Every time I fly alone with the baby, I resolve not to do it again. (It’s tough–but it’s always worth it–I get to extend a stay in warm weather or with loved ones while my husband must return to work.) And every time my husband and I spend a long while apart, we say, “Let’s not do this again.” (Though I know a couple couples where the wife goes to Israel for a month or the husband goes to France for a month–and sometimes the sojourn sounds as romantic as staying glued together.)
And every time I eat dessert at 10 o’clock I say I shouldn’t have while rubbing my aching belly. And every time I bite my cuticles to the quick I say I’ve got to break this habit. And every time I let a thoughtless gesture get my goat I strive to wear a thicker skin.
I have minor yet nagging regrets, habits I can’t seem to shed, and resolutions that become like mantras (which they shouldn’t–a resolution, in theory, should only be uttered once). Picture Bart Simpson writing on the school chalkboard–he may promise a hundred times not to give Milhouse a wedgie, but he just can’t show restraint.
The few major regrets I have are not taking a class in Latin; leaving Nicaragua early, before seeing my students put on the play we rehearsed; not attending my great aunt Ruth’s funeral (our daughter is named after her); and others not meant for the public eye…
Is there a mistake you keep on making? A voice inside telling you to stop (or start), that you’re disobeying? An intuition you’re ignoring?
Why aren’t we better masters of self?
I know we can be better. I’d like to try. I find that taking a retreat, like the one I experienced at Kripalu, helps me focus and initiate positive change, with lasting results.
When my daughter weans, I hope to experience another meaningful retreat (AND a fun weekend with girlfriends).
I’d love to hear what ways you’re polishing your act. Maybe you’ll inspire me, or maybe we can just commiserate for a moment before getting back to the work.