One of my mottos is “Flip the Fear. Find the Bling.”
I was relaxing the other day, reading a book, when a phrase jumped out at me. It was something along the lines of “It’s the irritation caused by a single grain of sand that causes the oyster to build a pearl.”
That got me to thinking about how we react to things that irritate us.
A few years ago I got divorced. He was a great friend, loved him to pieces, but we both annoyed each other to the point where we’d mainly lived apart for about 15 years!
Once we’d decided to get divorced, he had a blast – lots of girlfriends. He also had to learn some hard lessons about being in his 70’s and dating women who were strong and independent and were not going to put up with his shit!
I’d never seen myself that way – strong and independent were not labels I would give to myself. I relished being divorced and firmly stepped away from the marriage and our joint business. Financially it was tough. Emotionally and spiritually it was amazing. With no-one to answer to, I started to make changes in how I interacted with other people, but the biggest thing was that in my 60’s I finally, for the first time in my entire life, had only me to depend upon. I had never fully been responsible for me and only me.
Yes, there was fear. And yes, I learned to deal with the fears by finding the bling.
Now, for a whole heap of reasons, my ex and I are house sharing. We are not partners, we are just friends. We have both learned a lot of life-lessons, and we now recognise that the very things that used to irritate each other are mainly gone (well – except for him wearing outdoor shoes in the house!)
Those irritations have been smoothed out, coated in a glossy sheen of greater understanding and acceptance of our individual selves. We share a house, and in the friendship and mutual support of dealing with getting older, we have found that we have built a pearl.