It is a day of fog and drizzle, and I am thinking today about chances and opportunities I have missed, let go of, didn’t care about, didn’t think were important until too late, knew about but forgot about until it was too late, or just never got included so I could try.
Thinking this way makes me feel a little wistful…
Thinking about the opportunities I was too arrogant, dumb, frivolous, macho, or busy to grasp makes me feel as if I have let some part of my life pass me by.
The end of the year brings me to a place of self-evaluation. What did I accomplish this last year? What did I fail at? At what did I succeed? Good questions.
Today I am wondering about the people in my life and wondering how I stand in relation to my relationships. What may seem strange to those who do not live inside my brain, is that it does not matter so much what those who love me think about what kind of a person I am, and how I am for them. What matters is how I perceive how I am in relation to them. They can never fully understand my motives–I do.
I am an over-achiever. I wouldn’t have the degrees I have if I had been satisfied or complacent about myself or my world. I strive and I push. Cherie once told me that I am a “bulldozer,” and that I bulldoze right over the top of any obstacles, people, emotions, and feelings that get in my way. So, of course it stands to reason that I attempt to over-achieve in my relationships, and sometimes I bulldoze something or someone important under a huge pile of debris.
And there it is: yet.
When I was young my highest value seemed to be success–not so much to accumulate money, but to be the best at whatever I did. I had a gunfighter mentality, gunning down competition, and in competition with everyone around me including me. I am still in competition with me and I can’t seem to out shout myself.
So, in the midst of this stiff competition with myself, I have paused to wonder, what is its price? On this day of December in 2009, I ask, what have I done this year that furthers my relationships with my children, with my wife, and with my friends? What chances have I missed in these relationships? What opportunities for deepening my relationship with my children, with Cherie, have I let slide? How can I make up for the times I have tried and failed, or not tried and failed, to let someone close know how important they are to me?
And you know, it wouldn’t matter if all my friends and family members lined up to tell me I was just the best friend, dad, or husband, because I would still find myself wistfully asking these same questions. I am not so sure that the answers I might receive are as important as is my taking the time to encounter the questions. Foggy, drizzly days are wistful days for asking questions.