Friday, February 26, 2010

What were they thinking.

So today was meant to be a stay at home snow day. Apparently Mother Nature didn't get the memo, cause the snow really didn't amount to much. So Connor and I were at home, Drew was working from home, and no plans had been made beyond "play in the snow." Needless to say that by noon we were all a little frayed and Drew needed some time to work in peace and quiet. I thought of open swim at the Y and Connor and I were off.

Usually, open swim on a weekday is a relatively quiet affair. It's a great chance to get in some nice warm water and work on Connor's swimming skills. Connor has a great time, I have something to keep him occupied for an hour or two, it gets us out of the house, and we both get exercise. Generally a win/win. NOT ON A SNOW DAY!!!

Note to self, never, not ever, do I want to go to open swim on a snow day ever again. I thought I was being careful, going in to check the crowd (not too bad) and check in with the front desk to make sure the snow-day camp kids weren't parked in the pools. Not careful enough.

I suppose the first tip off should have been the private changing room strewn with clothing and left open and unavailable for anyone else. Hello- that's what the lockers are for, change in private, store your gear and let someone else enjoy some privacy. Hey, anyone can make a rookie mistake.

Found a private room, got myself and Connor changed and organized and headed to the family locker room. Went to stow our gear in our "regular" locker and on the floor was two pairs of boys sweatpants, inside out, complete with skidded up underwear. Yep, there they were, laying crotch down on the nasty carpet in the locker room (BTW who thought carpet in a public locker room was a good idea). EEEWWW, YUCK, NASTY, GROSS, ICKY!!!! I was beyond grossed out, first at it being left there, and then with the idea that some poor children were going to have that pulled on to there naked tushies. OMG

Finally made it through the unexpected mine field that was the locker room and made it to the pool. Hmmmmm.... much more crowded than I thought it would be. Ah well, we were there so in we went. The crowd wouldn't have been bad except for this one mom and kids (and I am sure they were the nasty pants group). Her boys were bigger than Connor AND had on floaties. They were twins, were rowdy, and mom figured she didn't have to be right on them, since they had floaties on. That trio seemed to follow me everywhere and the kids always seemed to be grabbing at my non-floaty. still learning to swim child. It was unreal.

I called a swift end to swimming- hey 15 minutes was better than no minutes, right? I just wanted to get into and out of the showers and on into the private dressing rooms before the onslaught. Smart me, swift showers were all we had time for. BTW- do all daddies think it is ok to strip their daughters naked in the family locker room? I am still explaining that to Connor.

I know I am fussy, especially when it comes to Connor and crowds. But honestly- dirty underwear on the floor of a public bathroom, near repeated drownings, and birds and the bees showers were just more than I wanted from the snow day.

Yet, as freaked out as I was by the whole experience, I'd do it all again. When I told Connor we were going swimming, he threw his arms around me and declared me the best mommy ever. Yep, worth it all...... But seriously- nasty underwear?????

Monday, February 15, 2010

Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda,

Many people spend a great deal of time and energy on the phrase "coulda, woulda, shoulda." The missed opportunities, jobs lost or not taken, friends you lost touch with or didn't meet, that list of things that would have changed your life, if only.

Some people rail against where they are in life, professionally or personally, and think not of where they are but where they "should be." They argue about how life is not how it should be for them. They should have better jobs, older/younger children, bigger houses, better cars, fancier careers. Oh, how life would improve, if only they were where they "should be."

I am going to argue that wherever you are is exactly where you should be at this moment in time. If life is a path we follow and each step is represented by the millions of decisions we have made in our personal history, then your footsteps have brought you here, make the best of it. You can have no effect on your history, it is what it is and no amount of wailing will change it. It is immutable, cast in stone, done and over with. Don't waste your here and now, and therefore your potential future by the "couldas and wouldas."

Examine your history, own your history, acknowledge where choices might have been done differently. That is all good for making sure that the couldas and the wouldas of the here and now are approached with an eye to the future. Use the regrets in your past to make your future because if the past is already set, the future is still so fluid and open.

As I look back on my life I could drown in all the things I would have done differently- worked harder in high school, insisted on college right away, build our house sooner, start a family sooner, the list is truly endless. Yet if I were able to go back and change even one of those choices I would no longer be here, in this place, in this time, living the life I have. Are there lessons I am taking forward to make my future closer to what I dream of? You bet, but I am not wasting this glorious gift of life by bellyaching over what I can't change.

My promise to myself is that each time I find myself wishing something in the here and now were different I will remind myself of all the things I wouldn't trade for all the tea in China. I bet that list will remind me of how lucky I am and how much I have to fight for. Then I will try to be sure that the choices I make today are the best I can make for my future. Each day, I will remind myself that I am exactly where I "should be" and if I don't like it, only I control my couldas and wouldas.

I will own my history, live my present, and dream for my future. I will do everything in my power to make the world a little better for my having been in it. At the end of my days I don't want to worry about the coulda, woulda, shoulda.