The Big Shakeout — Conclusion | #MyFridayStory №263

Frans Nel
3 min readOct 21, 2022
Ekaterina Belinskaya | Pexels

“Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”

John Lennon

Six weeks ago, I started a series based on an observation I had made over the past year. After almost 60 years, I thought it would be safe to assume the full curriculum had been covered and I had passed with flying colours. These new insights could now be transferred to students without any need for revisions.

I took some time to write about The Big Shakeout. After mulling it over for some time, a visual image started to emerge. I awkwardly tried transferring the image into a sort-of graphical timeline. Left to right represented time. The thickness if the line represents material wealth. I’m not sure what the vertical axis represents. It’s either “happiness” or “purpose”, but I’m leaning towards “purpose”. Both the pursuit and fulfilling of your purpose are lifelong quests that can never be fully achieved.

My narrow original insight took only two dimensions into consideration. Material gathering and traumatic events. Those traumatic events included life events around career and relationships. Relationships with the living. The major take-away from the graph concluded with finally “achieving” happiness. I had summed it up and made sense of a complex series of life events. It became clear one key dimension was omitted from the imagery.


When I first transposed the death of the three key people in my life onto the graph, I didn’t feel I needed to change anything. The representation of where each death appears on the graph didn’t affect my material wealth. And they never affected my career either. The trauma of those deaths initially escaped my memory. My initial thoughts naïvely neglected their significance in finding true happiness or me coming close to finding my purpose.

“Blessings upon blessings”

That’s what it said in, “Becoming a Grand Parent | #MyFridayStory №260”. This was a time of plenty, of abundance, of growth, of life. Nothing like the birth of a child beats the metaphor for life. What more perfect symbol can you find than that?

The Shake-Out image neglected to represent life as it is. In real life, we have times of plenty, and we have times of scarcity. We all get our fair share of both. Some a bit more than others, but all things considered, you wouldn’t want to change your lot with someone else. The pursuit of happiness is a state of mind, not anything material. The people we love and that love us back is where we find our solace. In family. In friends. In God.

The series started with the quote from John Lennon. I thought it was a clever way of bringing out the good out of everything that happens. Because I believed it. I still do.

It’s not the end. Because everything is not alright. Not yet.

Time will heal our deep hurt for those we mourn. Through our silent tears we gather strength in the knowledge that one day we will be together again.

Once again I’d like to thank each of you that has reached out to me and my family over the past weeks, your love and support is welcomed.

Have an awesome weekend and please be generous! 😄

As always, thanks for reading 🙏

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