There’s a little bit of wisdom that I was given to using when I was counseling that held: If your day is going badly, then just start it over and don’t make the same mistakes. If your mistakes during that day haven’t been dire, like murdering somebody, for example, then it’s quite simple to begin again no matter how late in the day it is.
And what can be done with a day can be done with a lifetime, too. This is, of course, the time of the year in which resolutions are considered. Resolutions that almost invariably fail if the order is too challenging or vague. I personally like to stick to resolutions I can handle, such as: I resolve to not develop an irrational liking for broccoli, or I resolve to not overthrow my government by force, as much as they might deserve it.
But seriously, what I do at the beginning of a year is to try – just try – to be a better person and to thwart some of my baser, viler, more disgusting default instincts. Well, by my age virtually none of my viler instincts go much beyond a PG rating, so it’s not so hard. But, what I do want to do, for the sake of solidarity in the home, is to try to not be judgmental, easily hurt, arrogant, disdainful or crabby. The key to it all is to catch myself if I start going in a negative direction. So far my resolve is working. Mind you, it’s only January 3rd.
But, there are bigger things in life that one cannot either erase or start over with, John Lennon’s protestations notwithstanding. I cannot erase the cessation of a couple of marriages (OK, with some of the responsibility for those denouements being my fault). No point in dwelling. What happened is what happened and I can only vow to not do it again.
But, there are also those happenings in life over which one seemingly had no control at the time and the erasure of negative feelings associated with them would be a good thing. You know, to start over with a new perspective.
One that sticks in the respective craws of both Wendy and myself was the 2½ – years in which she worked in Victoria while I continued to reside here. We were just back from 6 weeks in Europe in December of 2006 (there for Wendy to complete her MBA course work) and we’d had a wonderful and forever cherished time. On the other hand we had depleted a lot of our financial resources by that point. So, when a good job offer came up our impulse was that she should take it. Take it despite it being in Victoria – some 140 miles (or even numerically more kilometers but I’m not going to do the translation) south of here. Whatever, too far to commute to and from. So, we had to get a place there. Now, Victoria is one of the most expensive housing burgs west of Abu Dhabi, so we knew rent wouldn’t be cheap. And it wasn’t. But, we got ourselves a decent enough 1-bedroom flat in a building on Dallas Road – a very nice part of Victoria, right about the ocean.
Trouble was, we also had a nice house in Comox, for which we were still paying down our mortgage. So, we had to do double payment each month. And between Wendy’s paycheques and bits of freelance money, this didn’t leave us with much over the break-even level of accruing income. So that part sucked.
Sucking even more was a job that she came to loathe more than anything she, as a highly accomplished professional in a few realms, had ever encountered.
And finally, there were the separations. I didn’t get married (for the third time) to spend the majority of my time apart from my ladylove. She would be there for two weeks and then get a three-day weekend and come back to her real home. Sometimes, if I had nothing pressing, I would go back to Victoria for a week or two. This entailed getting a cat and house sitter and no teeny expense. And, even though the apartment in Victoria was mine, too, I always felt I was just visiting. I mean, I had work to do down there, and I was doing a lot of writing for the Victoria daily paper, but I still felt like a visitor. But, what we really needed to guard against was feeling like ‘visitors’ with each other in our encounters together, be they domestic or even those special ‘charming’ encounters.
Well, as good things come to an end, so do negative ones and ultimately she got a fine position in this community. That said, I still find it difficult to get some of the separation angst traumas of that time out of my head. The traumas were not based on neediness, because neither of us are so. They are merely based on non-acceptance of having had to deal with a situation that should perhaps be transformed into a more positive interval in life.
I have decided I have to work on that one for this year. Not quite sure how I lay it to rest. All I know is that when I get up in the morning I am so happy she has spent her night under this roof and will ‘not’ shortly be loading up her car for her drive down south and I am left to decide whether I want to have a TV dinner or PB on toast in front of the telly during what will be a long evening and even a longer solo night.