Monday, May 1, 2017
The lives people live
Picture this: it's 38 degrees out and raining. I'm sitting in my kitchen, coffee in hand, the woodstove going. Looking out at the lake, I see there's a fishing boat on the water. Someone is a lot more into fishing than I am. Maybe his home life is such that fishing in a cold rain is more fun?
I hope the guy just loves fishing that much.
Although, I see so many people who's home life is such that fishing in the cold rain is better than spending the day with their spouse. When I see people who've spent decades in loveless marriages, I just shake my head.
It's not just bad marriages that people put up with. They work at jobs they hate, live in places they don't like, socialize with people they don't like, and even dress in clothes that makes them uncomfortable. The list goes on and on.
Sometimes people fall into a rut, and while they don't love it, it's comfortable. Change always comes with a certain amount of discomfort, even good change.
There are people who put up with bad stuff for a long time, but do it because it's what they have to do to advance some greater goal. That's a noble pursuit. Sometimes you just have to do the work. A guitarist does not become good without working until his fingers are calloused. A successful professional does not just fall into his profession. It takes schooling, work, and dedication. There are no guarantee of success either.
What I have difficulty with are those who do all that suffering for things they don't really want. They may even become proficient at the life they hate. Often they don't see a way out, or even realize there could be a way out.
How many people have to take medication to deal with their jobs? Frankly, I was surprised to learn of the number of people who need anti-anxiety or anti-depressants to go to work each day. Maybe they should take a long hard look at their situation and figure out the real problem.
A buddy of mine was very unhappy with his life. He hated his marriage, the responsibility of raising children, his house, his job and just about everything else. Often when someone reaches that point in their lives, all they can see is that they need a complete break from everything. In his case I suggested he start with the divorce and then see how the rest of his life looked before giving up on everything.
Ending the unhappy marriage got rid of a lot of stress in his life right off the bat. They sold the money pit of a house in the settlement. After that, the rest of his life started to look pretty good. His relationship with his kids improved immensely. His job was no longer a problem and he began to enjoy that too. It took a few years, but he met a wonderful woman and remarried, bought a nice new house, and even his relationship with is ex-wife became civil.
The thing with holding onto a bad life is that it leaves no room for a better one to come in. Your hand has to drop the burning coal before it can grasp the pretty flower.
Looking out on the lake, I hope that guy just really really loves fishing.