That Ship has Sailed

photoWhat is the purpose of regret? If I don’t learn from my mistakes and move forward the wiser and determined to be better, then no amount of guilty or disappointed remembrance on my part can have any use at all. Life, no matter how it ebbs and flows, doesn’t repeat itself for my convenience. Dratted Life, anyhow.

It’s great, whilst muddling through, to ‘get it right,’ but being a mere mortal, I don’t do that nearly as often as I’d like. Being stubborn and having my intellectual and emotional limits as well, I may try to learn and practice and improve, but I’ll surely never do so infallibly, and almost always, the progress is slow.

All the same, I think myself wise in one small thing, at least: I work with fair determination at letting go of or minimizing those things that I wish I could change but can’t. I’d hate to think I devoted yet more time to the irreparable past and wasted yet more of the present in the process. My adventures in sailing forward may be small, but I hope I’ll keep bobbing along with the tide of time in my own little way even if the wind has gone out of my sails for a moment.

And if I really find myself dead in the water, why then I hope I’m clever enough to get out my oars and start rowing for my life.

A Couple More Things I Tell Myself

…since I seem to be in the mode of self-improvement. Or, more likely, just talking to myself as usual…photo + text

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Cat, Mouse and Everyday Danger

That little old four-letter word Work has challenged the finest among us to test the limits of endurance, wisdom, hope and courage for as long as there’s been such a thing as a job on this planet. We agonize and weep over our work as though doing unspeakable heroics every single minute, even when we know perfectly well that every living thing has faced challenges of his, her or its own since the first moment there were, well, living things. It didn’t take employers and employees to bring this tension to full expression. If I think I’m sitting on a powder-keg just because I’ve tackled something that pushes me to my limits (or, to be more precise, because it has tackled me), it’s time to step back, take a deep breath, and remember my compatriots of every sort striving and struggling and facing greater odds than I have ever faced, accepting them as the inevitable price of existence.graphite drawingNot that any of this contemplation has the remotest chance of making me stop thinking myself both the greatest martyr and the finest superhero at work on the planet. I only get the smallest momentary glimpses of sanity through the veneer of my regular distorted self-image as the silly person I am, after all. Even though I know that in my own version of ‘cat and mouse’ the tiniest mouse could best me in the flick of a whisker.

Little Dragon with a Big Appetite

Ever feel tiny? Like everyone and everything else in the world is, by comparison, huge and powerful and towering and you can’t begin to compare, let alone compete? Have you let yourself be measured in comparison with anyone or anything else? Yeah, me too.graphite drawingBut isn’t it worthwhile to break out of that miniscule self-containment somehow? Isn’t the most valid measure of my worth found more truly in what I do as my best self, in what I become over time by growing into a finer and grander version of me? What you see is what you get–for now. And then I plan on continuing my progress as well as I can manage, for as long as I live. That’s all I can promise. With one little [ahem] caveat: I know that the best defense against seeing myself as inadequate to any task is the blessed ignorance of my true inadequacy. So I promise as a small [ahem] part of the larger issue that I will do my best to forget that there is such a thing as the improbable, let alone the impossible, and just get on with living my life, however insignificant it may seem likely to be. [Come on along.]