Life's twisted path

June 1st, 2015

Confusion. Anxiety. Excitement. Annoyance. Grief. Doubt. Unease. Vexation. Joy. Hesitancy. Fear. Longing. Pain. Anger. Grief. Hopefulness.

These are the gooey things of life, the clingy things, the achy things. They make life pause. We put things on hold for them. We await some kind of resolution because of them.

We live through them. Despite them. Sometimes because of them. Often the transition through these feelings does not come easily or fast.

So, the question is: How do we get to the other side?

These feelings are often side effects of transition. We gain a loved one or we lose a loved one. We birth a new child or send the child off into his or her own future. We move to a bigger home or downsize to a smaller. We acquire friends or watch them move away. We find a new job or say good-bye to an old. And each transition comes with some of those achy, clingy, gooey things of life.  

What do we do about them?

We may ignore them and hope they will go away. Soon. But sometimes like a toothache, we can’t continue denying the irritation—we have to deal with it. We go get it checked. We’re used to checkups. We go to the dentist regularly in order to avoid a toothache. We take our cat to the vet, our car to the mechanic and our boxes of receipts to the tax accountant just to get them checked. Well, what about our life? Do we give it a checkup once in a while?

Luckily, a checkup is available — the Life Reimagined Checkup. It only takes about two hours and it’s free.

What can you expect in a Checkup? The first step is to assess what is happening. What has changed? But we don’t stop there. We also identify the kind of things you have done in the past to get through similar situations. These are your unique resources. Your life doesn’t come with just gooey places; you also have acquired skills that can help you make sense of and cope positively with major life transitions.

In the first half of the workshop—

  • We watch a video demonstrating how someone else has faced a challenge and come out successfully to the other side.
  • We figure out what is happening in our lives.
  • We find out what we have in our kit bag that can help.

In the second hour, we look at six essential skills for dealing with current and future challenges. Being able to reimagine our lives in a different place is key to resolving life’s “gooey places.”

On the Life Reimagined website are a host of resources, including individual activities, a book, and more information about the Life Reimagined Checkup events. All of these have been developed by AARP in conjunction with some of the best educators, counselors, and coaches who have helped thousands successfully deal with various life transitions.

I am a trained Life Reimagined Checkup Guide. I am a volunteer with AARP to bring this experience to people in the Nashville, Tennessee, area. There are hundreds of other guides across the country. If you’ve not heard of events in your area, check the event register at the Life Reimagined website or your state AARP office. If you’d like to talk about doing a Checkup in middle Tennessee somewhere, simply email me and we’ll talk (

There is no charge for this event either to attendees or to the host organization. AARP picks up the tab for booklets and registration materials. And you do not have to be an AARP member to participate. You don’t even have to be retired.

I promise: we won’t sell you insurance or a political agenda. The Life Reimagined Checkup is about you. So, how is life treating you? Need a checkup?

Ed Zinkiewicz
…the retired guy

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