Always had an excuse as to why I didn’t perform better on a test. There was always a reason I forgot my lines in a play, or finished third in the race. It must have been old baking powder that caused the cake to come out flat. I struck out three times in softball because I had something in my eye. Messed up my letter to the President on the school stationery because there was something wrong with the pen.
Didn’t take that job because I didn’t think it was a good idea to relocate for a three month contract. Didn’t send my dinner back with the waiter when it was served cold because I didn’t want anyone else to have to wait. Stayed in that other job too long because I couldn’t find anything else. Let my mother-in-law give the kids brownies right before dinner because she hardly ever got to see them. Stopped after two kids because that’s what my husband wanted, and I didn’t want to rock the boat.
My mother always told me “little children, little problems, big children….” You figure out the rest. Well, right now, I consider myself one big kid, with one big problem. I have a lot less time ahead of me than I have behind me, and besides my 32 year marriage and two (actually, now three) wonderful kids, I really screwed up, and am just now figuring out that its all my own doing. All those excuses. All that wasted time.
I can’t help but call to mind Erma Bombeck’s poem, “If I Had My Life to Live Over Again.” I want a do-over. I want the chance to follow my dreams, to stand up for myself, to make my own choices based on how I feel. I want to put myself first once in a while, stop playing the martyr and the victim. “I want to run barefoot in the grass earlier in the spring.”
My mother also told me I don’t have to be the “richest one in the cemetery.” I don’t think I can retire yet, but I certainly can simplify what I’m doing to allow myself to “do-over” some of these things. (That probably doesn’t include having another baby).
Put me in Coach… I want a do-over.