Archive for August 28th, 2007

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An imperfect life

August 28, 2007

This is a post that I’ve started in one form or another many times. In trying to write about it yesterday, I realized that I don’t really know how to write about my life with authenticity the way I can write about someone else’s. Maybe the truth is that I can’t really write about someone else’s life either — it just sounds more convincing when it’s about someone else.

There’s an objectivity that comes with space, even though, in the end it’s still just my perception. I don’t have that space with myself. And I’m aware of it, sometimes painfully aware.

In trying to think through how to be more real with you, I have come up with the following, which is hopefully less laborious than some of the tripe I’ve been saving as drafts.

I’d like to start out by listing some of the things I am most grateful for. They include:

My imperfect relationship with Jon
My wonderful and imperfect children
My children’s health
The fact that my kids are bright enough and sensitive enough to make it in this world
Our home
My job
Family members who are supportive and loving
Extended family and friends who add joy

That’s the short list.

If I were to add to it, I would add: my health, Jon’s health, the ability to see, hear and feel this incredible world. Music. Laughter. Being able to read. Connection in its many forms. Smokey.

But then there’s the list of things I would change. The “I Wish” list. The “I Want” list. I’m of the understanding that one of the primary beliefs of Buddhism is that life is filled with suffering and that the root of suffering is desire. Take out the desire, and suffering goes with it.

In some ways I feel like I should stop wanting these things. In some ways I feel like working to make these things happen is necessary. I’m still working my way through it — especially the big ones.

But today, here they are. My wish list:

I wish I knew that when my kids were with their other parents that they were safe.

Hmmmm. Wish Number Two.

Hmmmmm.

Hmmmmmmmmm.

Actually, I guess that’s about it.

Seriously. I’m sitting here staring at the computer screen, and if I knew in my heart that my kids were safe and cared for, I think I wouldn’t ask for much more.

Oh, maybe that Jon would be a little more perfect.

Or that I would be a little more perfect.

Or that I didn’t have to deal with LJ’s mom’s temper.

Or that my parents and I got along better.

Or that maybe, just once, my ex would write a check for his half of our daughter’s health insurance the way he’s supposed to.

But you know what?

Nothing really compares to the first want. And I don’t know how to make that wanting go away. I’m not sure that it should. In fact, I’m pretty sure that it shouldn’t.

Finding that balance between what to fight for, what to get a new perspective on and what to let go. That’s the trick. Honestly, I’m still trying to figure that one out and probably will be working on it for quite some time.

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