When you were in the first grade you thought things would be so much better when you got to the seventh grade. Once there, you discovered that life was full of more contradictions and uncertainties than you could have imagined. The opposite sex repulsed you and attracted you at the same time. Talk about confusion! And you couldn’t figure out what happened to your parents. For your entire life they had been so considerate and intelligent – and somewhere between you’re ninth and 13th birthday they became increasingly disagreeable and alarmingly stupid.
Then you started to imagine how things would really improve if you could just leave home and escape their silly rules and unpleasant criticisms. So you moved out and found a roommate and screamed with delight, “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, I’m free at last!”
Unfortunately, you soon discovered that you’re over-controlling and humorless parents provided certain benefits that an often repulsive or inconsiderate roommate did not – like milk in the refrigerator, for instance.
Well, you’re old enough now, so I’m going to let you in on a secret: Your parents thought that your idea to move out was a really good idea, even as they tried to talk you out of it. As you brooded and schemed in the privacy of your room, they talked late into the night saying things like, “Wow! When Junior is gone, it will be just you and me once again!” Each of you had the same thought, that life would be much more pleasant when you moved out.
You were both right about the benefits of you moving out, but you were both wrong about something else, that life would be easier. Life is never easy. Both the rich man and the poor man have money problems. Both the married woman and the single woman have trouble with relationships. Each season of life has benefits and each has difficulties. Each season of life is just like the one you experienced in the seventh grade: full of contradictions and uncertainties only without the pimples.
Life is a lot about walking through the pain, enduring the discord and believing that tomorrow will be better than today no matter how bad today is. And trust me; your tomorrows will improve if you improve today. Your tomorrows will be blessed if you will be a blessing today. And the next season of your life will be filled with triumphs and tears, long, wide highways and winding dangerous back roads, sunshine and storms.
It seems to me that life is not about giving up, surrendering to mediocrity or failure. No, life’s not about retreating, it’s about reloading. It’s not about resting on your laurels or living off your dividends or walking away from responsibility. It’s about learning from your mistakes, overcoming obstacles and being ready, willing and able to “take a deep breath, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again.”* Don’t retreat, reload.
*PICK YOURSELF UP, From the Film: Swing Time 1936 (Lyrics by: Dorothy Fields / Music by: Jerome Kern) Listen to Frank Sinatra’s version of the song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yN9zKpO3Qus