Archive for the ‘life’ Category

June 29, 2009

bg/ish: “This was supposed to be the Summer of George!”

The Summer of George. One of my favorite Seinfeld episodes of all time. In it, George gets a severance package from the Yankees and figuring it should last him about 3 months, decides to take the summer off of work, and of course, calling it, The Summer of George. It’s his time, “time to taste the fruits and let the juices drip down my chin!”

Of course, immediately after declaring the “Summer of George”, he gets accosted by a bee and, as with George, things descend pretty quickly downhill from there, until of course, he ends up with temporary paralysis of his legs, his summer reduced to a hospital stay and physical rehab.

It seems like it might just be human nature. We’ve all had a “Summer of George”. As the saying goes, even “the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray”.

But let’s give some credit to George, shall we? He saw an opportunity to change his life, and he acted on it. He set goals. He had a plan. He applied himself. That’s all any of us can be expected to do.

A couple of years ago, around this very time, I set out for my “Summer of George”, just a young man with some ambitions, a plan, and a goal. The thing is, sometimes we forget that setting a goal is just the first step. Achieving that goal only leaves you at a new beginning. From there, life goes on. And life doesn’t always have the same plans for your “summer” that you do. Life will throw you curve balls. Life will test your patience and will. Like my dad loves to tell me, “As soon as you’ve figured out all the answers, life asks you new questions.”

Life is asking all of us new questions right now, isn’t it?

We’re all being tested, and many of us are raising a fist in frustration, clenching our teeth, and in essence saying, “this was supposed to be the Summer of George!” Whether it be pressures from school or work, failing relationships, family problems, or financial worries, many of us are fighting to retain our dignity, self-esteem, ambition, and motivation. We’re asking ourselves, “Why aren’t things going the way I planned?”

And it’s a fair question, albeit one that I don’t have an answer to.

For beings of free will, we often find ourselves the victim of circumstance. I’m thinking that maybe it’s how we handle those circumstances that really defines who we are and who we will become. Over the last couple years, I’ve personally dealt with challenges that I was in no way prepared for, let alone wanted to deal with. Some days, I feel no better off than George. And yet other days, despite that general feeling of demoralization, I feel like a better person for having gone through the trials and tests I’ve endured. Those of you who I’ve spoken to personally in recent weeks that are experiencing problems and challenges will likely feel the same with time.

They say that “time heals all wounds”, and while I would tend to agree with that statement, I think it leaves out one key component. Us. We need to be aware of our attitude, our mentality, and while keeping our eyes ahead and remaining positive, let time slowly do it’s thing. It literally cannot be rushed. In fact, while time may indeed “heal all wounds”, there is another quote I much prefer…

“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.”

Too often we choose to suffer. It’s the easy road. The approach that requires no confidence or effort. So, keep that in mind, because regardless of the circumstance, we do in fact retain our free will, and whether or not we choose to suffer our lot in life will go a long way in determining our personal futures.

And that’s just it. Although the “Summer of George” didn’t turn out quite like he’d expected, it still was, in every way, the “Summer of George”. So, my friends, I miss you all dearly. Some of you I hope to see soon, some of you I may never see again. But regardless, enjoy your “summer”.