Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘starting over’

Photo Credit: chiaralily via Compfight cc

The scene: A spring afternoon on a concrete patio with metal tables and chairs, close to the train tracks. A slight breeze keeps me worried that I should have brought more than my thin sweater, worried enough that I order a hot drink in spite of the sunny weather. A large dog lays with his head between his paws, gazing with eyes big enough that many of his actions automatically become characterized as mournful even though that’s not his personality at all.

My friend is telling me about a conversation she had with a customer service representative over the phone. After explaining recent events and how they pertained to the issue in discussion, the woman told her, “Don’t worry, now you’re getting the chance to start over.”

I say, “Don’t we all start over at one point or another?”

***

I have thrown away a bowl full of leaden gingerbread dough. I have discarded ten thousand words and started a novel from scratch (and felt grateful it was only that many). I have graduated, I have moved, I have ended relationships, rekindled relationships, started relationships. I have obtained employment, lost employment, quit, and changed careers. I have opened and closed a business. I have walked out of a lobby at a convention and sat for twenty minutes in my hotel room before coming back out and starting again. I have spent months recovering from physical injuries, only to re-injure myself and go back to the beginning of the process. I have rebooted my computer, my phone, huge strands of my life.

So I guess you could say I start over a lot.

***

A friend of mine moved recently, and in the process, she got rid of a ton of stuff. She hardly has any books left (she mostly reads electronically these days), most of her kitchen cabinets are empty, she’s getting rid of big pieces of furniture. I thought to myself, “Wow. This is the way to start over.”

By contrast, when I start over, I tend to carry everything with me: my experiences, my memories, my baggage, and physical mementos from the past. It’s certainly the bulkier way to go. But there is no one right way to start over. There is the way that feels right at the time.

My kitchen cabinets are full. But I do have an empty bookshelf.

***

The title of this post suggests that I’m going to offer up advice or maybe a list of ten bullet points summing up the process of starting over. But this time I don’t have a list for you.

Starting over is hard. A lot of that is because of the fear that often comes with it, the fear and the not knowing and the what if game. And starting over is stressful. If you look at the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale, you’ll see that almost all of the most stressful events in life have to do with change: beginnings, endings, and starting over.

So really when we’re talking about how to start over, we’re also talking about how to be kind to ourselves and how to be resilient and how to deal with stress.

When have you started over?

Read Full Post »