It was starting to look exactly like what I hoped it would when I placed the first cards down on the table. It had grown significantly and morphed as old cards were rearranged and new cards were added. My house of cards was pretty amazing and I was really proud of it.
But, then one of the first cards I’d placed in the house was removed. A card that I’d placed a lot of other cards on top of. A card that if I was asked to point to the card that was the most stable, I’d had points to that one. And as houses of cards go, if you move one of the original cards, everything else shifts if you’re lucky and everything else falls down if you’re not.
They all fell down.
In my minds eye, my house of cards that I’d spent my life build was now done and over and wrecked beyond repair. As I looked at where the peak used to be, I couldn’t see anything but a void that I assumed would never be filled again. The life I’d created card but card, layer by layer, had disappeared and I was sure it would never come back.
But as my eye sight moved from where the top of my house used to be downward, I noticed that a few cards were still on the table. Flattened and in the ruble of a not destroyed structure, but still there. And so I started rummaging through the ruble and flipping over cards to see which ones were still there. And with each flip of a card I found another card beneath it. And then another and then another. So I continued to flip over cards and take inventory of what still remained and my deepest sadness was met with the slightest glimmer of hope.
Yes, there were cards that had fallen completely off the table and were gone for forever, not just the first card that had caused the house to fall but others that were closely tied to that card. Those were gone and never to return. But others, so many others, were still on the table.
And so I slowly started to resurrect my house. Some of the core cards were the same and others were completely different and in come cases brand new. With each card, I took what I’d learned from the sometimes wobbly construction of my last house and built more intentionally with this new house. With some cards, I choose not to include them and tossed them off the table myself. No need to carry that card forward since I have the chance to remove it without damaging the structure that used to stand.
And now, as time has passed and my house of cards stands a little bit taller each day, I am learning just how fortunate I was to have my entire house fall. Slight remodels are tricky and may be confusing to those watching you. Total decimation is painful but the chance to start again with almost all your cards still on the table is a chance most people never have and it is to be taken advantage of.