Yesterdays, Todays, and Tomorrows

A friend of mine posted the other day on facebook something she overheard in the hallway at work….

“I have more yesterdays than tomorrows.”

It prompted her to think of her own life, and her own mortality. It resonated with her enough to post it (and she’s not one of those let-me-post-every-single-moment-of-my-life people.)

Then yesterday, there was a phrase in a book I was reading….

“You have more tomorrows than yesterdays.” 

And that one resonated with me.  For two reasons; first, I immediately remembered my friend’s post from the other day, and second, for me, this was absolutely true.  I’m 39 years old and I have decades yet ahead of me. And it gave me one of those “aha” moments. 

But then I wondered, what about today? What does it matter how many yesterdays you’ve had and tomorrows that you might have if you’re not paying attention to today?

It made me realize that I spend a lot of time on the other side of today. 

Sometimes I’m musing about my past, and the influence it had on me, and the part it plays in who I think I am now.  If I’m not doing that I tend to think alot about tomorrow.  For example, right now I’m thinking about furniture, and planting vegetables.  Now, that’s not something that matters today, currently I’m touring full time, and it will be that way through the end of the year.

But I like to analyze (others who know me might say “over-think”) and I like to plan. 

I like to feel as if I have an idea of where I came from and that there is a form for where I’m heading to.

Now, don’t misunderstand, I’ve never been one of those people who always has a 5 year plan.  There is a certain element of “go with the flow” that I have found absolutely essential to not completely losing my mind on a minute by minute basis. But all the same, I like to feel as if there is a pattern somewhere.  A piece of tapestry, perhaps, that I am a part of that may not make much sense now, but sometime down the road I’ll get a glimpse of the pictures on that tapestry and at least a little bit will make sense.

That takes a certain willingness to take a regular leap of faith. And I guess the reality is I’m not always ready to leap. I suppose that’s just a part of doing the best I can with what I have. On a moment by moment basis.

YOUR PAST DOES NOT DEFINE YOU

Ok…so here’s a story I have struggled not to write.

My mother passed away December 8th, 2012. It is a day I will never forget. It is a day I thought I would find freedom, and yet it is a day that sent me back in time, sent me right back into so many things I never wanted to think about again. EVER. It is a day that re-awakened a PTSD that I hoped to be free of, a syndrome that my staff cannot begin to understand, yet I do my best to keep separate from them the shadows that can follow me if I give them the space.

You see, I am a child of abuse and divorce. Not unusual. Also not unusual, custody was given to the mother, regardless of fitness. The perception at that time (1978) was that children should be with their mother–unless some grievous act was performed…but we rarely have proof for that which will stand up in court, so I was with Her. And she was unfit. And yes, read into that what you may.

All the same, she was, by all accounts, a genius–a brilliant woman, but she was also jealous of me. Apparently I scored higher than her on an IQ test when I was 12 and it all went downhill from there. she became bitter towards me, vindictive, and poisonous…nothing I did was safe or ok.

She held me up by my throat at the age of 11 and kicked me out of the house. She believed I was trying to supplant her. Said I was an ungrateful bitch. She did it again at 16 and 17. Each time marked an occasion where I was celebrated for my own achievements. She wanted to have a daughter that excelled, but when I did it was a catastrophe. She wanted the perfect child, but not if that child took her spotlight. Each time that happened she was altered. Not necessarily on wine, but altered. But it does have alot to do with why I still refuse to drink wine today. I cannot stand the smell.

So, She passed away last December. Before she passed I was able to be there to get her settled into hospice, and to hear her version of our life. My best friend was there, and I am grateful for that, because otherwise I might have gone completely crazy. She heard my mother’s version of my life and she knew the truth and she knew not to fight, but just stood by me. My mother’s version was completely off the hook, but it was important to her to believe it, and it was important to me that she could depart this plane in peace. But oh did it break my heart to hear what she needed to believe.

My best friend? She has no idea what I owe her.

The reality is,

No Child should ever have to clean up after her mother’s binge.

No Child should ever have to learn how to pay bills at five years old.

No Child should ever be OK with not celebrating her own report card just so that her mother’s boyfriend’s children won’t feel bad.

No Child should ever have to understand that “staying with friends” really means “I have no home for you.”

No Child should ever have to raise their own parent.

No Child should ever have to be fed their breakfast from their teachers.

No Child should ever have to be given a rain coat from their school.

No Child should ever apologize for being abused by the children of their mother’s boyfriend.

No Child should ever know want, or hunger or abuse.

I say all of this, but unfortunately I know that my experience is not unique. So all I can say is that YOUR PAST DOES NOT DEFINE YOU.

YOU have all the choice in the world to change what you THINK is your destiny. And if you came from anything like I did, there have defintitely been times where you destiny seemed pretty grim.

DO NOT BELIEVE IT.

You are the strength of everything, and no one, no where, can change that unless you let them. Rise above your own expectations. I promise, you will constantly be surprised.

Delinquency…or Why You Should Write About it Anyway…

Ok…so I do feel a bit delinquent…honestly. I had started this new blog on wordpress.com, and for a while I was pretty good at posting regularly. Then life got in the way and I put it to the side. Not consciously, but I did it all the same. So I just blogged about how life is short and you shouldn’t put things off, and why the Desiderata is important to me (and it really is, I inherited the fascination with the Desiderata from my Grandmother), and I realized that I had stopped doing something that matters to me. And I wondered why.

Well, the why is because things got busy. But then I wonder why if things get busy I let what is important go by the wayside.

And really, what IS the wayside? Is it completely in the trash or is it recoverable? I like to think it’s recoverable, personally, otherwise I would just have to toss a bunch in with the towel, or with the baby and the bathwater, or whatever expression floats your boat.

Writing here, and seeing that others see it and even (gasp) like it, means something to me.

So, thanks to those that keep checking in, and thanks to those who have found this place regardless.

The hamsters (past hamster, present hamster and future hamster) turn in their wheels whether I write about what they churn up or not, but for sure, I know that if I don’t tell their story, the only thing that is guaranteed to happen is I will grind my teeth into oblivion, and my other half will get no sleep.

Thank you, hamsters, for not giving up…and thank you to everyone out there that reads this.

If the best you think you can do is write, then please share your story, no matter how much you may think it is unnecessary or a waste of time or irrelevant to everyone else….write about it anyway. Please. I know I always benefit when you do.

Life Can Be Short…Make the Most of It.

Honestly. I don’t mean to sound morbid, because I actually feel completely opposite to that. I’m asking everyone to remember that what you put off is what you might never achieve.

I’ve blogged before about my job and how all-consuming I can let it be. Heck, I was in London for several weeks and managed only to see the London Bridge in person. When I got a day off I was tired and I slept…necessary but still, perhaps the job wouldn’t have felt so exhausting if I’d put some energy into actually trying to have a life outside work. That’s all on me.

So now, I’m in Madrid, and it is raining all the time, and it would be super easy to justify not leaving the house on my days off, but starting in this city I was blessed to have my other half with me, and that made a difference. I wanted to get out, walk, explore with him…and hopefully I will retain that urge now that he has had to go home.

I regret not doing what I had planned while I was in Japan, and then in London…so there is no time like the present to make the most of the time I have.

Here’s to the Desiderata….and if you don’t know it you should…http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desiderata….and while you’re there, please contribute to http://www.wikipedia.org…they are worth the investment.