There's a video currently going around social media--a large black board set up in New York City asking people to write their Biggest Regrets. At the end of the video they focus on how so many regrets include "Not". The motivational conclusion being, don't let your passion/dreams not followed being your ending story. Cue moving, rising music.
But here's the thing. My regrets aren't my Nots. My regrets are my Should Haves. I should have been more Kind. I should have been more Particular. I should have thought that one through just a little more. I should have listened, and followed through when a friend needed a friend. But I remember those Should Haves. And I stand on them, grow from them. Become a Better Person because of them.
Our little family is facing Big Change. Change that is way ahead of schedule. I'm not prepared for this. I'm completely fine with change. I happen to thrive in the chaos. What I'm not fine with is the Unsettlement of the Unknown. Because I don't even know where to start with that.
I've recently started gathering with a very small, close group of amazing women. Coming together once a month to talk, to encourage, to build up, and to support. Earlier this week we were talking about the things we're Waiting for, and what do we do in the Waiting.
I have just enough British in my upbringing that has trained me to lace up my boots and Carry On. Because in the midst of the Waiting? Life continues. Children still need to get to school in the morning. I have an employer who still assumes I'll show up every day. Groceries still need to be purchased. Lunches made. Life carries on. Oddly enough.
Earlier in December, Himself was in the hospital for a week recovering from surgery. Before heading out to spend the morning with him, I found myself at the grocery store. I had to check to make sure the store was open that early--because I'd never had reason to be there at that time, and I didn't know. My mom called to check on me, asking if I was at the hospital. I told her I was wandering around the grocery store. Because we were out of milk. Because, somehow, in the midst of our chaos, life was Carrying On.
A sweet friend sat with me this weekend and just talked. We talked about her stuff. And we talked about my stuff. Most of our friendship has been based on the fact that our boys are besties. Sometimes we dig deeper. This was one of those times. She listened. Then she said that maybe this was my chance to do things I always wanted to do. Change jobs. Be More. She knows some of my past. Bits. But I explained that I was already doing exactly what I wanted to do. I was what I wanted to Be when I grew up. And she looked kind of shocked. How could I not want More?
From the outside, it may look like I'm just biding my time. Waiting until the kids are more independent. But I'm not. No, my one job isn't perfect. But I enjoy it. Sure, I have co-workers I avoid. I shut my classroom door to close off everyone else. But I love my kiddos. The thing about being a preschool teacher is, I can clock out. And I get to be home with my own children when they're home. And I have creativity and energy left for my other jobs where I get to Create and Do. I'm content. I'm right where I want to Be. And, more importantly, I'm right where I know I'm supposed to Be. This is who I am.
But it's getting all shaken up. And everything may stay the same, or nothing may stay the same. I have no idea and that is what's tying my insides up in knots.
I should have had a back up plan.
And also? I should have kept up with writing. But in the past year? Life carried on. I'm determined to do better with documenting it.