The Half Life of Re-booting

There aren’t many adults who would consider moving into one’s parental basement an improvement in circumstances, however, I am just such a person. After nearly three years of jamming myself into a twin sized bed, I have successfully moved out of my childhood bedroom and into a full on apartment! Yes, that’s right, this re-booter has upgraded to living life on the ground floor. 

 

While the term half-life is typically “used to describe a quantity undergoing exponential decay,” I choose to redefine this term to convey a signal of flourishing ascent! Establishing a space that feels more fully my own gets me that much closer to reaching my goal of a fully re-booted life. I’m a whole lot further down the road than when I first set out on my journey from Santa Barbara to Washington. Since that time, nothing about my life has decayed (except, well, maybe an over-inflated sense of self). Instead, there has been exponential growth in personal wisdom, initiative, and resilience. So, while there is plenty of fodder for folks to criticize about my life–she flubbed this or hasn’t managed that—I choose to describe this subterranean move in terms of resolute progress! At first glance, it may not look like much of an achievement, but I assure you, it is. While some might unkindly describe mine as a portrait of fizzled potential or lackluster performance, they’d be dead wrong. Because the truth is, the challenges I had to wade through to get to a point where I could move into this basement and be happy about it were manifold, demanding of me a great deal of patience and determination to keep my head held high despite numerous seeming set backs.

 

Can you recall a time in your life when your life felt like it was going in reverse but hindsight has provided plenty of reasons to see that it was actually a favor?

 

Each time I feel discouraged or particularly impoverished or at my wit’s end as to what I should do next, I scare myself into a more positive mindset by reminding myself that I could feel angry and defeated everyday for the rest of my life and nobody is going to stop me. Nobody. If that’s not a terrifying thought, I don’t know what is. Who do you know who has opted for the route of anger and victimization? It’s an awful path to trod, isn’t it? To me, nothing is as tragic as a person who has given up on himself, who allows circumstances to define them. When I waver, and feel myself pulled towards that siren call of throwing a giant pity party, I remind myself that how I handle trying times like these are the ones that will define who I am. It’s solely in my control how I choose to react to my problems.

 

That’s true for you, too.

 

When was the last time you felt sorry for yourself? Last year? Last week? An hour ago? And despite whatever grievance, insult, or disappointment you have suffered, is there a better, more constructive way you might think about it? Ok, so you got fired, so what? There are other ways to make money and you won’t have to deal with that asshole, anymore. Your spouse left you and never looked back. Tough break, but was your marriage that great to begin with? Might there be a chance you’ll actually enjoy living life unfettered? Maybe this will set the stage for you to meet someone better suited to you. Must these developments prove that you’re a loser? Of course not! No! Accept no other answer than this one.

 

This is where the half-life of re-booting comes into play. Maybe the only way we can reach that better place in our lives is by slipping down the slide backwards. Sure, it feels a lot like Alice falling down the rabbit hole, and wow, it’s awfully dark in here…but our eyes adjust and we regain our bearings. There’s absolutely no ground to be gained by sitting in the hole, refusing to move.

 

So, next time you’re tempted to mope, I want you to think of me, dancing away in my new basement apartment. Instead of telling myself this move signals the death knell of any hope for resurgence as an independent adult, I now see it for what it actually is: a freshly repainted, reupholstered, brighter space from which I will optimistically launch into a better life. My half-life of re-booting involves no decay whatsoever. What about your situation? Do you choose to see degeneration or potential?

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