The tools you need to get through tough times

Well, that was the easiest birthday gift ever.

It’s not easy to find a gift for the woman who has, well, a lot.

And, at the same time, not the life she planned.

She planned on spending the rest of her life with her college sweetheart.

They had been married for 30 years.

She planned on setting off on a new adventure with him and creating a new empty nest lifestyle as their youngest headed off to college.

Instead, he planned on getting to know the company secretary.

Now my friend is facing a divorce she never planned on.

She has tears to shed and a life to rebuild and things to learn.

Like swapping out the cable box. How do you do that?

Add it to the list of 1,239 things she needed to learn how to do for herself.

I watch in awe as she’s able to mourn the life she never wanted to let go, while also pulling up her big girl pants and getting on with things.

It’s a parallel play of emotions.

But devastated can play alongside discovery, it turns out.

“You can do this,” the kind man behind the counter at the cable store said. “I promise you can.”

My friend was skeptical.

Can you blame her?

Trusting a man who says, “I promise,” is not high on her list these days.

This leads me to the phone call a couple weeks ago.

My “Hello?” followed by her, “Pliers are amazing!”

“Excuse me?”

“Pliers!” she repeated. “Have you ever considered pliers? They are amazing!”

She explained how Cable Store Man said she could use pliers to disconnect the old box and connect the new one.

“It was so easy!” she squealed at her discovery.

Her new super power didn’t stop there.

My friend ran around her house trying pliers on everything.

I suspect every bolt, nut and screw are loose over at her house now.

Thank goodness, she stopped at the dog.

Although, when changing out dog tags…

So, yeah.

Pliers.

As my dear friend navigates her life, her parallel play of emotion reminds me that it’s not about hoping, wishing that bad things don’t happen.

Things you would never pick to happen to you in a million years.

Have you tried wishing the bad stuff away, Dear Reader?

How’d that go for you?

Exactly.

It’s not about the wish.

It’s about pliers.

It’s about the ability to wipe away the tears long enough to see the tools we need to make it are right here.

They might’ve been right here all along.

Sometimes, we just never have a reason or opportunity to pick them up to try.

So, my friend’s birthday gift?

Easy peasy.

I went online and found the prettiest tool set ever.

Turns out pliers come in pink.

And there’s a set that comes with a hammer and four screwdrivers.

Count’em.

Four!

The perfect gift for inspiring a friend who is a gift of inspiration every day.