Written by Jerry Stanecki
I’ve put this off long enough. It’s five till seven on a Tuesday morning and I’m an hour late in writing about this experience. So, here goes nothing.
“I’d like to talk with you about the rest of what I said the other day and I’d like your feelings but not a ‘Just don’t think about it,’ input.”
Annie, my daughter, sat down in a chair across from me and looked like she was thinking, “Oh shit, this can’t be good.”
“The other day I said I feel like I’ve been alone too long because I think too much.” I said, “Well, the rest of what I wanted to say is I’ve been thinking a lot about dying.. . . I get up at 3 A.M., I’ve pretty much stopped reading the morning newspaper, I don’t cook anymore and eat basically breakfast and that’s it for the day with maybe a sandwich in the evening.”
My daughter must have been listening, strength she has, because I heard no “Just stop thinking . . .” from her. But what I heard was, “You know the old saying, don’t you?”
I tried to think about what she was saying, but just stared at her.
“You have to do the work.”
I didn’t think much about that.
“Find a girl friend and accept her for not being perfect. Accept her and her faults. Find something to do to get you busy instead of sitting in that chair. Get busy, call friends. You have to do the work. . .but remember, finding a girl friend, getting busy, won’t make you happy, you have to do that.” Annie said.
“I’ve tried to find a woman. . .
“It’s not easy, I know, I dated a nice guy who doesn’t have an interest in getting married or having a family. A real nice guy, but I’m not interested in a guy with four or five other girl friends.
“And, you threw a muffin at him. . . when you pulled up to a stop light and saw him in the car next to you with another woman.
“I didn’t, I was just kidding.”
“And, you gave him a dirty look.”
“That really didn’t happen.” Annie had a look on her face that said it did happen and that she was pleased about it.
I felt the muffin bit didn’t happen but was something Annie thought about doing and found pleasure in that thought.
“But remember, you have to make yourself happy. No one else can do that. You have to make yourself happy.”
I thought about what she was saying and it made sense.
“Write about getting old,”
It was not a smart-ass remark.
I liked what Annie was saying because there was a huge audience out there because a lot of people were getting old.
“We’ll submit it to AARP and a bunch of other magazines.”
I liked the sound of what she was saying but quickly thought negative, it will be rejected. But just as quickly thought positive, rejecting the negative. I liked it.
“Writing about my life in the current book has made me realize that I’ve done a lot, but not enough to make me financially set. Look at John. . .”
John isn’t happy. He worries all the time. He thinks about losing all his money, about who wants money from him, about his job. . .He worries all the time.”
You have to make yourself happy went through my mind at the same time I thought about how could I help John and his money worries. I though about myself worried about how I would loose my job at WXYZ, how I’d end up in the Cass corridor of Detroit despite having a contract, I worried a lot and knew what John was feeling. Then, I was fired from Channel 7 and I went to work for the competition, Channel 2, where I was fired. I didn’t end up in the Cass Corridor . . I ended up rebuilding a house in Bloomfield Hills, MI and creating a television show called “Home Sweet Home.”
I talked about that fear several times at self-help meetings and how the fear dissipated when I accepted the program.
What did I learn from all of this?
It’s really simple. . .replace FEAR with FAITH.
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