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  • Writer's pictureStuart Sheldon

I Want to be a Chair

If I were a piece of furniture, I would want to be a good chair. Ask any master carpenter and he’ll tell you that one of the hardest things to do right is a chair. It demands a perfect combination of comfort, balance, durability and beauty. If done well, a chair provides a stable and sure place to rest. To support a friend. To think. To share. To watch. To break bread. To lean back. To change a light bulb. To reward oneself.

Until my later 30s the chair that I am had one very wobbly leg. I was off balance in the deepest part where intimate connection takes root and romantic love blossoms. I was popular but lacked confidence, though few could see it, because I hid it masterfully behind a veil of so-called cool. I did not want for company but, sadly, I could not commit to much more than fleeting intimacy. I missed precious opportunities to grow, connect and feel love. Like Carly Simon sang, “a legend’s only a lonely boy when he goes home alone.”

Luckily, the dogged carpenter in me realized that no one would want to sit in this chair. If I was to find what I most desired – love and a family – I needed to make significant adjustments to my behavior and approach to relationships. If I wanted a soul mate, I needed to be soulful. And so I altered my behavior and eventually trued the wobbly leg of my chair. I met a fine woman and now enjoy the nuclear family of my dreams. But it took a long-ass time. And I do not take any of it for granted.

It is Yom Kippur day today. A day, in Judaism, to sit in a chair and reflect quietly on the person that we are. And the person that we want to be. It is a time to make adjustments. To own our issues and make them right. To be sure, I have more work to do. And I am wishing that those who are stuck in their patterns, like I was for decades, can make real changes to their behavior and thought processes which will lead to the successes they dream about when they sit alone.

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