Not On My Game

Not On My Game

For the first time since Christmas, my family gathered for the weekend. We were celebrating significant birthdays, graduations, and my book launch. We had flights coming in from California, New York, Milwaukee, and Hong Kong. Despite delays, rescheduled arrival and departure times, and the failure of my air conditioning hours before the first family member landed, it was a great weekend.

Still, I am basking in the afterglow of both joy and regret.

Why regret? Because I wasn’t on my game. Two days before my family came into town, I learned the residential placement for my daughter, Madison, reversed their decision to accept her into their program. I was beyond devastated. Forget the excitement I’d reported in, The Bright Side of Dark Times or the encouraging lesson I’d learned from ditching the drama to do the work, I found myself perched on the edge of another pit, another epic fail, one I was determined NOT to fall into this time.

Then, my body chose to misbehave. My paralyzed parts demanded far more attention than usual, limiting me in both energy and availability to do all the things I planned to do.

I felt mentally and physically drained.

Even betrayed.

But, my family was coming! You don’t have time for self-pity, I reminded myself. I vowed to put my struggles to the side and engage fully in the time I had with them.

Even so, I fell short.

In retrospect, I realize I missed perfect opportunities to create special moments. I couldn’t get my muddled mind into gear as I listened to conversations on career updates, family life, job offers, relocation options, and travel plans.

I said things I shouldn’t have and should have said things I didn’t. Clarity of thought eluded me.


So what inspired me to push through the regret?

First, I talked to my sister, “Sissy,” she said, “we can’t be up every day. Some days are going to be better than others.”

But, oh, how I wish I could choose those days. I wish I could push one button, delete the muddled me, and push another button that would guarantee my best self.

Then I dove into my morning quiet time readings. Once again, Mark Nepo’s words from The Book of Awakening sorted through my angst and refreshed me.

“We need to soothe ourselves, not blame ourselves. We are human beings, flawed colorful beings that eat plans and memories for food,” he writes.

“We are rare, not perfect.”


I am human, Nepo reminded me.

The joys and regrets will keep coming as will clear and muddled thinking. Maybe I should relax from the stress of seeking that clarity full time. Accept the mess. Accept the clarity. Both will keep coming. My humanity guarantees it. I might as well settle in for the ride.

How about you? How do you soothe yourself when you feel you’ve missed an opportunity? Tell me about it. I’d love to know.

My best – always,

Becky  (Nana B)

P.S. I’d appreciate your thoughts and prayers for Madison and me as we once again try to find a residential placement for her.

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