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Article by Wendy McCance
I know a man who met a woman and fell in love. He fell in love after a first marriage of 20 years fell apart. Somehow, he met “the one.” It was the person he felt and (many others did too) was the person he was meant to be with. The man and the woman got married and settled in to their happy new life.
A few years went by when things began to take a turn. The woman’s mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. For several years after, the man and the woman spent their days caring for the mother. At the height of the disease taking a toll on the mother, the father was also diagnosed with the same disease. Efforts were doubled by the man and the woman to take care of two parents both with a most difficult disease.
Years later, the mother and the father had passed away. The man and the woman stood in astonishment trying to move on and rebuild a life that had been solely focused on the woman’s parents for far too many years.
Several months passed and the man and the woman were getting into a new routine and exploring their life together. It was a time to focus only on each other. Then, one day the news came. The woman was ill and it was serious. At this time, the news is still too brand new to know what will happen next.
There are so many stories like this in the world. You only get one life. What if that life is full of more challenges and difficult times than good times? What if you look back to the bulk of your life and feel that you were never able to live it the way you thought you would? Not for lack of trying, but because of responsibilities to others or just plain bad circumstances that turned your world upside down?
Growing up you believe in the fairytale. You are certain that if you follow the steps that are laid out that you will have a happy and successful life. Does anyone ever really get the fairytale? Are there people in the world who bought into the notion that life would be easy if you just follow society’s rules?
If there are people who have truly been blessed with a happy family, solid marriage, terrific kids, good job and no worries about their income, I’d love to hear from you. If there are people out there who grabbed their dream and ran with it, who were able to achieve their hearts desire, I’d love to hear from you as well. I am just curious to know if there are people in this world who have experienced on a daily basis the fairytale. Maybe it really is a big illusion that you can have it all. Maybe you are told this myth so that as life gets more difficult, you are determined to keep going.
I was talking with a friend about this subject. I asked her if she knew anyone who really was leading an ideal life. She mentioned she thought at one point she knew of someone who always appeared happy and seemed to have it made. Then she got to know this woman. The woman began to open up and tell her bits and pieces of her life. The woman’s life (my friend found out) was far from ideal. It was actually not ideal in any way. But, she had the people around her fooled. She had created a great illusion. It was all underneath, just a trick. A slight of hand so that she didn’t have to dwell on her painful issues.
Why don’t people open up and admit that their life has many bumps in the road? Why aren’t we establishing a more realistic “normal” as a society? Would people be better off if they knew what most people really face in their personal lives? Would it take the pressure off those who feel like they are the only ones suffering?
Maybe the illusion of a happy, content and peaceful life is just easier for us to swallow. If people felt that life was much tougher and knew everyone was dealing with some uncomfortable situations maybe people would be more inclined to give up and just throw in the towel. I just don’t know. What do you think?
To contact Wendy McCance about a writing or social media assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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