What do we do when our life falls apart and we can’t put it back together the way it was? It’s as if we worked all weekend putting together a puzzle with 1000 pieces. We only have about 20 pieces to go when the dog runs through the family room chasing the cat, slams into the card table sending the puzzle pieces flying through the air. Pieces land everywhere; in the fish tank, in sis’s plate of food and glass of wine and even between couch cushions! We realize we’ll never be able to put the puzzle back together.
Isn’t that the way it goes in our lives sometimes?
It may be an earthquake, flood or tornado that scatters our material possessions all over the place. Or a divorce that scatters family members into several different states. Perhaps there’s an illness and an early, unexpected retirement surfaces. Or what about an accident that causes someone to become a paraplegic. They can no longer drive their dream car.
So now what??? First we must go through the grieving process and come to accept our loss. Maybe then, instead of seeing our glass half empty we can see it as our glass half filled.
When our material possessions are scattered from a natural disaster, we may find the sugar bowl and creamer set from our fine china that was intact. We might place it on the mantel or table as an even more cherished item. In a divorce, or death of a spouse, it may be establishing a better relationship with our children. In other life altering situations from illness or an accident, it may be giving up a career and going back to school for more education to pursue another passion.
For the paraplegic who had to give up his job, perhaps with a settlement, he’s able to pursue a passion for painting and become an artist. Having the funds to travel the world and paint the most amazing paintings. These are goals to give us hope. It’s finding a new path in life and viewing new scenery along the way.
So like putting a puzzle together, we have to put a plan together….
For some, we may need a life coach to get us started or to guide us through the process. It’s a matter of making goals and breaking it down into one step at a time and “To Do Lists”.
In a divorce or family death, a goal may be getting counseling for the children. What would be the first step? From experience, my first step was to research professional counselors. Step 2 was calling and setting up an appointment. The third step was taking my children to the appointment. Once we managed to get there, the counselor then had steps for us to meet our own goals.
I’m sure most of us have had a life detour at one time or another. As we made a new normal, it was like taking a different path on our journey and experiencing new scenery.
In my situation of becoming a widow, I had to give up my job. This led me to go back to college at the age of 37. You’re never too old for an education! I took an Anthropology course and traveled to the Yucatan in Mexico. I was able to climb the incredible Mayan Ruins and sleep on the Guatemala beach listening to the howling monkeys near by in the jungle.
This only enriched my life as I began putting my life back together with new pieces and making a new picture. So despite our life detours, we can always regain our hope in a new journey!