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Thursday, July 7, 2011

The End of Your Dream

Dreams you accomplished can come to an abrupt halt like a dog who chases after a taunting cat then finds himself yanked to a sudden stand still because he's reached the end of his chain. But unlike the dog who has reached the end of its tether, the abrupt halt was through no fault of your own. Life happens and changes occur due to actions of others we don't control.

That dream you imagined, planned and carefully executed comes to an end leaving you with surprise, a dropped jaw, widened eyes and thoughts like “What the....? What happened?” For some reason, surprise is usually the reaction and sadly it's not the good kind like the friend who's gathered people for a celebration for you without you knowing. There aren't a bunch of people standing on the other side of a door grinning and whispering among themselves anticipating the look on your face when you come into the room and they yell “Surprise! Your dream died!”

Control of our carefully executed plan slipped from our grasp without our knowledge and it's the lack of control that is saddening, frustrating and depressing. No matter how strategic we were in planning to get to work on time, it's the rubber-neckers who slow the traffic because they're gawking at the woman with a flat tire on her car at the side of the road. Knowing this happens more frequently than not, you even left thirty minutes early to help ensure prompt arrival. But, there you are stuck in traffic and wondering if you should start leaving an hour early instead of thirty minutes.

Life happens. You control as much of it as you can; control those things you can control and in the end, hope for the best while anticipating success that has no end. After all, many have had the good fortune of watching their dream succeed year after year, decade after decade and are still witnessing its success. Employees who've managed to retain a job for 30 years, the restaurant down the road that's been around since you were knee high to a grasshopper are a wonder to you as you realize your mouth is gaping so clamp it shut with a thud.

So, you begin to wonder what it is you can do. Do you wallow in bitterness because the company you worked and suffered at has sold and the new management is downsizing and put you in the cross-hairs? Do you cry, throw yourself down and bang the floor with your fists and feet? Pray that the idiots in charge of the country can manage to better the economy and consumer confidence? What? What do you do?

The answer is simple. As my mother would say when one of us four kids fell scraping our knee, “Get up and try it again.”

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