7 seconds

It takes just 7 seconds to turn anything around.  You might think I need to have my head examined, but imagine…You have seen the same stunning red-head at the same elevator you use in the lobby at work, almost every single day for a month.  Her hair is shimmery and her smile is wide and she looks like the kind of woman you really think would suit you, and there are, it’s true, some nights that you fall asleep thinking about what a beautiful sight she would be to your eyes waking up beside her one day…and so you finally ask her for her name, and then a few days later with frequent chit-chat, ask her to dinner that weekend.  You meet at a restaurant you have heard from your coworkers is very good, and you find out that you and she only live around the block from each other!… and your conversation flows as easily as the wine, and there are no awkward moments of silence where you are grasping for something to say…Then the server comes to the table and this radiant red-head with mesmerizing green eyes is terribly rude to her, and you are aghast!…and you know, from every GQ article you ever read, that the way a date treats the server, is an excellent indicator of a person’s character…and so you feel conflicted, so pretty vs. such an asshole, and you begin to feel the slight nausea of deflation set in…and then the soup arrives, and the slurping sloppy sound she makes with every spoonful is worse than any *nails on a chalkboard* could ever be, and you realize in that moment that you will one, never date her again, and two, now have to take a completely different route to work and use another entrance, so your timing and elevator needs are modified so you can avoid her, at least until the uncomfortableness you feel about the situation has subsided…”She seemed like she would’ve be perfect for me???  PLOT TWIST!”

All you ever wanted was a Beagle, from the time you were a little girl you said someday when you grew up and had a house with a big yard you would have a beagle and would name her Belle…and you finally have your own home, and a yard! with a fence!…and you bring your little puppy home and the first night all she does is cry… so you take her out of her training crate and she seems to sleep nicely next to your bed on a blanket,  but when you walk into your kitchen to make coffee the next morning, you discover she has chewed during the night, completely, on all four legs of every one of your dining room chairs.  When you get out of the shower the next day, you find she has eaten the decorative throw pillows from your couch.  EACH one.  The following weekend you come in from getting your mail and see she has peed on your brand new white wool rug that Crate&Barrel only sent you on Tuesday.  You spend hundreds of dollars on obedience training, and hours of your Sundays over many weeks with these puppy lessons, and get the idea that your vision and dream of this happy dog named Belle, that wears a yellow bandana around her neck, greeting you every day at your door after work, is instead going to likely be laying in a crate all day, every day, because if she is not, everything in your house  will be ruined in your absence…”She’s all I ever wanted???  PLOT TWIST!”

You sell your sports car, your “baby,” your “after Sunday pancakes, take a drive to clear your head” car that you saved for years to buy,  so that you can present a stunning diamond engagement ring to your girlfriend, now fiance, and she loves it so much and you feel so happy and proud to see her casually use her left hand for so many more tasks.  You empty your savings account months later to pay for the flowers for her dream wedding and to pay for the tuxedos she says the groomsmen have to wear.  You sell all of your guitars on Ebay to help pay for the honeymoon that she says she has always wanted, and So-and-So got to go to this place, and she does not want to be outdone by So-and-So…and before you know what has happened, you have sold your house that you loved, with the cherry wide plank floors (although small, it was yours) and you loved the trees on your street, to move to what she calls  a “better” area, with nicer schools.  Three years go by and you discover that your wife has been fooling around with the swimming instructor of the pool where your son takes lessons.  A year later you are living in an apartment in a town you don’t even like, with hideous emerald-green shag carpeting, with vapor clouded windows, paying child support to your ex-wife, and the swimming instructor now gets to flip your son’s Sunday morning pancakes on the eight burner Wolf range in the kitchen with the Carrara marble countertops that used to be yours…”I thought we had the same vision for our life, together???  PLOT TWIST!”

You work so hard to afford to pay for school and do extraordinarily well in college, better than most of your classmates who don’t even have jobs and many who don’t even maintain as full a course load as you do, and your professors proclaim you will go ‘so far’ and you will be able to achieve any success you put your mind to, and you apply to the most prestigious firm in the city you always dreamed to live in, whose offices are in the “it” building, run by the lawyers who get the “it” cases, and you do well, very well…you have bigger paychecks than you ever dreamed of, but you work 68 hours a week, you have not had a boyfriend in 6 years and have not been on a date in two; the last time anybody kissed you was your Dad, at Thanksgiving, as you headed out the door right after dinner so that you could catch your plane to be back at work Friday morning, and you worried and worked all weekend to make up for that missed day, you don’t even like turkey anyway… you have not had a quiet Tuesday night to sip wine and read a novel, or talk on the phone to a girlfriend in nearly a decade, and  you have not made any friends at work because every single person you meet also wants the ONE job that will be available next October when so-and-so moves to Michigan, and you wonder, “what am I doing?!” …”This is living my big dream???  PLOT TWIST!”

step7

AND here is the magic…It takes about 7 seconds to “DO” STEP 7.  Accept that this is absolutely NOT AT ALL what you were thinking your life, or a specific situation or scenario was going to be, ACCEPT that there is absolutely nothing that you can do about what has already happened.  Well, ok.  “OK!” that’s it, that is all you can say or think or believe.  I imagine yelling it out, as STEP 7 suggests, is the way to go.  You certainly could bemoan your situation.  You certainly could ‘woe is me‘ until the cows come home, but why?  Why suffer one more second?  Why let that voice in your head, that annoying non-stop-narrative spend one more moment “telling” you what you already know?   In just 7 seconds you can be done with every one of the negative thoughts, and reiteration of dashed dreams!  You see my friends, you are not alone.  You are not the first person to find that your plan did not become your present. It is not the end of the world.  NO!!  It is simply this…a change in the story line, yours, and yours alone, the story of you…

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