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Hello Misery, I'm home...

"Hello Misery, I'm home..." 

I was ironing this past weekend and listening to the cartoons my grand daughter was watching when I heard Squidward, the pessimistic neighbor and co-worker of Spongebob, utter this phrase with a sigh of relief. 

You see, Spongebob had discovered that Squidward did not have a "happiest memory" and was determined that he would create one for him.  One that would bring Squidward joy every time he remembered it.  Of course, Squidward refused Spongebob's offer at first, but after some consideration he decided that maybe it would be nice to have a happiest memory of his own.  What he did not understand was that it would require much more than simply attending a memory making event. 

As with all Spongebob episodes, their quest would be wrought with challenges.  Each time their attempt for a "perfect" memory was thwarted by circumstance Spongebob seemed unphased and ready to try again.  Squidward...well, let's just say he was less than enthusiatic.

And so it goes with the Squidward in each of us.  Misery can become our comfort zone, our "home" companion, the place we are most familiar with, the blanket we wrap up in after a long day.  It is much easier in life to remain miserable than to seek out a better place.  I have had many express frustration at me when I point out that perhaps they are most comfortable in their miserable situation.  "What?!"  "Are you crazy? Why would you ever think that I'm comfortable here?!" The answer is easy - I have a Squidward in me too.  I completely understand how difficult it is to step out of your comfort zone. 

As a result I am in awe of those who are courageous enough to take that step and go for it in life. 

Those brave souls surround you and I.  Just this past month I was priveledged to watch one of my daughters head off to College -- two States away.  It has only been 30 days and she has a new job, new roommates, new classes, new budget, new climate (it was 106 when I dropped her off).  Is she homesick? Of course.  Why so far away?  Because she knew it was where she was supposed to go.

Another daughter quit her job with the 1:30 a.m. wake up call.  Not because she hated it.  She actually liked what she did and was working towards a good management position. She didn't even have another job lined up.  Why leave then?  She left because she knew it was what was best for her family.  30 days later she is starting a new job.  One with better pay, better hours, and the potential to work at home a couple of days a week.

My mother-in-law lost her companion of over 50 years to cancer in March.  She had hip replacement in June.  I am sure that most days have been difficult at best these past six months. In the beginning it required all she had in her just to get dressed in the mornings - physically and emotionally.  And yet she did just that -  every morning - day after day.  Why make the effort?  Because no matter how difficult the current day was she knew that it was required if tomorrow was going to be any better.  And each tomorrow has been just a bit better as a result.

Washington rain recently created a sink hole on a local highway.  This immediately required a detour if locals where going to get from point A to point B the next day.  It simply was not possible to take the same road they had traveled for years.  To add to their frustration the road had just completed construction work which made it appear that it was going to be better than ever for travel. 

Life comes with sink holes.  They create change.  They also give our life depth. They most often require a detour if you are going to keep moving.  It is possible to sit on the edge of the sinkholes in your life and stay there.  Dangle you feet over the edge.  Walk around them peering into the depth.  You could even try some "Spelunking" and examine them from within.

We can develop a sense of pride for our craters.  "Have you ever experienced such a devasting sinkhole?" "Why this hole in my life is so vast no one could venture around it." "Can you imagine - I survived this?"  "Who else knows such misery?"  There is no doubt - we all become familiar with the holes in our lives.

Sinkholes are the result of a natural process.  They are inevetible.  They can bring beauty and new life.  They can also create havoc and devistation.  This is true in nature and in life.

Is there a "comfortable" place you must leave?  A job, a lifestyle, a relationship, a way of thinking, an age....  It can be done. Why must it be done? How about this for an answer...

It doesn't have to be done.  You can stay right where you are and be miserable. It definately is going to be easier to stay right where you're at.  Misery loves company - right?

No one else can make your "happiest memory" for you.  Stay where you're at and be miserable. 

This could be as good as it gets.

But it doesn't have to be. 


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