Girl Friday: Hitch Up That Wagon
Being half asleep and trying to improve on this post, I accidentally deleted what was here previously. I had to laugh, because mostly it was about making mistakes. While I'm not happy about what happened here, I've decided to just let it go, and leave you with the notion that, after due consideration, I've decided that I'm not perfect. And here's a news flash: you aren't, either.
And actually, that's all good. We need things to work on. We're here to evolve our imperfect selves, through work and through relationship. We're not likely to attain full enlightenment any time soon; as fellow blogger Don is fond of reminding us, there are a LOT of reasons humans are circling the drain. But as long as we're here, we have to make the best of it, even if that means making mistakes.
I make a lot of mistakes. But I've done a lot of good things in my life, too, and I daresay those things outnumber the things I'm less proud of. My biggest problem is the fear of disappointing others or myself, and the addiction I have to other people's expectations over my own. For crying out loud, I'm 40 years old. I should be over that. But every now and then I have a run-in with someone or something that re-sets the meter all over again, and I'm back to remembering that, as my sister would say, I'm a magnet for people who are impossible to please.
Life, and friendship, and partnership all take work and learning and processing. Babies don't do what they're "supposed" to like it says in a book; they teach us. Grown people don't always understand each other. Not everyone has the same set of values or goals or drivers. I don't have to have yours, and you don't have to have mine.
My ex and I work really hard at raising our kids. I feel like a real jerk that our marriage didn't survive, but that's a choice we made so that our kids would not learn the wrong things about marriage. Now after mistakes comes the work and loving guidance and the ability to each bring what we bring to the children to see that they are successful and happy to the degree we can facilitate that.
I do wish I had been a better partner to all the people I've been in relationship with. I love the people I work with like my second family and I am extremely careful to nurture those relationships because we have to spend a LOT of time together to benefit other human beans. I love my children more than life, and whenever I feel like I failed them, I talk to them about it, because they need to know that no matter what, there is nothing more important to me than the two of them. They know I have faults and that I make mistakes and that learning about that stuff is part of life.
But there will be new people down the road who don't know I'm not perfect. What then? When they find out I'm not, will they still be able to see the rest of me like most people do, or will they put me in the other column? And will it matter to me if they do? Or will I just be able to keep my eyes on the inner prize knowing a lot of other people who could have given up on me, haven't? It's a slippery slope to even think about it.
Meanwhile here's a great song by a young woman named Adrienne Young and her band, Little Sadie. Young is just that, and a very impressive, smart, intuitive musician, a heck of a banjo player, and a terrific songwriter. This tune, "Conestoga," is really lovely and honest. It's about admitting to not being perfect but still being willing and ready to go. And I am. Who's with me?
I have wandered through the hills of better days
Broken my own heart with my cheatin’ ways
So I’ll try to make amends I will rectify
All the time I spent more dead than alive
Darlin’ hitch up the Conestoga
Ride my gently to & fro
I have searched many a lifetime
All for what I do not knowAll for what I know
Give me freedom like the flight of a raven’s wing
Lie down with the sun, rise and start to sing
Lonesome doves will always find their way back home
But there’s seed to feed anywhere we roam
I will take the reins when you need to sleep
I will soothe your pain if your back grows weak
But first these words you must speak
I am ready to go, I’m ready to go
Darlin’ pack up the Conestoga
Ride my gently sweet and low
I have searched many a lifetime
All for what I do not know
All for what I know
Ready to go…ready to go