I had the opportunity (and I do consider situations like this to be opportunities) to spend a wonderful afternoon and evening with some folks I consider friends. The group consisted of twin sisters, one of the twin sister's husband and their daughter. I considered it an honor when the sister, I'll call her Barb, whom I had a working relationship with through a local non-profit organization where we had worked together over the past few years, thought enough of me (along with her delightful 15 year old daughter) to want me to meet her 'single' sister, I'll call her Bev. Now, I, as a 'mature' single guy, generally do not like matchmaking or blind dates. Additionally, since I have a number of women friends, one of whom has been a companion and we have traveled quite a bit together over the past four years or so, I wasn't really looking for a match-up. But, because I knew the sister and her daughter from the organization, I felt comfortable in the situation. In the process, I also met the husband of the sister from the organization and have enjoyed learning about him. He's another nice guy. So, Bev and I met and have developed a friendship.
So, yesterday (a Saturday), I received a call from Bev wanting to know if I would be interested in meeting up with Bev, Barb, Barb's husband and the daughter for lunch and maybe a late afternoon movie. It sounded like a very nice diversion and so I graciously accepted and met them at a local eatery. It was a pleasant meal, lots of talk and laughter (the best way to enjoy people) and then a movie. By 8 PM the planned events were over, Barb and family headed home to their house and I drove Bev back to her car, parked in a local WalMart parking lot. Bev lives some distance from Winchester. She expressed that she was very tired and wanted to immediately head home. I have a guest room at my place that is used fairly regularly by friends, a buddy and another buddy's daughter who travels between NYC where she is a professional entertainer and her parent's place in northwestern North Carolina. So, it's always made up and ready for use. I offered Bev a room at the Helvey Do Drop Inn. She accepted feeling, perhaps, getting some sleep sooner, that she'd leave early in the morning and get on with her day. And that's essentially how the rest of the evening went. She hit the rack early and I worked on a project for a while and retired to my room somewhat later.
This morning, after we both awoke refreshed, we embarked on a conversation. In this conversation she related a very personal part of her life that she has been dealing with over a number of years. As I listened, in many ways, I could fit my own name into the situation along with the names of several friends that immediately came to mind. She talked. I talked. And after a lengthy discussion, she indicated that this very weekend she had made a very difficult and painful decision to resolve this situation for once and for all. As I told her, and as I've already said here, I can relate many things about my own experiences in life, but they are my experiences and they may or may not apply to you, her nor anyone else. But, maybe, something that has worked or happened to me, might work for you or her.
And so, today is the first day of the rest of her life (as is tomorrow and the day after) as she works through this decision she has made. I will do my best to be supportive of her. She is quite vulnerable right now, as we all are when we have to deal with some of life's challenges – especially those that are painful. I trust that she'll find the strength of her convictions to follow through on her decision. I know there are people pulling for her, but this is something she must manage on her own. She handled it today. Tomorrow is the next first day of the rest of her life – and I'm in her corner believing she'll handle it again, tomorrow. And as each succeeding day moves past, I'll send her positive vibes.
Being free in your life and work means finding the ways to let go of the self-imposed bonds we tie ourselves up with. At some point in our lives, everyone faces these challenges. They could be job related, spouse or significant other relationship related, offspring related, toxic friendship related and so on. But, every new day IS the first day of the rest of our lives and we CAN make the hard, and sometimes painful, decisions, accept that first day to start fresh and leave the past behind. “Woulda,” “Shoulda,” “Coulda,” really don't count. Only from today forward counts. I'll reflect more on the woulda, shoulda, coulda, concept in another posting. For now, how can you live and work freer on the First Day of the Rest of YOUR Life?
If you're new to reading this blog, go to the first posting: “Welcome to My World!” which will appear the beginning of each month in the archives and you'll gain some insight about what this blog is all about.