Today, I’m on the road to my own Life Reimagined.
My house is gone. My dog is dead. And my heart’s been broken by people I once trusted and loved.
If your life has ever gone to pot then you’ll know that I’m feeling about as blue as a person can feel.
So it’s not without a little irony that I’ve been invited to participate in a project for AARP’s Life Reimagined.
Postcard From the Valley
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all just live on the mountaintop basking in the glow of God’s special favor all of the time?
Wouldn’t I like to be some wise guru telling you how you can have it all, JUST LIKE ME?
Wouldn’t I (and the people at Life Reimagined who hired me) probably prefer if I could write this post from the future where I tell you how I struggled but it all worked out, and how the book, Life Reimagined, by Richard Lieder and Alan Webber, and the helpful tools on the Life Reimagined website made it all possible?
That day is going to come because I have HOPE…
…but in the here and now I feel anything but reimagined.
What is Life Reimagined?
And what life do I long to live?
I want a happy marriage full of joy and fun.
I want a sex life so amazing that my last dying words are, “Oh glorious sex, thank God I found you!” Those were literally my mother’s last words, and I think she was onto something.
I want my children to be happy. I want my grandchildren to be happy. I want my great grandchildren to be happy. And I want to live long enough to enjoy their happiness with them.
I want to have enough money for retirement so my daughter doesn’t cry every night wondering how she’s going to take care of me, and angry because I’ve left it up to her to find a way. That’s where my mother was NOT onto something.
I want to see the world with my best friend and lover! And I want to do it while we’re young enough to enjoy it.
I want work that’s meaningful and makes other people’s lives better.
I want peace of mind.
I—the person who currently owns no home—want a house at the beach where I live in the winter, and a house in the mountains where I spend my summers.
I want to have a blog where I can write what I want. If the situation is fucked up then I want the freedom to say,“This is FUCKED up!”
I think my readers demand nothing less.
And right about now the nice people at Life Reimagined are wondering if they are actually paying for this article. I promise not to cuss again.
Our Lives are Created from the Choices We Make
I’ll admit it. I’m currently making the choice to wallow in a little self-pity, thankyouverymuch.
Self-pity is like chocolate for the soul. We shouldn’t have too much of it, but a little now and then is okay.
In fact, I think self-pity is necessary for a real existential crisis. And an existential crisis sometimes happens on the road towards creating a life YOU want to live. Not the life your parents want you to live, or your spouse, or your kids, or your boss, or your church, or your friends. This is YOUR life. You only get one. You owe it to yourself to LIVE IT!
And I promise you that the people who truly love you want that for you, too.
Life Reimagined is NOT Just Another Self-Help Gimmick
I hate self-help books. I’m pretty sure if Job were alive today his friends would show up with self-help books.
Offering a self-help book to a person suffering acute emotional trauma from an existential crisis is like showing up at the scene of a major automobile accident with a box of band-aids.
Can you tell that people have offered me self-help books recently?
When I tell these self-help book wielding people that I really don’t want to read their fucking self-help book (Oops. Sorry.) they shake their heads and look at me with that sort of spiritual superiority that only a person who has just discovered all the secrets of life from a self-help book can have.
So I’m not going to tell you that all of your problems will be solved if you read Life Reimagined or head over to their website for their really great tools to help you create the life you are longing to live.
Because Life Reimagined is a roadmap, not a destination guide.
In fact, I can promise you that stepping out of your comfort zone towards your own life reimagined might become terribly uncomfortable. You might have to walk away from people and things that have become obstacles keeping you from living the life you are meant to live.
Birth as a Metaphor for Life Reimagined
As a labor and delivery nurse I’ve seen a lot of births, and over and over again I witness the same miracle.
At the moment of birth the woman often feels like she is being ripped apart. Labor nurses call this moment the ring of fire.
Then what happens?
The baby is born, and in the blink of an eye the mother goes from sheer agony to profound ecstasy.
Birthing your own life reimagined might be just like that.
Not that I believe in fortune cookies, but it isn’t mere coincidence that this message was inside the one I got the other day.
Don’t give up before your miracle!
Life Reimagined is a simple and smart approach helping you and me prepare for our miracle.
Reimagining our lives might not always be easy, but it is always going to be worth it. Because, even from down here in the valley, I believe we are all worth living the lives we’re meant to live.
This post was (hopefully) sponsored by the kind and forgiving people at AARP’s Life Reimagined. Today’s AARP, helping people like you and me seek out and discover life’s real possibilities.