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My youngest graduated 8th grade today.  I had the perfect seat in the packed auditorium.  It gave me ample opportunity to watch him and get great pics as he received his diploma.  Until…….1/2 way through, they switched the direction the kids were walking.  I got an awesome pic of his back.  I came home to the FB posts of the perfect pics the “charmed” parents got of their kids; the parents who were on the right side of the auditorium, in the right lighting, at the right time, with no tall person in front of them.  Later, I took my son out for dinner at this favorite place, and he got sick.

I have what I call “white person problems” (hopefully not overly offensive).  I’m not starving, I have a roof over my head, I have a car and money for groceries, I have health insurance to pay for my health care needs and I have friends and family around me.  But sometimes, my white person problems feel so unfair.

  • Why do I have cancer and still have to worry about it, after finishing the most difficult treatment available?
  • Why did I marry a cheating louse?
  • Why am I struggling getting my kids to do homework, when other parents never even have to check on their kids?
  • Why do I not have the money to fix the leak in my kitchen when my neighbors are putting in a new pool?
  • Why do I never have the right outfit to wear?  Or, if I do have the right outfit, why don’t I wear it?
  • Why have I lost 2 sons when other people have wonderfully intact families?
  • Why did my ex cheat on me, when other women, not as nice, never get cheated on?
  • Why do I go back to selling on ebay, only to get screwed?
  • Why did so many other people get great graduation pics but not me?
  • And, before you tell me I’m being petty and selfish – Trust Me – I Know!

I work with a lovely young lady who is 27, lives alone, has health issues, and has 17 years of student loans costing $1,000 each month.  The other night she said “do you ever feel like it would be easier to just run away”, and I could actually answer this.  I ran away as a teen.  Repeatedly.    I spent 4 months living in Florida pumping gas, with just enough money to pay for my rent and groceries.  The only question every week was whether to buy a book or new underwear, because that was all I could afford.  It was such an easy life.  I worked hard and had nothing to show for it, but I also had no choices.  I never had to second guess myself.  Running away has it’s advantages!

Choice makes life hard, and  I seem to be the Queen of the Wrong Choice.

  •   I chose the wrong treatment, and I’m paying for it now in chronic pain, and the knowledge that I might have increased my chance at remission because of the choice I made.  In my haste I made the wrong choice.
  • Why did I marry a cheating louse and not someone else?  I chose him.  I had other choices.
  • Why am I struggling getting my kids to do homework, when other parents never even have to check on their kids?  What choice do  I make here?  Do I push my kids; which incidentally, has not been successful.  Or, do I just let them be?
  • Why do I not have the money to fix the leak in my kitchen when my neighbors are putting in a new pool?  I won’t go into the issues around money, because they are enmeshed with my divorce and business issues; all of which are the result of choices!
  • Why do I never have the right outfit to wear?  Or, if I do have the right outfit, why didn’t I wear it?  My last son’s graduation I wore a dress and everyone else wore pants.   Today I wore pants and of course, everyone else wore dresses.
  • Why have I lost 2 sons when other people have wonderfully intact families?   I’ve watched really mean mothers keep their children at their side.  Was my choice to be understanding wrong?
  • Why did my ex cheat on me, when other women, not as nice, never get cheated on?  Should I have berated him more?  Why did I chose him in the 1st place, and, once I chose him, why did I chose the wrong way to behave in our marriage?
  • Why do I go back to selling on ebay, forgetting that sellers have no protection and often get screwed?  Why do I chose to use this selling platform, even though there are others that take longer but work; and don’t protect only the buyer?
  • Why did so many other people get great graduation pics but not me.  I made the wrong choice.  I sat on the wrong side of the auditorium.

35 years ago, when I had no choices, I never questioned myself.  I did what I had to do.  I never had a reason to look back and say “hmm….I shouldn’t have done things that way”, because there was never a different way to have done things.  Ultimately, my life would have been much worse had I stayed on that path.  Having No choice is just as dangerous as having too many choices.  When I had no choices, I also had no options.  Had I gotten sick during that time I would have ended up homeless.  One leak destroying what little I owned would have left me destitute.  I understand that.

How can it be, though, that at every turn I make the wrong choice?   I am at a point in which I feel confident that if I have made the choice, it is Wrong.  The problem is that I don’t even realize I’m making a choice until it’s too late.

Again, these are really minor issues when compared to what some others are going through, and I get that.

But really???  I couldn’t at least have gotten a decent graduation picture?  Damn.

 

PS:  I know that I’ve probably made just as many good choices, I just don’t recognize them, because they don’t hurt.  Yes, this is a self-serving rant.  Sorry.

 

PPS:  I also know that I shouldn’t put much stock in what is see on FB.  FB is an illusion.

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