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Is that all there is?
by Peggy Vaughan

Sometimes we begin to wonder if "life is passing us by." If we're married or involved in a serious relationship, we sometimes wonder whether it's holding us back—whether we're settling for stability instead of going off to find adventure. Things may not necessarily be bad, just somehow empty—feelings that are reminiscent of the old song, "Is that all there is…"

Underneath this questioning is a legitimate need to periodically take stock of our lives, see where we've been, where we are now, and where we seem to be going. But it's probably not wise to make any hasty decisions aimed at "starting over" or "taking a different route" in life without carefully considering everything. That's because we tend to focus only on the negative aspects of our current situation compared to the positive aspects of some other alternative—which is an unreasonable comparison.

Almost everyone has some alternative scenario in their heads of how their lives might have been. For me, it was the experience of being "local girl singer" and expecting to grow up to be a professional singer. While I was exceptionally talented as a child, I was not exceptional as an adult—and it's questionable that I could have "made it." And even if I had succeeded, the "down" side of the life of many/most entertainers is a life I would not relish. So when the older, more experienced side of me looks "realistically" at both sides of the life I chose instead of taking a different path, I think my early decisions worked out well.

It's good to rethink important life decisions on an ongoing basis throughout life so we don't come to the end and say "if only…" However, it's unlikely that throwing out our current relationship or current lifestyle is the answer. It's more reasonable to make minor adjustments first and see how that works out before considering more drastic changes. Sitting down and carefully thinking about all aspects of life may allow for a more sensible, practical, and ultimately more satisfying decision about relationships—and life in general.

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