I’m still just sick enough to make each day at work hard, but not sick enough (nor having enough sick time) to stay home. I sit here, box of Kleenex at my side, and ponder a few things.
I’ve decided I could write a book called, “1001 Things NOT To Do.”
I’d load it up with all the crap I’ve done over the years in which I was stupid, pigheaded, wrongheaded, emotional (without being right)…. and financially OUT OF MY MIND.
That said, I’ve decided there are a few things I’m going to send out into the ether and then consider them done. They always say you should never regret. Hell, I sure agree with that but have you ever noticed it’s easier said than done? One thing they neglect to say often enough is you should know when the hell you should apologize. And you should know when to be gracious and keep your own damn opinions to yourself. In honor of that, I have a small list I’m putting out here. Keep in mind all of these comments are directed internally, not at someone other than myself. The fact is, you have to give yourself a shaking and a reality check sometimes… Others have to do the same for themselves (and I’ve seen a lot of folks who just can’t do it, as if admitting you screwed up means you’re weak).
1. To Dan Lamb from years and years ago. Honey, I’m really sorry I was such a raging bitch to you the summer you came to hang out and visit. I don’t remember what was wrong, but I’m almost completely certain that it wasn’t you, it was all the crap accruing in my life at that time.
2. Hell. If I’m going to do Dan, I should go back a bit further… Mike: I’m sorry I was such a mess in the 1987-88 college year. It was some serious stupidity and you didn’t need to be the recipient of it. Too bad we don’t have more prescient ability – I’d have known my honey was about 10 years away and we could have just enjoyed playing basketball and nattering at each other as good friends.
3. Lisa: I’m sorry I was a wreck. Broken heart and illness made me nuts. Our friendship did and still does mean a lot to me. I was just never fully confident in it until I became a “grown-up.” I know we don’t see each other often, but you’re in my thoughts and I’m glad to know you over all these many years.
4. Leslie: I hope you’ve found happiness in your life. We were a bit too dysfunctional to stay friends and I’m sorry about that. As with all things during our 20’s, we were driven by our egos and not a whole lot of clear thought. I’m sure you’ve got happiness, if for no other reason than you have your child and your family who love you. And I wish I’d been better about telling you how much my heart ached for your loss of that baby when you were young. It still makes me sad to think about everything you went through.
5. Tim: I was stupid and should have gone on more dates with you because you were, and are, amazing. I’m just glad you have let me hang in there as a friend. And I love that you’re a dad now. Dads rule.
6. To our mortgage company: I am sorry that we hung in there longer than we should have and didn’t list the house in the previous October when the realities of the second baby really hit us. I’m still pissed at you for being unwilling, over and over and over again, to work with us. And to the guy that was trying to push around a pregnant woman and take advantage of the situation? Shame on you.
7. To my job: I’m sorry I’ve been sick so much. In thinking back on it, this is how I’ve been since I was a little girl. I’ve got some theories on why and I’m hoping to address them over the next couple of years. To my current job – thanks. I may not like the work I’m doing but I’ve got people I really care about to work with. That’s worth a lot more than liking my job and loathing the people I’m around.
8. Wendy: I’m sorry I suggested that we all move in together, but even more I’m sorry I didn’t tell you that you should find a new place that would make you happy. Nothing was gained out of what happened – nothing except misery, depression, anger, hurt and the end of a 17 year friendship. I’d like to think that if I could have taken my ego out of it (and a good swath of post-partum depression), I would have done that and just kept my mouth shut about how we would have managed. In the end, it wasn’t worth the loss of our friendship and I’m sorry.
9. James: I’m sorry that I listened to “how you were” instead of taking it on face value and forming my own opinions. The filter that all the information was coming to me was not accurate and I should have realized that. Anyone who’s ever played “Operator, Operator” knows that words spoken are often misunderstood. If I’d been thinking clearly, and forgive me but we were going through an amazing amount of stress with the new baby, the foreclosure, Todd’s job – If I’d been thinking clearly, I would have grabbed you to go for a walk and just talked through a bunch of things. I would have told you that I was sorry that there were so many misunderstandings and then I would have told you to stop pussy-footing around and marry her so everyone could live happily ever after.
10. Todd: Wow. The list would be endless with this one. I’m sorry I get overtired, low-sugared, and generally stressed-Bitchy. I’m sorry that my expectations of the world are so high and my energy so low. I’m sorry I’ve gained all this damn weight back and can’t find the inspiration to take back my life. I’m sorry I made you get up twice in the middle of the night to look after the baby last night, but I’m not sorry that I went back to sleep because I’ll be happier today for it. I wish you would learn how to say you’re sorry when you know you’ve done something wrong and I hope you’ll practice it… and I wish you would say you’re welcome when someone says thank you because our boys need to see it modeled. But I’ll end yours with a thank you for being such a great dad and for loving your boys so much (please tell them more, ok?). Thank you for putting up with me for 11 1/2 years. Thank you for bumping into me all that time ago and thank you for being my true love and partner.
11. Mum: Gads. Your list would be so long that I’d probably crash the server. So I’ll just say “I’m sorry,” and could you please apply it to any number of situations over the years that are sitting on my account. I’d also say thank you times beyond count for being my hero, my friend, and my support. I might have given up years ago if it weren’t for you.
And that’s how easy it can be… Ok. I’ll say this – it would be a lot harder face-to-face. No, I’m not on some 12-step program thing. I just thought about this during the dark, early hours of the morning while I was struggling to stay asleep and wait out my alarm. I could add my boys to this list, but I suspect I need to wait until I’m on my deathbed for that one. To them I simply say, I love you beyond anything in this world.
This morning, Todd brought Aidan into bed with us. Aidan was miserable – his breathing is bad AGAIN – and he was having a bad night. Todd had him tucked up next to his body but Aidan fussed and scooched (is that a word?) over on to my pillow, tight against me. He fell asleep like that and that’s how I woke up when my “first” alarm went off. Life is short. Childhood, even shorter. If I can take advantage of all of the opportunities to cuddle him to me, I will.
Time is passing and I need to wake up Bren so we can get off to school and work. I’d love to sit here for a little while longer, but it’s time to start the day. I’ve got to call the volunteer for my assigned kids and chat with her about meeting up. I need to make it through the day without coming unglued over the lack of organization, structure, or the fact that I LOATHE the pcards…
Cheers for a lovely Friday. The weekend is almost here and so is some peace.