Necessary Endings

I wrote this post several months ago. I had been thinking about change and direction and those things (and people) that are good and not good in our lives. I had read that we should feel energized and bettered in some way when we’ve spent time with (and energy on) people and / or things like hobbies. It may seem contrary, but the process of making a mental list for consideration created optimism and energy. In light of our upcoming amazingly-fantastic summer, it may sound pessimistic or cynical, but the more I thought about it the more optimistic I became.

I thought about what our Baby House (either one of them) would look like if we never got rid of stuff; if we never decided that some things needed to not be in our lives anymore. A basic truth emerged: that would not be a good thing. I simmered on that for awhile and decided that it’s not just about stuff. Relationships, habits, hobbies, thought patterns, goals, dreams; is this “useful” in helping me go in the direction that I want to go?

What about people? I’m not suggesting that people are utilitariean, but on some level, well, let’s face it, some people are just flat out drags. A friend once called those kind of people “joy suckers;” they suck all the joy right out of you.

Another friend said once that many people are in our lives “for a season.” I’ve had alot of people in my life for a season. I learned a great deal from many of them, and some of them have made significant impact on my life.

Endings are a natural part of life on the planet. The circle of life, life-cycle; all that. Most see endings as bad things, but some endings are natural and good and signal a transition towards better: farmers plow fields under, school years close out, summer gives way to fall, people retire from working and hopefully into a new and exciting life. In some areas of life, when jobs or relationships end, the endings can be uncomfortable to say the least. Often, the reason people make a conscious choice to end something is because they have lost hope that it’s ever going to get better.

Realizing something needs to end is hard and painful. We want to put it in the back of the closet and lock the door and then brick the door over and pretend it was never there. If we don’t see it, it’s not really there. We hold on to maybe-someday and you-never-know.

It might be that someone is acting as a detractor in your life, or the job doesn’t align with your talents or characteristics, or the environment is awful and makes you feel sick, or you’re bored, or tired, or you’re scared. Or you just know deep down you could be so much more. should be so much more. would be so much more, if.

We round the edges and put it off; maybe it will get better, maybe it’s me, maybe I’m looking at it wrong, maybe if I just wait, maybe next week/month/year. Or what if I’m wrong, what if I make it worse, what if I end up with regret.

Endings can be scary.
They signal the need for action.
Action can be really scary.

Hard is good.

But endings are necessary before new things can come.
We (I) need to remember, often, that the good things in life are almost always the not-easy things. Think about the good things you’ve earned, the goals you’ve accomplished.
Tough, yeah?
I bet yeah.

We have to do the hard thing before we get the good thing.
Be careful when you get a good thing too easily.
Maybe it’s not really a good thing after all.

We have to do the hard thing before we get the good thing.
It’s almost a Life Rule: Hard = good.

Hard before good. That’s they way life works.
Hard brings good.

Necessary endings. Ending the fruitless so the fruitful can begin.
Pruning can be a painful process. But then new life grows.
And we Middle-Agers have too much to be hopeful for, and are way too cool, to settle for less.