Thanksgiving weekend is the favorite catch-up time for my high school friends. People come home to visit family and end up at the bar the night before Turkey Day to reminisce.

I didn’t go, but I heard about it. Turns out 90% of the dozen or so classmates gathered there had been divorced.

Which reminds me that you never know what goes on inside someone’s house.

Second chances. We get ’em every day, and sometimes hardly notice, but thank God we’re not sentenced to living with every bad decision we make.

Or sometimes we are.

My bad marriage was a gift because it gave me the three most wonderful children in the world. And my divorce was a gift because I get to start over toward personal and professional success.

I ate dinner Monday night with a friend who is in the midst of her divorce negotiations. The economy’s bad and that means she may not get alimony or enough child support. Her story humbled me because for all my complaints about my situation, I was hit smack in the face with the knowledge that it could be worse.

My ex and I can talk to one another, we help each other with the children, and he pays child support on time. It wasn’t how I dreamed my happily-ever-after would turn out, but it is in no way the worst fate.

When I was a kid, I always loved when my mother’s cousin Sharon came to visit. She was big and bubbly, always smiling, with short-cropped red hair and a gentle voice accented by the streets of New York. Sharon was perennially single.

And then, at 45, she brought a man to family celebrations. A year or two later, it was Sharon’s turn – finally – to walk down the aisle. She’s been married now maybe 15 years, step-mother to his two great kids, happy as can be.

I always wondered why Sharon wasn’t married younger, since we adored her so very much. “You never know what someone’s like in a relationship,” my mother replied when we asked.

True. And then you see people IN relationships and wonder how they stay there.

With all our quirks and bad habits, late-night farting and bad hair days and passive-aggression, most of us end up in relationships. Sometimes more than once.

It’s the same in business. Personality quirks carry with you between home and office; they don’t get left at the curb when you take out the garbage early Wednesday morning.

And yet business gets done, connections made, transactions inspired, despite all of our weird failings.

You may never know what goes on behind closed doors – whether the doors of a home or a business – but life keeps spiraling forward nonetheless.

I try not to get scared of all the economy talk these days. It’s not easy.

But I know the world won’t end and if I flop at something, I’ll just stand up and try something else.

Have a great day. It’s the only day we’ve got.


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