QUESTION: Hi Chuck and Garland - Just doing some thinking for the new year about where my life is heading. The background: I got married to my college sweetheart in 2000 when I was 31. Although he was a love of my life and I learned so much from him, I left after only a year of marriage for the main reason that he was a regular pot smoker, and I didn't want to have kids with someone who depended on drugs. He was highly functioning, had his own business and was smart as hell. But... I felt the pot was keeping us from having the marital relationship I believed we could be having. Addiction kept him from growing emotionally. I had believed his promises to quit throughout our many years of dating, and it took me a year of marriage to realize they were empty, and I would have to move on.
Fast forward ten years. I have had a wonderful life full of good things. I've traveled the world, enjoy my job and friends and took time out to work on me through therapy. But I had just assumed that once I got out of an unworkable romantic situation and worked on myself that I would find someone who wanted to put the effort in ie; a guy who gets it. I've had some love connections but mostly from guys who are too young as I look ten years younger than my age. Oh, and ironically, my wasband just got married two years ago, and judging from Facebook photos, appears to have the life I left him for.
I'm not particularly unhappy about my situation nor am I desperate to change it, but sometimes I wonder why am I not getting what my friends seem to have. I don't really have a question per se. I just want your input or impressions about how life is "supposed to go" as opposed to how life really ends up.
GARLAND: Hi there. Thanks for sharing.
Yeah, I feel you. Life tends to work itself out at the speed, time and manner that IT chooses.
I think we all see what we want out of life and if we're lucky we get SOME of it. I think that happens for two main reasons :
(1) random events happen every single second of every day and these events have a ripple effect that impact the world, the country, the state, the city and the neighborhood we live in, the areas where we work and play, the people we know, the people we are yet to know and subsequently - US. So, nothing on a philosophical or a 'higher' plain is fixed in place, variables are everywhere.
(2) Everyday we become just a little bit different - we learn a little bit more, forget a little bit more; we appreciate a few more things and appreciate a few less things; we love a few more things and we hate a few more things. Our priorities, desires, abilities and perspectives are always changing.
At one point in our lives we might money, or we might want a house in a good neighborhood, or we want that sexy guy or girl that works out at the gym we go to. Then again we might want a kid instead of the house. Or, we might want a solid 401K as opposed to that weekend in Puerto Rico. Maybe we'd just be happy dropping 30 pounds as opposed to having $3000 in new jewelery. I think everything ebbs and flows.
What I'm about to say is easy for me to say because you and I are strangers, but I say it sincerely and I hope you take it to heart in a positive way. You say that your wasband seems to be doing pretty good... Don't dwell on that too much. While the world and events are random, I still think that on a deeper level - everything happens for a reason. You might assume that your wasband could have turned himself around and been a decent guy for you, you'll probably never know. But, before you stress over this... and I'm not saying you are... keep in mind that he probably had to take his life in a different direction to end up where he is, and sometimes we have to take these roads alone. Either he's improved himself and or he's improved a way to hide his shortcomings. I hope you look at him as just - One Stop, on a long bus ride.
And lastly - don't sleep on those young fellas. If you are 40ish and you come across a guy that has his act together, his head is on straight, his game tight and he's livin' right - why not see what he's about? You didn't say you were looking for a man, but since we're all sharing here... I might as well point that out to you.
Best wishes, and enjoy the ride-
CHUCK: You want our Philosophies of Life, is that it? Boy, I love the easy questions!
I don't think that there's any set way that life should go. Things happen when and how they do, mostly due to situations that we don't control. But it's how we respond to those situations that dictates how our lives end up going.
And then there are the things that we want out of life. These things are gonna change, based on where you are in your life. When I was single, I wanted a better car, a smart, stable girlfriend, and more money. Now I want more time with my kids, more (and better) time alone with my wife, more rest, and... more money. Back when you were married, you wanted a stable married relationship. Your husband wanted more weed.
No way that could have worked out.
I wonder a lot about the inequities of life. How can good people live unhappy, unfulfilled lives while others can do wrong, abuse everything and everyone, and still reap life's rewards? I call that the Dick Cheney Conundrum. Do bad things happen to good people? All the time. Nothing is going to change that.
My personal philosophy is to live my life with as little mailce as I can have towards others, and trying to respect other people as I want to be respected. And I guess that's worked out pretty well for me. If things aren't quite going the way you want them to right now, hang in there, because you never know when things are going to change for the better.
Now, enough with this philosophisizing. Give me someone to scold, or find me someone to make fun of!