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The Point System

I can tell that Shelly thinks I am an idiot for suggesting my point system.  I can hear it in her voice, even on the phone. 

SHELLY: “I am going to this stupid piano recital for my daughter tonight and I better not see Scott!  That evil freak!  How dare he walk out on me after 22 years of marriage?!?  I hate him, I hope he rots in the firey pits of hell!”

MOI: “Whoa chief!”  I say, trying to calm Shelly.  “I’m so proud of you for going, even though you have to go alone, you’re still going.  Good mommy!” I tell her.  “You need to get out of the house.  Get up, get dressed and get moving.”  

And then I hear the sobs.  Gulping, snotty nosed wailing on the other end of my phone. 


Shelly: “I’ve never once had to go to one of these functions alone.” Shelly tells me between nose blowing.  “I don’t want to be alone.  I don’t want to be divorced.  We have no money, my daughter is being a big fat twit,” (well, actually, she called her daughter another word but I’m not one to cuss on my blog) “and I don’t know why I’m even going tonight.  Sissie, you’ve been divorced twice, I can barely make it through this one, I don’t understand how you did it.”  

MOI: “You’re going to the recital because it’s the right thing to do, Miss Priss. Secondly, when I went through my divorces, (yea, it’s plural, deal with it), I handled it all wrong.  I hope you can at least listen to my advice because I have been there. I held it all in, all the pain, hurt and resentment.  I used to say that if you squeezed my arm, poison would surely have dripped out from my pores.  It was seriously that bad.  But then, I got very, very sick and it became a ‘do or die’ situation.  I had to change my entire life around.  Shelly, everybody has falls in life. It’s like walking out the back door on a cold february morning.  You’re minding your own beeswax, you’ve got a full day planned so you innocently step out into your walkway and BAM!  You’ve slipped on the ice.  You’re lying there all out of breath, squirming and gasping trying to figure out “What the HAY just happened here?”


SHELLY: “Well, what did you do?” Shelly says as she blows her horn.

I tell my friend simply and matter of factly the cold, hard truth:

MOI: “I had to pick myself up off the ground.  Nobody can do it for you.”

SHELLY: “Yes! Yes!  Shelly snorts in my ear. “But how, how do I pick myself up off the ice?  I hate it here.”

Excited that I’ve seemed to give Shelly some sort of relief and light at the end of this very dark tunnel she’s traveling through, I let her in on my point system. 

MOI: “Well, of course you hate laying on the ice.  It’s cold, uncomfortable, your entire life seems frozen until you can get back up.  As for me, After trying everything else in the world and not getting anywhere, this is what I did: 

I came up with The Point System.  I took out a piece of paper and wrote down 100 things I wanted in my life but was too afraid to conquer.  One by one, I tackled each fear and gave myself a point for accomplishing them.  It took me a year and if I did not finish them in the first year, I just put them down for the second year.  I think I did this for about two years.  It was life changing.” 

There was dead silience on the other end of my phone.

MOI: “Shelly, are you still on the phone?    So what do you think, will you try my point system?  I will help you 🙂 Do you ever think about just how much your fear is holding you back from?  You know thinking back, I wish I woulda taken a picture of all my points.  You should start tonight with your daughters recital.  Take a picture and send it to me.”

SHELLY: “Ummmm.  Yea, I guess that might work?”

MOI: “Might?  Might?  It does work.  I know for a fact this works.  I’ll help you make your list, girlie.  Come on! Start tonight, ok?  I’ll be looking for my picture? Yes? You’re in?”

SHELLY: “Yea.  I guess you’re right.  I’ll send you the picture in a little while.”

Hanging up the phone, I started thinking about my own point system.  After recently experiencing a quite nasty fall to the ice myself, I think I may just do it all over again.  If first it was fear…. what did I want to accomplish this time?  Maybe 100 things that intimidate me but I so despartly want?  Do I really want to take this challenge again?  It ain’t easy.  It’s time consuming.  It’s easier to stay huddled under the covers and watch Lifetime classics such as ‘Lying Lovers, The Looser Who Left and Mending A Broken Heart weekend marathons.’

But still, Truth be known, I am not back on my feet.  I am still wiggling around on the ice, trying once again to steady myself so I can creep back off the ice.  I can do it.  I’ve had much harder falls than this one.  I can and I will.  I can and I will.  I can and I will…..

After all, life is a journey.  Why would I want to miss it?


FYI: I never did get that picture…..

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