Living Happily Ever After


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The Speech Concluded: ‘R’ is for Resilience

The original definition of resilience had to do with a material’s ability to resume its shape or position AFTER being bent, stretched and compressed: the ability to “bounce back.”

To help you bounce back, I recommend the following:

1. Reflect. Think about other challenges you’ve faced and how you successfully overcame them. Do those things.

2. Write about your feelings. Writing processes thoughts and feelings differently in the brain by putting words to them. Writing about something can change the way you view it. Interestingly, I heard about a 1994 study on job loss that found that participants who wrote about their loss 30 minutes each day for five consecutive days found work significantly faster than those who didn’t.

3. Find the lessons in your loss. Writing can help you do that, too. No matter how bad the circumstances ask, “What can I learn from this?” These lessons can help you avoid giving up despite setbacks, too.

4. Reinvent yourself. Sometimes, you have no other choice–you lose your entire life (like I did) and you’re forced to create a new one. If you aren’t forced to completely reinvent every aspect of a new life, learn a new skill, take up a new hobby, join a new group or meet some new people.

5. Move forward! The shortest way to the other side is through your challenge. Don’t be a pickle sucker. Get through your challenge and move on. And “suddenly” (no guarantee on how long it takes!) you’ll realize your smile is real–not something you’re faking for your children or the world. You’ll realize, with shock, you feel like your “old” self again. You’ll realize your new life is good, although not exactly the same, as the one you lost. And you’ll realize that you’re happy.

So…believe in wearing lipstick. Believe in pink.

Laugh, it’s the best calorie burner.

Be strong when everything seems to be going wrong.

Remember that happy girls are the prettiest ones.

Believe that tomorrow is another day. Believe in miracles.

And you’ll find yourself living your own personal one. Your “happily ever after.”

No Such Word

“Coincidence is like a rubber band. Stretch it too far and it snaps.” (Roger Zelazny)

This may be a stretch, but consider this odd development from the history of my past.

I was visiting with an old friend recently and she asked me about a former mutual friend–she babysat him while he was growing up; I dated him in the 1980s. She said, “Hey, what is he up to? Do you keep in touch?”

I haven’t kept in touch with him. I mean, when someone tells you he loves you and you respond by telling him he doesn’t–because he is too young to feel that way (we were 19 years old), it makes things slightly less conducive to keeping in touch for awhile! But I figured enough time had passed for him to forget a little thing like that, so I promised to check on him and report back.

How do you find someone you haven’t spoken to for…22 years? In my world, Facebook. I’ve had some pretty good luck with it. (To date, finding my biological mother. I wish someone would sponsor a contest: “How Facebook Has Changed My Life.” I’d enter to win.) He had been a social guy, had played professional baseball, so I figured he’d be easy to find.

Wrong. No sign of him.

“That’s odd,” I thought. So I googled him. And I couldn’t believe what I saw.

What are the odds that you marry a man who perpetrates a Ponzi scheme, and at the same time he’s being prosecuted for his crime…a former boyfriend is ALSO being prosecuted for an investment scam?

“Who knows one person who commits a Ponzi scheme?” I wondered. “Much less, TWO people who perpetrate investment fraud?” Apparently, I do. What a strange and unexpected life mine is sometimes.

I was talking with my cousin shortly after that, laughing about the strangeness of the most recent development. She said, “Wait. I remember him. He was the really, really good looking baseball player, wasn’t he?”

“Yep, that’s the one, although he isn’t so good looking any more,” I replied.

“What?” she asked. “How do you know that?”

“I saw his mug shot,” I replied.

Note to anyone thinking of heading down that path: it’s not an attractive course to pursue in any way, shape or form. What crime is, the harm you inflict, going to prison, the toll it takes on your appearance, and everything else connected to breaking the law leaves nothing to be desired! (Not to mention the fact that dishonesty, and crime, is just plain wrong!)

“Martha Stewart showed up at Manhattan FBI Headquarters to have her finger prints taken and pose for a mug shot. Then Martha explained how to get ink off your fingers using seltzer water and lemon juice.” (Conan O’Brien)

M-U-G S-H-O-T.

Mug shots and men. Ponzi schemes and the past. Coincidence or just plain bad luck? I only know it is VERY unexpected! And that, “If there were no such thing as coincidence, there would be no such word.” (Heron Carvic)