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The Second Half

Updated on October 16, 2009

Today is my last day in Phoenix for a while. After more than a year of waffling back and forth on whether or not to move back to Seattle, I’ve decided to do so. And it feels right.

You see, my son is a junior in high school up there, and I want to be close to him during this crucial time in his life. My hesitation was selfish – I didn’t think I could stand the rain again, but when I think about my son, every other consideration pales in comparison.

What have I learned in my almost 4 years here?

First, you can’t outrun yourself. Wherever you go, there you are. Your face will always look back from any mirror you look into. You can’t go around problems, medicate problems, or run from problems. They will stay with you, and usually grow, until you decide to go straight through them in search of your solution. Not around, or over, or under, but through.

Two, you can’t ever truly know the power of the people who love you until you screw up. I’ve been amazed at the grace and love that has been shown to me, in spite of the messes that I’ve made. My family and friends are the best.

Three, the sun will shine again, if you can wait for it long enough. I’ve been in the depths of despair for too long. The proverbial sun is coming out again. Time does a great job of healing wounds, but only if we’re proactive, as I mentioned above.

Fourth, material possessions can be more of a curse than a blessing. There is nothing wrong with ‘stuff’ per se, but a lot of the things we think we have to have become our masters. Think about how much time you need just to maintain your belongings. Some of it is absolutely necessary, but some of it is a futile waste of time. I was FORCED into this realization by losing everything. I would never have chosen it. But now that I’m here, I would rather have fewer things and actually be able to do more. I would rather hike the Pacific Crest Trail from Canada to Mexico than drive a nice car. Could I have both? Probably. But I want to start being wiser about the choices that I make. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of buying crap we don’t need, or even want, just because ‘everybody does it’.

Fifth, getting older is a good thing. At 44, I’m probably in better physical shape than at any point in my life. We put barriers on ourselves as to what is possible at a given stage of life. At forty, you’re finally getting to the point where you’re getting smart enough to make some great decisions. And you really know what you want out of life, maybe for the first time. So what if you’re not where you wanted to be? You can get there now. Don’t throw in the towel right before things get great.

And last, life is harder than I thought it would be, greater than I ever thought it could be, scarier than the scariest horror movie, as fun as a day at the beach, and worth living to the fullest every day. Some days are amazing, some are absolutely dreadful, but most fall somewhere in between. My attitude is in my control. I can make these ‘in-between’ days tilt toward amazing, or toward dreadful. That is completely up to me. What amazing power is locked up in each of our attitudes. One of my favorite movie lines is from “The Shawshank Redemption”. If you’re struggling with your attitude, I would highly recommend it. In it, the main character, Andy, who has been wrongly accused of murdering his wife, says, “You gotta’ get busy livin’, or get busy dyin’.”

That’s the choice each of us makes every day, whether on purpose, or by default.

Take an inventory of your life. All the hopes, dreams, aspirations, and disappointments, and chart a new course. None of us knows the number of our days. Squeeze every drop of life out of each one.



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    • profile image

      abarefootman 6 years ago

      Two Things: One. You said "My attitude is in my control" I am glad you know it. Because most people behave like their attitude is in someone else's hands. I was probably one of them once. And Two: You said "I get in touch with my serious side about 1/10 of the time." I am glad it's only 1/10. Nothing wrong with that. This world is in such chaos, because most people are all about business and nothing but. Why are they afraid to be funny I wonder. Being "funny" is not such a bad attitude. It shows you are still alive. Not just barely existing.

      Have a great day.

    • Stan Fletcher profile image

      Stan Fletcher 7 years ago from Nashville, TN

      Jaye - great points about 'talking the talk'. This was written over a year ago, when I was doing my best to talk the talk. My healing was still a ways off. But it came, when I was ready to accept it. My earlier serious hubs were mostly written from this perspective. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 7 years ago from Deep South, USA

      I read your hub and found myself agreeing with what you wrote. Then I read your response to MT two weeks ago, and thought about how many times I've smiled in the mirror in my life, hoping to make myself feel like smiling. I tend toward a bit of moodiness now and then, and have known for a long time that "talking the talk" before I actually believe it deep down in my soul actually helps me "walk the walk." I also believe strongly that laughter is better medicine (for me, at least) than pain pills or antidepressants. Hope things are going well for you now, Stan, and I will read your depression hubs. (I've spent some time in that "state", too.)Thanks for an awesome hub. JAYE

    • Stan Fletcher profile image

      Stan Fletcher 7 years ago from Nashville, TN

      MT - interestingly enough, when I wrote this, I wasn't all that positive. These are the feelings I wanted to feel, and I knew they were true. It wasn't until about a month ago, after getting some much needed therapy, that I was able to live this hub. As always, thanks for reading. For the 'real story', read my depression hubs.

    • mtkomori profile image

      mtkomori 7 years ago from Yokohama, Japan

      I admire your positive attitude. I especially liked your second point, about family and friends. Until one is in a difficult situation,one won't know their power, as you say. A good reason to be thankful for one's family and friends.

      Thanks for a great hub.

    • Stan Fletcher profile image

      Stan Fletcher 7 years ago from Nashville, TN

      gr82bme - glad you enjoyed it and welcome aboard. Spending the day with my son today actually. Grateful to be here for him.

    • gr82bme profile image

      gr82bme 7 years ago from USA

      Great hub. I know your son will be happy to have you back. Your right, he does need his father

    • Stan Fletcher profile image

      Stan Fletcher 7 years ago from Nashville, TN

      Thanks again Wayne. I get in touch with my serious side about 1/10 of the time. But I hear ya, and appreciate your input.........

    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 7 years ago from Texas

      Your writin' about my life in a lot of ways...this one may be my favorite of your hubs. Right from the heart and very well stated! I would like to see you write more from your serious side.

    • Stan Fletcher profile image

      Stan Fletcher 8 years ago from Nashville, TN

      I hear you RT.

      Thanks for the compliment TWIS. I've actually thought about going into life coaching. maybe I will.

    • profile image

      That's what I say 8 years ago

      I just got here today to read your "second half" I'm glad your sharing, your a natural life coach.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 8 years ago from the short journey

      Yes you could have both, you live in America. But wisdom is the better choice. Be sure you get it from the Source.

    • Stan Fletcher profile image

      Stan Fletcher 8 years ago from Nashville, TN

      Thanks so much SFB, or should I call you sunflower...or bucky?

    • sunflowerbucky profile image

      sunflowerbucky 8 years ago from Small Town, USA

      "My attitude is in my control" is my favorite line from this hub! Good luck with your move!

    • profile image

      mike martin 8 years ago

      amen brother amen