Second chances. I've been thinking about them alot since the beginning of this year. Last year was spent dwelling on the past; mine, my family's, even the World's past.....things aren't like they used to be. There are so many times I've wished for a do over, thought to myself, "I would have done that differenlty if I'd have known this was how it was going to be". In fact, I feel like I spend alot of time living with regret. That is no way to live a life, right? Regrets really started to chase me very shortly after my Grandmother died, literally. Living in her house, while I had her as a captive audience, I had the perfect opportunity to talk to her.....pull out the old family photos and dig up old stories about the characters who permeate my DNA, but, I was paralyzed by the thought of actually acknowledging, outloud, that Mom J was going. She and I danced around the subject of her departure, but, neither of us dealt with it straight on, it was just an elephant in the room. So many things live like an elephant in the room in my family. This is just one of many regrets I am chewing on. But, my biggest regret so far is getting to the age that I am and not living up to my potential, it is a waste of life. I believe there is greatness in each of us and some of us just take longer than the others to discover it. My committment to this blog is my promise to myself to erase that regret and begin to live my life fully. But, backing up to second chances......There are four big events, or rather, examples of why second chances are staring me in the face....almost like I'd have to be stupid to waste one more minute living in fear of LIVING. I have survived open heart surgery 3 times......pretty soon I'm going to give a cat a run for the money......I've had my fair share of 2nd chances, right? Then, 3 important people in my life have had 2nd chances, first, my step-sister survives breast cancer, Her step-father, Arnie, survives prostate cancer, My dear friend survives a near fatal motorcycle wreck, they live....they promise to do things differently, even I have.....especially after my last surgery in 2005, the year I turned 40......the reason regret is chasing me.....Arnie died January 5th from a relapse of the the cancer, he spent most of last year doing the things he swore he would do after he survived the first battle.......only scratching the surface of the life he really wanted to live....my step sister, the cancer is back, in her bones......she found out days before her step fathers' wake. I feel so shameful, how could I be lolly gagging along in this life, letting myself just survive....letting fear hold me back, cutting myself slack, "you'll have tomorrow, relax today"....who am I kidding, who are any of us kidding. You can take nothing for granted, not even tomorrow. I swear it's like I'm in a ship that is sinking and the cabin is almost full of water and the air is running out. Everyday I race through the day wishing it was over (mostly because I hate my job, but, that's why I'm here writing, to right that wrong), so that I can get home to 'live' instead of 'just survive', 'cause what the hell is just surviving about? Do you see now why I have this overwhelming sense of time running out, maybe I'm not going to get another 'do over'? I've had three, right? So, do I get anymore.....Arnie didn't, Candace might not....my friend, she lived and changed some big things in her life, but, she's not really living, she's not even sure she's happy. Second chances don't always come along and I've been wasting all of mine. After the surgery in 2005 I thought to myself I should really make the effort to change things, to step everything up in my life, really committ to my work or figure out what I'd rather do and do it, instead of just dreaming about it, but, life (not living, just life) got in the way and I never seemed to "find the time to make changes". What the hell is that? "find the time"? Time is the currency, it is all we have to bank on, some of us less than others. So, like my horrible money management skills, I feel like I am frittering my potential away, waiting (wasting time) for my life to just HAPPEN. More regret. Ah, it's just a vicious cycle, and I'm circling the drain. Here is my real second chance, in these words, in this blog, in this risk I take everytime I write, everytime I open myself up just a little more. Showing myself, braving the possibility of being known, shedding these regrets. Since I began the blog and allowed myself this small outlet, truly I have felt a small change in myself, if nothing else, but a subtle shift in my outlook, the perspective with which I see the future, more rosey than blue, more like a real second chance than a regret.
"Like tomorrow was the end
And ya got eternity to think about what to do with it
What should you do with it
What can I do with it
What would I do with it
And I loved deeper
And I spoke sweeter
And I gave forgiveness I'd been denyin'
And he said some day I hope you get the chance
To live like you were dyin' "