Tiny Wisdom: The Beauty of Starting Over
By Lori Deschene
“Celebrate endings, for they precede new beginnings.” -Jonathan Lockwood Huie
Yesterday I spent more than an hour writing something I intended to publish today—and then I lost it. Since I hadn’t slept much the night before, I wasn’t completely attentive and somehow, I must have closed out the Word document before I titled or saved it.
That same exhaustion made it somewhat difficult to communicate my thoughts clearly when writing. But I did—after an hour, I’d expressed everything I wanted to share. Then it was gone.
Initially, I considered rewriting the post, and trying to remember exactly what I’d written before. Then I decided that maybe the lesson was to let go and start anew.
In college, teachers and peers had to fight me to change even one word in my writing, let alone a full sentence. When they did get me to edit, I’d likely only change a small portion, without allowing that new train of thought to further shape the entire piece.
I was stubbornly attached to every first draft. After putting so much thought and effort into it, I was afraid that making changes would be like picking thread on a sweater—the whole thing would unravel and I would be left with nothing. I would essentially have to start over.
I eventually realized this tendency translated into my everyday life. Once I set a goal, I was afraid to revise it—even if it became clear that was no longer what I wanted—because I was afraid to start over.
Once I got into a new relationship, I was afraid to walk away from it—even if wasn’t healthy or satisfying—because I was afraid I’d have to start over.
Ironically, I wasted a lot of time clinging to things that had run their course simply to avoid feeling like I’d wasted time.
It’s human nature to get attached when we’ve invested a lot of time in something. But an investment is only as valuable as its return—meaning we owe it to ourselves to recognize when we can get a better one by wiping the slate clean and starting over.
Letting go can feel like a loss. That’s because it is. But every loss paves the way for a gain, if we’re willing to receive it. Every time we let something go, we open ourselves up to something better.
“There is something in October sets the gypsy blood astir, We must rise and follow her; When from every hill of flame, She calls and calls each vagabond by name”.... william bliss carman
what an incredible couple of weeks we have come through. it seems almost like a strange 20th century fiction pulp fiction novel with has given us a peek into the absurd and not the actual events of a 21st century advanced government body. i repeatedly found myself these last few weeks in a state of frozen stun due to the carnival-like quality of rhetoric that was emanating from our capital city. i still don't think i have recovered from the shock that the shut down rolled out. and i wonder what subterfuge was (and is) transpiring while the main stage was occupied by the house of representatives marionettes.
i am also mesmerized at how this national theatre of the freaks has mirrored in my daily life with an eerie intensity. it is almost as if my interpretation of my role and my activities has deconstructed and i am now looking at my life with new eyes and shaping my impression with new hands. with this new vision i realize i have have been daily interfacing with a multi-headed hydra of malcontents that routinely create a droning drama which feels just like an old record player needle skipping on a scratched vinyl 45. what used to present as an opportunity to problem solve has now taken on a new complexion of a child's face whincing as it endures the repetition of a whining car alarm in the distance.
another remodel in my life comes via my vocation. i love working with clients still although some of my idiosyncrasies have changed there as well. i am increasingly developing a sense of boundary and becoming less willing to be beckoned at any call. i often find myself walking through the hallway and encountering 5 to 10 questions or inquiries. sadly, at this juncture, i am unable to remember all those soundbites and it often causes me to forget things. so on a daily basis i am setting myself up to err. this is not a pleasant way to practice care giving. of course, i struggle with the appropriateness of having boundaries. but that's a spiritual practice that will probably last my lifetime.
i have somehow come to view my living situation with a different lens as well. it has occurred to me that i have an option of renting my townhouse out and finding a new place to dwell. this has always been an option, i had just never considered it until this month. and in the considering, i have felt the load i carry daily lighten just a bit. making the effort to actually make the above change is another story. the option, however, resembles a small window opened to let a cool breeze in on a muggy afternoon.
i have felt myself change my view on so many aspects of my world during this October 2013. i had a solitary "moment" of panic which caused me to want to toss the whole game table over letting the cards, the chips, and the drinks fly all over. instead, i have clenched tightly, almost playing lifeless, recoiling my emotions and recoiling my laissez faire energy output. and with that clenching, a fresh path using these new perspectives is being carved. i can't be sure how this will finally feel, but i am inspired by the vagabond nature of it all. my october 2013 is all about this primal journey my inner gypsy has awakened to begin travelling.