Now that I have introduced my new blog theme, I wanted to write about the other part of my inspiration for this journey of mine.
It was actually more of an epiphany. I was on my way up to Michigan and, as usual, I popped in an audio book on CD. I had downloaded this title from www.eAudioSource.com quite a while ago, because the title of it struck a chord within me. I also saw this same book in one of my favorite bookstores, “Half-Price Books,” and always meant to pick it up, but didn’t.
The book is called, The Traveler’s Gift and was written several years ago by Andy Andrews. It was named to the New York Times bestseller list and has sold over one million copies.
In summary, without ruining the story for those who may wish to pick up a copy of the book, the main character, David Ponder, a married man with one daughter, has just found out that he has lost his job due to cutbacks. He is in his forties and feels like no one would want to hire him since he has done nothing but work for this same company for so long and wouldn’t have the qualifications to do much else.
For years, David has been trying to “keep up with the Jones’” and before he knew his company was downsizing, he had purchased a new home and a new car for his wife. Now, it seems his world would crash down on him. And it does, when he finds that his daughter needs an emergency tonsillectomy and there is no insurance to pay for it.
On his way home from the only job he could find right away, a part-time job at a hardware store with a non-supportive boss, David thinks about nothing but his problems. He feels so depressed and worthless that, without any thought for his family, except for the fact that he may be worth more dead than alive, decides to take his life.
A car wreck ensues and David is left to take on the journey of his life. He finds himself in a “dream state” as he is guided by several, highly recognizable, characters, each helping him on his way by sharing the personal decisions that made them the successful and memorable people they definitely became.
The result or “take away” from the story is a list of what the author calls, “The Seven Decisions for Personal Success.” But wait! Before you decide that this is, “just another leadership seminar piece,” it isn’t. I have never considered myself a leader. Not to say I haven’t the characteristics to become one, I have always felt just a little more comfortable at the back of the pack, writing down what happens to everyone else in front of me.
This book did, indeed, strike a very convincing chord with me, as it introduced me to a part of myself that was keeping me from becoming everything I could be. It showed me how different choices in life have made me or ruined me.
Since my sister passed, I have found myself, as a good friend of mine put it, “retired” from the role of caregiver. I have been caring for every member of my immediate family, whether they thought so or not and whether I needed to or not, for the past eight or so years. I have kept myself in everyone else’s business for so long, that I gave up thinking about MY future. So…what do I do with myself, now? Who has a job for an out of work caregiver who hasn’t been in the “real world” for years?
These were, and still are, some of the things that are racing through my head, and are the exact same ideals that are stopping me from making it, “beyond the thorn Hedge.” However, as I started to read more about these “Seven Decisions for Personal Success” that Andy Andrews talks about, my thoughts are starting to change from “Why me?” to “Why NOT me?”
In my attempt to bash through this prickly hedgerow, I will share these Decisions with you in the upcoming posts, and, in an attempt to make my initial headway into this new foray on the “real world,” you will be viewing the next post…drum roll, please…on my new website!! I’ll let you know about the transition in the next few days.
Stand by! And yes, it’s okay to stand in the back of the crowd and write down what happens to me. Just remember to wear a hard hat and gloves, because those pickers are going to be flyin’!
“I accept responsibility for my past. I control my thoughts. I control my emotions. I am responsible for my success. The buck stops here.” – Andy Andrews, The Traveler’s Gift.