Archive for February 18th, 2011

My early blessings ... Jenn and Jaren

Spending time, as I have lately, chasing the past, I can’t help but fall into that familiar spiral of circular thinking that is: “What if?”.

Regrets? Yes, I have a few, and more than I want to mention, partly because there’s not a fucking thing I can do to change much now, and also because My Way never felt anywhere within my power or control. Sure, I took the road seemingly less traveled more than once, but in retrospect I see how often the path was laid at my feet even when I thought I was striking out in untested directions. In truth, I’ve just been along for the ride.

If I had it to do over again, what would I do differently? Hm.

Some of the most significant events in my life were considered doom-and-gloom negatives, but avoiding them was not only not an option at the time but would not be on any list of steer clears in a retrospectively-influenced re-do.

Getting pregnant at seventeen was not looked upon as any sort of gift when it happened; in fact my swelling belly was thought quite the harbinger of the end of things. Birth control was illegal for anyone under 18 even though the Summer of Love had just happened, my parents were outraged, my boyfriend, chagrined, and all my plans that were to lead to successful ease-of-life faded faster than cells reproduced in my womb. Having two kids by age nineteen boded ill for the future, as did being married and divorced by twenty-three.

Would I rearrange any of that now? No way, at least not any of the bits I could influence. Jenn is an amazing woman … smart, funny, successful, loving, talented, the best daughter in the world and a wonderful mother. Jaren was incredible in ways no one else will ever be, and although losing him has been the hardest misery I’ve ever faced, I wouldn’t have missed even that.

Leaving my family behind in the US and moving half way around the world only to be left high and dry some years later sounds like a stupid fucking move, especially when it meant losing all those years with Jenn and Jaren and ending up hardly knowing my fabulous granddaughter, but would I spin the globe in reverse and take all that back?

How could I? Not with Sam and Cj in my life.

I could no more skip the misery of Mark than I can regret the years of him. Shit. I can’t even lament wasting some of the last of my cute on Ernesto … after all, he gave good moment and there’s music left over and I’m not sorry about that … but I do wish we’d been in Mexico that Christmas. I should have gone. (And last night’s phone-in hug from a Mexican jungle for Jaren’s birthday garnered him another ‘good moment point’ since hugs can be eternal in many comforting ways.)

Now that I think about it, most of my regrets involve things I didn’t do rather than anything I actually did. There’s a lesson in there somewhere …

If there had ever been money enough I would have spent more time flying back and forth and bringing Jenn and Addie and Jaren to me often … very often … but there never was. Would I change that? You bet! But those aren’t cards I’ve been dealt, so wasn’t able to play that hand. Would I get on a plane tomorrow and spend time with my mother while there’s still a chance she’ll know me? Yep. But until I sell this place that is not an option.

Life is what it is when it is, though, and for this moment I’m here chasing my past and thinking how to stumble into the future. If I had any advice to share from the bottom of this spiral it would have to be not to don’t do anything you think might be important, and not to think you have endless time for doing it later. Seems to me it’s easier to apologize for … and recover from … stuff you did than to regret what you never got around to doing.

I tell you the past is a bucket of ashes.
~Carl Sandburg

Even when it’s ashes of roses …

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