What If You Have All The Tools You Need To Get Through Tough Times?

What if you already have the tools you need to get through tough times?

That was the easiest birthday gift ever.

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.

The one she’d been married to for 30 years.

She planned on setting off on a new adventure with him.

Empty nest style, as their youngest headed off to college.

He planned on getting to know the company secretary.

“Finding himself” in his mid-50’s.

So cliché that,

Well, I won’t bore you.

Better to talk about Friend,

The one now,

With the divorce she never planned on.

Tears to shed.

A life to rebuild.

Things to learn.

Like swapping out the cable box.

How do you do that?

Add it to the list of 1,239 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.

A kind of parallel play of emotions, if you will.

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.”

Friend was skeptical.

Can you blame her?

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

Which 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.

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.


As Dear Friend navigates her life, her parallel play of emotion she teaches me.

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?


It’s not about the wish.

It’s about pliers.

About the ability to wipe away the tears long enough to see the tools we need to make it are right here.

Might’ve been right here all along.

Just never had a reason,

Or opportunity

Or inspiration to pick them up to try.

So, 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.

Four screwdrivers.



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

((Please catch my column each week in The Atlanta Journal Constitution, The Dayton Daily News and other Cox Newspapers across the country.)))

And if you enjoy this column about facing tough times, you might enjoy my book,

“Hope Possible: A Network News Anchor’s Thoughts On Losing Her Job, Finding Love, A New Career, And My Dog, Always My Dog.”

final front cover



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

What If You Have All The Tools You Need To Get Through Tough Times?

by DarynKagan time to read: 2 min
%d bloggers like this: