In A Shot Of Optimism, Make Even Smarter Choices, Uncategorized, What's Holding You Back?

What are the special days you remember? Of course, you remember your own birthday and hopefully your spouse’s, parents’ and children’s. It could be the day you won an award or stopped smoking. These are days we remember because they recall happy memories. When you think of that day you get to relive the pride, joy, excitement. It makes sense to recall and reconnect.

There are other days you may remember as well: the day you were fired, lost a loved one, got in a terrible accident, filed for divorce.

When an anniversary date like this one arrives we feel sad, helpless, angry, filled with regret. And often we wonder if we’ll ever get past it…

This week I was surprised by what I didn’t remember. While taking a shower, I suddenly realized that I hadn’t remembered my house had burned down February 7, or was it the 9th? of 1997. In fact I couldn’t remember when I had stopped remembering.

For weeks after the fire I would count the days it had been since the fire. Just thinking about it, the “if only’s” made me feel sad, raw and overwhelmed. For months after the fire I continued to save the message from the home alarm company saying there was a weak signal at my house. Part of me wanted to blame them for not notifying me.

A year after the fire, I was facilitating a planning session for a client. In the middle of our session the fire engines from the station across the street rolled out with sirens screaming. The sound triggered the fear and hysteria I had felt the night I arrived at my house to find forty -foot flames, five fire trucks, TV cameras and a crowd of people at my house. I fell apart- even as I struggled to gain my composure.

For several years I would wake up on February 7 and think, This is the day my house burned down. The day after the fire my friend Charlie, who had himself had a devastating fire came to see me. He said, it will be a struggle, but you can’t imagine how much better you will feel in 6 weeks, 6 months and by 6 years you will have forgotten it happened.

Charlie was mostly right. I did feel better with every day, week and month that passed, but I didn’t forget. Last week in the shower what I remembered wasn’t the sadness and fear, though. It was the kindness of people who brought clothes and other items to the place I did yoga; the young staff person at the YWCA where I volunteered who volunteered to help me with the thousand and one logistical details – notify the utilities, see if my computer could be salvaged and the like. One of my clients was an engineering firm who sent two of their people out to see if the foundation was structurally sound. Many people sent money to the YWCA in my name. An elegant older friend of mine drove by the house and when she saw me, she took off her beautiful Hermes scarf and tied it around my neck. Other friends went shopping for me, helped me find a place to stay, organized borrowed furniture for my temporary apartment. The list goes on and on. It was good to remember all the wonderful things that happened to me in February 1997. And it was good to remember that I’d forgotten the rest.

When you have a failure or loss you have some choices and not others. You can’t choose to “make it all go away”. You can’t pretend it didn’t happen. However you CAN chose what memories you want to carry.

Tell me about a loss or failure you’ve had and what memories you are choosing to carry forward.

Until next Tuesday. YIPPEE!


Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text.