What is your greatest regret?
Does it keep you awake at night?
Do you regret that romantic encounter?
Do you regret something you said?
Do you have regrets for others? Secondhand embarrassment is real and I suffer.
We usually regret something left undone, rarer the accomplished tasks.
What derailed your dreams?
Where did your intention go?
Who failed you?
Do you fear?
Are you angry?
Do you hear?
Your walls are ever before me.Isaiah 49:16
Walls are a protective shield. They’re not necessarily good or bad. They’re neutral.
I have built up more walls than I care to think about.
I build them up. I tear them down. I build them back up.
God tears them down. People knock and try to peer inside.
I build a wall of fear.
I build a wall of distrust.
I build a wall of doubt.
I build a wall of low self-esteem.
I build a wall of anger.
I build a wall of grief.
I’m tired of walls.
When I began blogging back in about 2005, it was more a scrapbook our homeschooling.
We have evolved and come full circle and continue to grow in our family and homeschooling journey.
When I began homeschooling, I had no idea the heartache and challenges and soul-swelling that I would undergo as I learned to step back and watch my kids explore in spite of me and my trauma.
I live in that liminal space between hope and despair, clarity and confusion, resolve and surrender.
Amazingly, I am able to recognize and catch glimpses of harmony in the hell that is military life and the thanklessness of being a housewife and parenting teens.
The zen view is something you glimpse in passing and that comes as a surprise—to wake you to the moment and a flash of hidden truth.Rivvy Neshama
The last few years could have broken me had I not stepped back to see a bigger picture. I had to learn not to take things personally. I have had to re-parent myself. I have had to give myself timeouts and rest and relearn and shut my mouth. I had to be alone in my grief and work it out inside myself.
After years of survival mode, I suddenly felt lost and alone and almost at rest, so there was too much time to think, feel, wonder, regret.
I had to set hard boundaries with my parents and they stopped communicating with me altogether.
My eldest child and therapist asked me why I stay with my husband. It surely seems like an easy question from young, single, independent women. I have never been that.
I feel that I failed my eldest child all her life, and recently she moved out and quit college. What could I have done better, more, different – to set her up for success? What will her future hold now? She’s had COVID twice. She has so many financial worries that I didn’t want her to experience.
I’m twice divorced from abusive men. I escaped. I don’t know if I would have had the strength merely to save myself. I rescued my daughter. There were situations no one can understand but me.
This man is not abusive. He’s neglectful. He’s often thoughtless. I feel I change and evolve and grow while he is stagnant. There are way worse sins than being boring.
We have history. We have duty.
We share eighteen years of highs, lows, depths, cross-country moves, deployments, births, deaths, sickness, pain, joy.
Our society encourages everything and everyone to be disposable.
I’ll stay and wait and see what’s next.
I don’t like the alternatives.
She had always thought that exquisitely happy time at the beginning of her relationship…was the ultimate, the feeling they’d always be trying to replicate, to get back, but now she realized that was wrong. That was like comparing sparkling mineral water to French champagne. Early love is exciting and exhilarating. It’s light and bubbly. Anyone can love like that. But love after [four] children, after a separation and a near-divorce, after you’ve hurt each other and forgiven each other, bored each other and surprised each other, after you’ve seen the worst and the best—well, that sort of a love is ineffable. It deserves its own word…It was so good to find that their relationship could keep on changing, finding new edges.Liane Moriarty
I know under certain circumstances I had so few good choices and I chose what I felt was best at the time. I might even choose the same again if I could go back with what I know now. Who knows?
This is who I am and those choices molded me into this person. Do I really want to be someone else?
I can’t continue to twist and turn and lie awake at night in anxiety of what I should have done, should have said. It’s over and done and there’s no going back. We have to keep moving forward. We have to seek the blessings and stand firm on hallowed ground.
One should hallow all that one does in one’s natural life. One eats in holiness, tastes the taste of food in holiness, and the table becomes an altar. One works in holiness, and raises up the sparks which hide themselves in all tools. One walks in holiness across the fields, and the soft songs of all herbs, which they voice to God, enter into the song of our soul.Martin Buber
I count the summers, months, days that I have with my three kids still living at home. It’s not enough! I want to go back and be kinder, nicer, more loving, patient. I want to hug them more. I don’t want to say, “just a minute.” I don’t want to be tired. I don’t want to be distracted. What was more important? Nothing! Why did I think that would have enough time? Did I make enough good memories to push out the bad? Did I make them feel special? I imagine them as toddlers – trusting, seeking, demanding. I’m alone in my regret, bombarded by toxic positivity.
Now, the tables are turned and they’re often too busy for me and my heart is breaking.
My middle two kids begin college later this month and I lie awake strangling on my own doubts and fears and lack of control. Why doesn’t my husband, their father, have any worries? He’s already asleep, in oblivion. I want to shake him awake at 2 AM and pour out all my fears and regrets, but he never knows what to do with me, so I keep it all inside. I can’t protect them from the world, from abusive men, from arrogant professors, from false friends, from themselves. I make up scenarios in my head to warn them about. I feel I am running out of time. I’m late; I’m late; I’m late! What else can I teach them, impart from my own experiences? What script can I help them memorize for an unknown circumstance? What situation can we anticipate together?
I feel prickly with fear of the future.
I don’t want them to live in fear but to walk in wisdom.
(I need to remember this and stop wallowing in guilt and shame.)
I tell my kids often:
Almost everything can be fixed. The consequences may be unpleasant and people may get upset, but almost every mistake can be remedied.
You might also like:
- Dealing with Disappointment
- What Depression Feels Like
- Parenting with Depression
- I’m Angry
- Breaking the Cycle of Negativity
- Personal Growth
- Advice to My Younger Self
- Raised Better
- Grieving Family Who Are Still Alive
Linking up: Random Musings, April Harris, Ridge Haven, Create with Joy, Pam’s Party, Pinch of Joy, Mostly Blogging, LouLou Girls, OMHG, Jenerally Informed, Pieced Pastimes, God’s Growing Garden, InstaEncouragements, Suburbia, Eclectic Red Barn, Simply Coffee, Ducks in a Row, Fluster Buster, Ridge Haven Homestead, Soaring with Him, Silverado, Anchored Abode, Joanne Viola, Shelbee on the Edge, Lisa Notes, Momfessionals,