Saturday, April 24, 2010

Pain Before Gain on The Road Less Traveled

If someone had told me six months ago when I left New York City for parts West that I would be back in Louisiana living with my ex, I would have said they were crazy or just plain mean. But yet that is where I find myself today.

Things have changed I suppose and for the better, but I grow impatient for the Universe to do it's magic in my life and move me to my next destination wherever that might be.

Some have called me irresponsible, crazy and just plain stupid for leaving a stable job. I don't know how stable it actually was when we were being furloughed and told layoffs were eminent, but I digress.

Being patient has never been one of my strong suits. When I want something I want it now. In reading The Road Less Traveled I realize I need to learn to delay gratification. Also not a thing I've quite been able to do well. Doesn't even sound appealing to me, delaying of gratification. Sounds downright painful. But to bring about change and a more consciously-lived life, I must learn this technique. I guess the old saying "no wine before it's time" makes a lot of sense.

The Road Less Traveled also says life is supposed to be painful and one must accept that fact. That isn't exactly what I wanted to hear either. But working at the US Census I found someone that echoed that back to me.

Mr. Charlie, a senior citizen who has been married to the same woman for 47 years, doesn't have to work, but he enjoys getting out of the house and helping out. He happily worked the recruiting phones assisting those interested in working for the Census through the application and testing process. One day when the phones calls let up, I asked him what the key to happiness is and he said simply "Life is full of good days and bad days, and hopefully the good days will out weight the bad ones."

Everyone loved Mr. Charlie who also said "Don't take yourself too seriously," which he didn't. He always smiled and had a good word to say and laughed a lot when the occasion called for it.

When I told Mr. Charlie about not wanting to work for someone I didn't respect, he told me about a former job where he didn't like his boss. "After I thought about it, my opinion didn't really matter," he said. "Unless they ask you to something immoral or illegal, you just have to do the work and forget about the rest."

Mr. Charlie will be missed by many at the Lafayette Census office to be sure. His last day was Friday. He made an impression on my life. I also told about my hip pain and how reluctant I was to have hip replacement.

His reply "Piece of cake, I had one two years ago and I don't regret it." I guess Mr. Charlie is a wiser and braver soul than I am. "You'll get through it kid," he said with a smile, as I gave him a gentle hug goodbye.

I saw my sister go through double hip surgery about five years ago and it tore me apart to see her having to learn to walk again. She too is a braver soul than I.

Pain before gain....yikes does that really have to be the way it is? Geeze that really kinda sucks doesn't it?

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