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Fake it till you make it

An oft repeated 12 step saying is “Fake it till you make it.” I find that excellent advice as I set about creating my new life as a widow. No matter what challenge faces any of us – death, addiction, recovery, losing a job, divorce, business failure, debt, an empty nest, starting a business, getting married, having a child – there will be times of when it is tempting to just go to bed and never get up. That’s when it is important to just fake it till you make it. Go through the motions. Do what needs doing. Smile. Take one day at a time and if that seems impossible, one minute, one hour at a time.

Being alone is a new experience for me, but instead of dwelling on how empty the house feels, I am trying to force myself to focus on what needs doing today, finding things to keep me busy. I am determined to fake it until the world rights itself and I learn how to make this new reality rich and rewarding, thanks to everything he did to prepare me for this time.

Getting up to an empty house is difficult, but fortunately I only have to do that one morning at a time. I only have to eat alone one meal at a time. I only have to stay in the moment, one moment at a time. Find things to keep me busy, revel in good memories, listen to music, lose myself in making quilts for those who are suffering even greater losses than I — one moment, one hour, one day at a time.

Feeling lost and lonely, I took my coffee upstairs and stitched together a baby quilt and asked God to give me my marching orders for the day, words for this blog. As I stitched and waited, the words to Charlie Chaplin’s song “Smile” came to mind. As I silently sang to myself I thanked my Higher Power for answering my prayer.

“Smile though your heart is aching
Smile even though it’s breaking
When there are clouds in the sky, you’ll get by
If you smile through your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You’ll see the sun come shining through for you
Light up your face with gladness
Hide every trace of sadness
Although a tear may be ever so near
That’s the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what’s the use of crying?
You’ll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile.”

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