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Let’s hear it for bad endings …

So the fat lady sang, eh? The pink slip came, the gavel fell, the movers left, and now you are crossing through that door that separates your life then with this life now. All those comforts and connections you had before are now a memory. Groan, grieve, and then be grateful. Bad endings can make for great beginnings.

When there is no chance to reconcile, renegotiate, rebuild, or go in reverse, you have no option but to go forward. Scrap it all. See this as the opportunity to start anew, reinvent yourself, revise the life story you’ve been living. You’ve lost it all anyway, why not lose your identity and get a new one?

Yes, yes, do remember that those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. Mull over your past in the wee small hours of the morning. Examine it, learn from it, beat yourself up if that’s what you need to do. Then put it away as you do a book on a shelf. It’s always there, easy to retrieve, a reference source that may influence the future, but should not guide the present. The schemes, schedules, and social circles that formerly clothed your life are shredded, and you cannot sew a coat from tatters. So shed that old costume and tailor a new one. Your new life may be quiet and cozy, wild and wandering, it might be a refined version of your old life or completely unrecognizable. It’s your call. And that’s important to remember — it is your call.

I am aware that some folks — actually most of us — cannot completely walk away from all of their past. There are remnants — bills to pay, kids to raise, sentences to serve — that still require our attention. Also, I sure as hell ain’t sayin’ that everyone will be skipping along and singing a tune while they rebuild their lives. What I am saying is that when events — divorce, losing a job, going to jail, going nuts — bring you to a point where you lose all structure in your life, realize that you have also lost stricture in your life. Take a look at the guidelines in your life. Have they become restrictions? Did the input and influence of others become interference? Do your goals and your dreams still get you out of bed in the morning? Is it time to blaze a new trail?

When the fat lady sings, stand up, cheer, exit, look ahead, go forward, find a fatter lady.

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