of the weight, the size and the way it fit my ear so well. Such are the thoughts when I’m on hold.

I know today it’s all about the sleek, thin, light weight cell phone. But for some reason I felt a certain kinship with this old relic that you only rarely see, typically in offices. And I started to think of the things in life we hold on to because they are familiar, comfortable and don’t require us to learn something new or refigure them into our lives…clothing/styles, cars, a multitude of technology thingy magiggies…and people.

How many relationships do we keep because it’s ‘just easier’. We know they don’t function well, or at all, or are horribly dysfunctional, but we keep them. They present known, understood challenges vs. all new challenges. We don’t have to face moving forward to unknown new relationships when we just hang on, and on, and on.

All relationships of length present challenges I know, but those challenges should be balanced with rewards. When we stay in relationships that are not only empty, but sap our emotional strength and deplete our resolve to evolve, then aren’t we creating more work than we’re avoiding?

Fear is a powerful barrier to change.

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Twenty years ago I was divorced from my high school, no, junior high school sweetheart, after 23 years together.
At the time I wrote a book about how women grieve to help me through it all (the ‘all’ part being another woman). Then I forgot about it as I moved on piece by peace.

Then a couple of weeks ago I rediscovered it! I didn’t even have a copy if you can imagine that. Fortunately I had given a hard copy to my best friend. Over the years and move from one computer to the next it just disappeared.

When a recent conversation with my sister made me remember it I decided to try to find it. When I couldn’t locate a copy of any type in my possession I asked my friend if she still had it, and she did. She mailed me a copy…seems we came full circle.

It is so incredibly strange to be reading through this! I feel like I am reading it as written by a stranger. The pain is so raw in places. It makes me appreciate my journey of the past twenty years, my current life and husband of 13 years. Mostly it makes me proud of the work, focus and determination to have a ‘healthy’ (for the most part) divorce and heartbreak.

But I would be lying if I didn’t acknowledge how it pulls on me too. Mainly I just want to hug that woman and tell her I admire her and comfort her. My first husband, I won’t say ‘ex’, he wasn’t crossed off a list, and myself enjoy a nice relationship. Too many ‘what ifs’ and regrets for him to let himself trust himself around me, so he stays tightly wound. It’s actually his wife and I who get along great. Our children enjoy being able to have family gatherings with us all together, with our little grandchildren, as it should be.

And each time at some point we catch each other’s eye and for a moment, we both know and share what we lost. And I feel at peace.

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