This post was originally loaded in September 2017! But life... it has a habit of making one reassess things. My website was one of them, and the original page was deleted.
Second Chances - it's good to know that you don't only get one chance at love. If one chance was all we ever got, the world be eating a lot more chocolate. On its own. In front of the tele, watching a soppy romance, or reading Pride and Prejudice for the umpteenth time, curled up with the cat. We've probably all had a break-up at some time and even if it wasn't Rhett Butler walking off into the mist, it still felt as desperate. But then there's that last scene, and if you can get through the appalling acting, what Scarlett said was true, "After all, tomorrow is another day."
The most amazing thing is how often we DO get second chances. Not just at love, but at life. There is definitely a place for chocolate and cuddling the cat - in lieu of Mr Darcy or Mr Butler - but as a lifestyle? Not so much. And sitting around waiting for them to come knocking is probably not going to bring that Second Chance along. Very often it doesn't even encourage the First Chance to spring for flowers, polish its spats and tootle round to your front door with tickets for the theatre tucked into its jacket pocket and a scrumptious dinner in the offing.
Something, clearly, must be done. But what?
I've recently read 'The Outliers' by Malcolm Gladwell. On the romance scale of sweet to hot - let's just say that it doesn't feature. In fact, all of the usual requirements for a good romance book are completely missing. Except two - plot and character. But, I hear you ask, probably with a puzzled frown, aren't they the two most important aspects of any book, let alone a romance novel?
Well, yes. But...
Let me explain. Mr Gladwell's book's subtitle is The Story of Success. It does a masterful job of explaining that there's no such thing as a self-made man. There are a number of factors that go into building one's success, including Chance and Opportunity. I found, after closing the book with a thoughtful twist to the eyebrows, that I probably didn't match most of the criteria Gladwell had mentioned. Apart from the aforementioned Chance and Opportunity, which always seem to be lurking around if one learns to differentiate them from the loungers on the corner all going by the names Chancer and Con.
There were, I realised, thank goodness, others he hadn't mentioned which I could put into action. Namely, waking up, smelling the coffee, or roses depending on my inclination on the day - but certainly smelling something with an attractive aroma, paying attention and - taking chances. It's the old Carpe Diem adage packaged with a delightful beverage and perfumed foliage.
Plot - otherwise known as Life. Life can be a bully. It tends to throw things at one that one wasn't expecting and aren't exactly high on anyone's list of 'Things to Experiencing Before I Pop My Clogs'. But this is where Character comes in - that's you, my sweet petunia. The choices we make every day either open or close the doors to those chances, be they First or Second ones. If Life has poked you in the snoot and you're staggering around dazed, confused and pain, wondering where your copy of Pride and Prejudice is lying and if the cat has finished all the chocolate, then it's time to remember that now is the perfect opportunity for a Second Chance.
Plot and character will always play a large part in one's success - whether it be selling popsicles or finding true love. Carpe that diem by the throat and shake it 'til something good falls out its pockets is what I say!
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