I had an epiphany while showering this morning.
The good kind of awakening, one that softens our grief and helps pave the way to peace and acceptance.
As the spray washed over me I thought about a conversation Warren and I had earlier this week.
How I despise doing things twice.
Again, came to mind, followed by a series of rapid-fire thoughts.
How any times have I said that in these past almost-seven years.
I can’t believe we are here, again.
Why are we here?
Sometimes it sounded like this: When is it (the pain/conflict/frustration) ever going to end?
Doing something more than once is one of my pet peeves.
I hate having to handle something twice, to do something again because it wasn’t done efficiently the first time.
It drives me K-razy.
The Three Strikes Yer Out Mentality
I’m of that adage Work smarter not harder.
And Hubby’s more of the vein, Hey, no problem, if I can’t find it, I’ll buy another or spend hours rummaging for it.
We joke about the sixty-three tape measurers and twenty-two levels, and ninety-six hammers he owns.
But I’d love to ninety-six (sic) that quirk right on out of our lives.
Of course, there has seldom been a hammer or paint brush or screwdriver in the house when I’ve needed one, until Beauty gifted me with a pink tool bag stocked with pinker tools, and Big Guy added to it.
Thank you, Cherubs.
Now I have My Tools and Hubby has His Scattered Supply Store.
Do you see it?
Can you feel the frustration? The disdain?
I should have played baseball.
I might not be able to pitch a ball more than fifteen feet and turn my head when one’s flying at my face, but sure seems as if I’ve got that whole, Three Strikes Yerrr Out! mentality.
Warren had asked me why it bothers me so much, doing something more than once.
The first part was easy. I’m right there with You and You and You who don’t want to work any harder than you have to.
Right? Who wants things to be hard, unless you’ve got Jillian Michaels in your face hollering “No pain, NO GAIN!”
Then hard is okay, but everything else? Uh-uh.
The second reason I like to make things as easy as possible is because there are so many wonderful activities in this life that I want to do.
Seriously, so many things that would bring me excitement and joy and satisfaction and would just be really, really cool to do.
Like market my burger spice mix that everyone raves about.
And go more places spreading Hope and Courage.
And trying new things like acting and spelunking and mountain climbing and yoga and learning about Buddhism and reading more and renting a bike in some foreign land and just exploring its countryside.
Our time is limited.
I’m not referring to how long we have on earth, though that is also true, I’m simply referencing hours.
People are always saying, Make Time.
We can’t put time in some press that spits it back out like currency, Journeyers.
We have to choose it.
Working smarter means that I can do more of the things that I want to do, things that bring me joy.
On the value of Second Chances
Now, just as much as I loathe doing things more than once, I wholeheartedly believe in Second Chances.
And Third Chances and Fourth…
We are all human, after all.
We God-fearing people would say that we are all sinners and that God forgives us for those trespasses.
And if you’re not a person of faith, you are still a mortal who is learning and growing every single day, and often times that growth is birthed from error.
That said, what is that saying?
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.”
To me, Second Chance implies that we recognize what we did the first time around didn’t suit us or those in our circle.
That, in turn, is cause to try something different.
Trial and error.
The little engine that could.
If at first we don’t succeed, try, try again.
Life itself is an eternity of second chances, what Glennon Melton might call forever tries.
Aside from Death, there is no statute of limitations on how long we are given to work something out.
Yes, there are situations like jobs and conduct and rules that bear limitations, but even when our circumstances change, we still have the opportunity to begin acting in ways that aren’t counter-productive to our well-being.
Does that make sense?
We might screw up and land in jail, but we can choose new behaviors from within those walls.
We might mess up and find that our partner isn’t willing to wade through more chances and wants a divorce, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make Second Chances for ourselves, to act in such a way that will be positive for us and other relationships.
The difference between the logic behind those clichés and Insanity is that the crazy-making-I-want-you-out-of-my-life stuff comes from repeating the same mistakes that make you unhappy, but not attempting to alter the behavior in an attempt to achieve some form of satisfaction.
It’s the complaining about not being able to find tools when you need them and being grumpy because you don’t have what you need, but not building organization time into your day.
It’s saying that you want forgiveness for having an affair and then going out and doing it again.
Healing is an unraveling of a lifetime of conscious and unconscious thought and emotion and beliefs.
This is the Aha Moment I had in the shower this morning.
I was thinking about what I wanted to write about when my conversation with Warren came to mind, the one about not liking to do things twice.
That single word and almost seven years of wails flashed before my eyes.
You’ve had two affairs!
Why did you do this to us again?
Why are we here, again?
Is the universe testing me, again?
Why am I stuck, again, when I’ve already figured this out once?
Have I failed again.
As in, Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me…
Again and Two had a head-on collision in my shower.
And this is the relief that washed over me: Oh, so that’s another part of my lingering frustration. I’ve been mad and resentful that this suffering is being repeated because my spouse chose the same destructive path, twice.
He’d said the first time around that he never wanted to hurt me like that, again, that he hated what he’d done to us.
And yet, he ultimately chose Insanity’s path.
He took us down a Road of Repetition, a path I’ve tried to sidestep by planning and problem solving and being proactive for as long as I can remember.
That simple, yet outrageously significant detail that just had gone unconnected.
Another piece of the grief puzzle and one more answer to my nagging question Why am I still so angry?
Well now, that was easy, wasn’t it?