Wednesday, December 31, 2008

This has nothing to do with art, unless it's the art of whining

After a certain amount of navel gazing I think I realize why I've been so bummed out this last week. The famous saying of only regretting the things you haven't done and not the things you have rings true here.

Back in October or November, iMan announced that we (our son and myself) could accompany him to New Zealand for a three week stay in January where he would be working for a stretch. His employer would pay our airfare and hotel. This is a place I have always wanted to travel to but considering the cost and the time, it just never was a true opportunity for me. I was excited and of course a little nervous about leaving my life behind for that long. Then just as suddenly as the trip came up it was cancelled. Not for him, but for me and our son. I was disappointed but took it in stride, not going meant not leaving a job I had only started a few months ago. A job I am grateful to have found in these economic times. But nevertheless a job and not a career. Then shortly before Christmas the opportunity was back and I had to decide quickly as plane and hotel reservations had to be made. It was my last day at work before the holiday break and when I flew the idea by my boss he was, needless to say, not thrilled. Not only is he embarking on a new working partnership himself in the new year which means a lot of PR but it also leaves him in the lurch work-wise since I was giving him virtually no warning. I wasn't surprised but I was hoping he would say how he understood that I couldn't turn down this marvelous opportunity. Well, he didn't exact say that either. So having to make a quick decision, I turned down the trip.

Just yesterday I took my son and a new friend of his and that friend's mom skating. She's a wonderful woman (hi Sally!) I only recently met despite living a block away from each other and having sons the same age. She's also a New Zealander and she mentioned in the car that it is quite likely she and her small family will be moving back there come October. I was floored partly because a new friend I've made might be leaving my life but she's moving exactly where I want to be! I don't begrudge her anything, for goodness sake it's her homeland and where her family is. All the same I felt, well gypped.

I spent a turbulent afternoon and evening letting all the feelings come and overwhelm me and trying to figure out how I churned myself up into the proper little mess that I was. I was actually jealous. I felt trapped here in a city and a climate that doesn't make me happy. And I realized that I had made the wrong choice about my trip. I should have chosen to take the trip, taken my chances with leaving the job and my boss in a pickle. Which is where the regret comes in. It is said that people only regret the things they didn't do, never the things they did. I made my decision based on fear. Apparently I read somewhere that the largest fear women have is becoming a bag lady. On the other side of the gender spectrum, I'm sure the largest or one of the largest fears men have is being homeless. And it was this base and basic fear that guided my decision.

I think I learned a lesson in all this. I am still enormously sad about not going. And I hope that next time I have such a decision to make, even if it's under the gun like this last one, that I'll choose so that I won't have regrets.

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