The Long Way
by: Wayne and Tamara
Direct Answers - Column for the week of October 4, 2004
I wrote you about four years ago, when my eight year marriage was ending in divorce. At that time you gave me some great advice about beginning again. After reading the recent letter from Linda and how she "settled" for the wrong man, I felt I had to write an update letter.
I can look back now and realize in too many ways, I "settled" in my first marriage. I reaped the results eight years later with a broken heart. After that marriage ended, I chose to live my life to the fullest, to take every opportunity to enjoy life and my friendships, and within reason, to never settle in anything.
I wanted children, a family with which to grow old together, and the white picket fence. But I couldn't focus on what I didn't have. I could only focus on what I did have, which was a lot of time and some great friends. Sure there were women who came and went during that time (mostly went), but I never settled.
Amazingly, I did meet a fantastic woman who is in every way my other half, as I am for her. We've been married now a little over a year and are happier now than when we were courting. We can't imagine life without the other now.
My point is not that I met my other half, but instead I want to mention the positive outlook on life and love we both originally had. Being the right person for the other would not have helped either of us if my wife and I had a "wrong" attitude when we met. We would have simply walked right past the other.
Having the right attitude towards life, we ended up being like a huge magnet attracting steel. Anyway, thanks for the great advice and continue the great work! I never miss a week.
Scott, sometimes we get things right only after we have made a mistake. Sometimes we get things right when someone shows us the way. And sometimes we need a wake-up call to get things right.
In the book "Life Lessons" David Kessler wrote about Caroline, a woman with "the most genuine smile you will ever see." Not only was she happy, but to him she seemed to be one of those people who live a charmed life. When he told Caroline he thought she was lucky in love, she told him her story.
When she was in her early 40s, Caroline found a lump in her breast the doctors called suspicious. She waited three agonizing days to learn if cancer was spreading throughout her body. It wasn't. The lump was benign.
But Caroline resolved not to let those three days mean nothing. She had been single and desperately lonely. When she went to a party or event, she would quickly scan the room for Mr. Right. If he wasn't there, she'd go somewhere else searching for him, and always she went home more desperate than before.
Caroline decided to change her approach to life. Even if Mr. Right wasn't around her, other people were. She would talk with them and enjoy them, no matter what. At the end of each day she no longer felt lonely for she truly talked and smiled and laughed with others. The more she did this the more wonderful people she met and the closer she grew to her friends. She stopped being a desperately searching person.
She didn't meet Mr. Right the first year. Or the second. She met him four years later, and two years after that, they married. Being "lucky in love" has a lot to do with being ourselves and being fully engaged in life.
David Kessler wrote, "In our hearts we know we are destined to live fully, to love fully, and to have great adventures in life." Our task is figuring out how to do it.
Wayne & Tamara
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