Starting Over


     Many years ago, I visited the home of a man I had been dating. It was the first time I had been there. I drove up to a house with a boat and several rusting cars in his driveway, the yard overgrown and weedy. Entering in the front door, I stepped over the lawn mower in his front hall, and carefully wound my way along the path between old papers that were piled knee high and to the walls throughout the house.

     He cleared several stacks of paper to the side so I could sit on the sofa. I asked him why he had so much ‘stuff’ in his house. His first answer was simply that, ‘things are love.’ Not a substitute for love. But, as Madison Avenue would have us believe, the actual item. I asked him again, and he admitted that he had put all the stuff there to drive his ex-wife away. It drove me away, too.

     As a Life Insurance agent (a job I tried on the chance that maybe I could do it well without the multiple sclerosis getting too much in my way), I visited the homes of many (hundreds!) of clients. Some homes smelled so bad outside, I didn’t even want to go in. One home was so foul, it was everything I could do to keep from gagging as I sat on a filthy chair, talking to the woman who lived there.

     The home faced I-275, with the putrid smell of the home, fumes from the highway, and din from the traffic almost overpowering. At the end of the year, I decided I could do it no more. I could not change how people chose to live, but I could choose whether or not I participated. Honestly, I cannot think that living that way would be life affirming. And for me, neither was knocking on those doors.

     This spring, a man walked into my office. (The same day I walked out of life insurance, I walked into a writing company and started to do résumés.) The man currently was a waiter at a four-star restaurant, and at 67 years old wanted to do something else. We talked a bit and he told me that inertia has kept him from moving into what he wanted to do. He’s coming back to have his résumé done. I told him that seeing me was a positive action. That first step is critical, small as it may seem.

     Ask yourself, what has inertia kept you from doing?

     In your life, what are you doing that is not life affirming?

     What are you doing just to ‘get by?’

     Are you being fair to yourself?

Copyright © 2011 Sandra Kischuk and Living Beyond Limits. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sandra Kischuk and Living Beyond Limits with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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