This is Thursday!

It’s a win when I know what day it is so far all day long! So far, so good. I’m not trying to make it any other day, and that may be because the Babe and I have meetings for the Post and Auxiliary later tonight. It is hard to keep up some weeks.

I read something this morning about keeping in the present, which adult children of alcoholics have a problem doing. It’s something many others do too. Coulda, woulda, shoulda. Judge Judy says that all the time. And she’s right. That thinking changes nothing.

“I coulda been a contender,” famously quoted in “A Streetcar Named Desire” film.

“I would have done thing differently,” me, looking back on my life, knowing what I know now.

“I Should Have Known Better,” by the Beatles.

The second one could be any of us. I don’t regret anything that has happened before in my life. I would have preferred the Babe been my children’s father. He is a wonderful stepfather and grandfather. If any of us knew then what we know now, we all probably would have had different lives, and wouldn’t be who we are right now. As I said, I don’t regret what I’ve been through during my time on this earth. I am who I am because of it. I was dumb, then smart, then dumb, etc., and so it goes.

For us ACOA, it’s a matter of boundaries. Just like other issues we have, this relates to boundaries. You have to keep past in it’s own area. Otherwise, it overcomes present and future. I used to carry things forward, thinking it would help protect me. It didn’t. It only served to make me miserable. After my kids were gone from home and two moved out of state, it was hard for me not to be depressed. At 48 or so, I thought my life’s purpose was over. Raising kids wasn’t the only thing I could do with my life, but I didn’t know that then. No prior life experience allowed me to comprehend that, take it, and run with it.

Struggling can help build character, and boy, has it. So has learning to set boundaries. I’m still learning, and can guarantee you, if you are just starting to set boundaries, people are probably not as happy with you. The ones who are angry aren’t able to manipulate you anymore. True stuff. They weren’t your friends, anyhow. Or your true family.

Boundaries should also be honored by the one setting them in order to work. If you cross over, just to be nice, a good sister, or the fun dad, you’re telling everyone you’re not serious about the boundaries. If you don’t honor your own boundaries, why should anyone else? Your example matters.

The future is spotless. Nothing is wrong or right with us. We get to decide that. Live your own life. Now. Don’t look back, you’re not going that way! You may need to learn self-care so you can prepare for your future. I know myself well enough now, I’m certain if I’m over-tired, hungry, or can’t figure something out, I need to put it away, have a protein snack, and go to sleep early. It’s a necessity.

If you are still working for a living, you may think you have no say so how you spend your time. While you do have to do the work you were hired to do, it is up to you if you do it with joy, glad you have a career, or if you are curmudgeonly about it, groaning and complaining all the way. Many people would be thrilled to have your job or career. Gratitude helps us find more for which to be grateful. Good things will come your way.

It is still quite frigid out there. Make sure you dress warmly if you’re out where it’s cold. Spring is in the future! Thanks for reading. See you tomorrow.

The Truth and Nothing But the Truth

Cartoon character Garfield is quoted as saying; “The truth shall set you free but first it will make you miserable.” I would modify that to say, “YOUR truth shall set you free but first it will make you miserable.” Yes, I’ve been miserable by my truth; my first marriage was never a good one, I lied to myself about everything and was not one to raise my voice and say, “This isn’t right.” I went along to get along. People were shocked when the Ken and Barbie of the neighborhood split up.

Denial is powerful, especially when your world is small. You may have few new friends, your friends are family, if you don’t have a job or career. You live in an old neighborhood, with retired folks who are your friends. I would see how unhappy their lives were. They complained about their spouses, living or dead. Is this what life is? I couldn’t believe it. I was so unhappy, I rarely smiled. “This can’t be right,” I thought.

Yes, the Babe and I are far from perfect. But we are perfect for each other. We are blunt but not hurtful with each other when things aren’t going well. Yes, the truth hurts sometimes. We check ourselves and learn from the kerfuffles of living with another human. Isn’t kerfuffle a great word? I heard Judge Judy say it, It just isn’t used that much. It’s a commotion or fuss, especially by conflicting views.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Pexels.com

Humans often want their own way. I find myself tamping down disagreement; not to “go along to get along,” but to check my ego and realize two people live here, and we both should be able to decorate, garden, whatever we want to do. My truth now is pick my battles. The Babe does the same. It’s called being a grownup. It’s also what you do when you love someone. It’s part of being a couple. Equality in marriage is possible, and it’s wonderful. It’s now part of my truth. And the Babe’s.

If you embrace the truth you find a way to deal with whatever problems are around you. You have to make decisions that may hurt. Change and growth do indeed hurt. Rejecting the old truth for the new real truths creates room for growth. It’s scary and exciting at the same time. The insights you gain help you dissect your current life and learn the skills to make the hard choices. With choice you begin to have a voice. We talked about Choices and Voices this week if you missed it.

Don’t get me wrong; I had to experience life as it was for me in order to learn and grow to where I am now. My soul is satisfied with life. I loved the part of my life when I was a Mom. My kids were the best job I ever had. They grew and left! No one told me what life would be like without them. I also knew I couldn’t keep them from having their own lives. Letting go of them was painful. And now, I’m learning how to fill that void. Writing has opened my eyes and given me a clear direction of how I hope to spend my next thirty years or so. Lord willing, of course!

It’s a warm but very windy day today. The Babe and I are both working on projects today. I love it when we’re both here, doing our own thing. He often comes in my office studio and announces, “Break time.” We both stop, sit down and have some water or other beverage, and talk. I enjoy that so much. Sometimes the break lasts all afternoon, but that’s OK. Whatever we’re doing, it’ll still be there tomorrow. I’m hoping it’s less windy downstairs on the patio. I can listen to the rest of my Kid Lit training. Then Cartney McGuigan (my illustrator), and I will conquer the Kid Lit World! We meet again in a few weeks, so I have some work to do – after I learn what to do! Busy and productive is always good!

BTW, Happy Birthday to Cartney! She turned 18 this week, and the world is now before her. She has a sound plan to begin. I’m excited for her. This young woman is considering all of the possibilities before her and planning how to get there. This is how life should be approached, my friends.

Thank you for reading today. You know how I appreciate it. Have a beautiful spring-like day today. Hope you’re not dealing with the wind, too! It’s brutal. Our new flag is snapping in the wind. What a great sound, though. The sound of our freedom. God Bless America, and all of us! See you tomorrow!