Friday, January 14, 2011

If Only

Start with a clean slate.

Some days I think to myself, If I could just start all this over again, I would do the whole thing differently. I've often thought about how, if I could go back in time and get a re-do on my college years, I would break up with my high school boyfriend before getting there, I would major in journalism or math, I would study harder my freshman year, I would get to know some of my professors better. If only, if only.

But, I'll never get a do-over on anything. Not really. Nevertheless, today I got as close to a do-over as anyone gets and it wasn't initially as blissful as I thought such a chance might be. At work on Monday, our computer network contracted a permanent flaw and lost all the data everyone in my division ever saved on the netshare. Today we were informed that it is irretrievable.

I lost years of work. Plus, I lost all my documents, spreadsheets, and power points generated from intense research over the last several weeks. There is no record of my accomplishments, other than a few printouts. The data I am supposed to analyze has vaporized.

It tweaked me today, when I found out that I now have to re-create all the spokes on my wheel that will keep rolling forward whether I'm prepared or not.

At home tonight, however, when that little knot in my chest started to unravel and I had a moment of clarity, I realized what a rare opportunity I have - a chance to start fresh. I can redefine my job and how I execute it. I can take risks with it that I never did before. With no comparisons of old to new in existence, no point of reference, I can conduct a total re-do.

Oh, sweet euphoria. I've got a clean slate and the possibilities are exciting and endless. And it leaves me asking, Why wait until fate gives me a second chance? Why not give myself the gift of a do-over here and there? And while I'm at it, why not give permission to my friends to start over, too?

TODAY'S ASSIGNMENT: Today all you have to do is accept my permission to start over tomorrow, regardless of what you did today. You are relieved of your obligation to any path you've chosen that no longer suits you. Today is the day that you quit the volunteer committee that has become a burden to you. Today is the day you tell your spouse you want to make a career change. Today is the day you take the first step on your course to fulfilling a dream. Today you are throwing off all the burden of trying to live up to the expectations of everyone else and you're starting anew as the authentic YOU. It's the do-over of a lifetime. All you have to do is accept my gift.

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