Things change. Change, is at time hard. But hard or easy, change is, in the long run, good.
Right now, it's hard to see the good. A friend of some 20 years, is becoming part of my past. It's sad.
But, I have a future. He doesn't. He is all about the past: his hard luck childhood, the terrible treatment he received from his adoptive parents (side note: these same adoptive parents who paid 100% of both his undergraduate and 100% of his graduate schooling), the terrible treatment he received from his graduate adviser, and the terrible references they provided. He goes on to complain about his failed career, and life long difficulties. All these problems caused by other. He is blameless about all of it. Life happened to him. He didn't have any control. Everything bad in his life is someone else's fault, and everything is his life has been bad.
His life of woes is not over—He has been taken advantage of by his stock broker, and the real estate broker, and by many doctors. All these people, all these experiences, and always, he was wronged. He KNOWS. A week ago, in desperation, I reminded him: The past is gone, its done, I can't be change. All you can do is change the future. He reply: Nothing is going to change in the future.
He is right, of course. One you decide things can't be changed—you set your self up in a trap—One where you have no part in changing the future.
Consistently, he is right, and every one else is wrong. His whole life is one of others ruining things for him. I have joined the group that is wrong, that is trying to ruin his life, and left him to be right. He is slightly mystified by my break with him. After all, he has been a perfect companion and never done anything wrong. (and as I re-read this, I see, clearly my mistakes in our friendship)
Nancy—a wonderful woman in my life, reminds me: Very often, in life we have to make choices. We can chose to be right, or we can chose to be happy.
I can be right: my parents often failed to met my needs. Or I can be happy: my parents did their very best. (The truth lies in the middle, Yes, they often failed to meet my needs, and yes, they did their very best.) I can chose to focus on their failures and how they ruined my life, or I can chose to focus on how they did their best (even if they did at time fail) and how blessed I was to have them.
I can't change the past—but I can change how I think about it. And how often I think about it. I can constantly revisit the past, and catalog the things that went wrong, or I can look forward—and having learned from my mistakes, live in a better future.
My life is far from perfect, and my problems, are-- if not entirely my own fault—problems that I have contributed to. I WANT to be RIGHT. But I have been, slowly but surely, learning to happy. To make the choice to forgive, and if not always forget, to at least move on.
I have learned more than ever, to be thankful for all the good that has come into my life. I have been inconsistent in my gratitude—(I fail.) But more and more, I realize how blessed my life has been. It's not always been easy—being blessed doesn't make all of life's problems go away, it just makes it easier to deal with them. I still am learning.
I've done a little bit of knitting while mulling over this change in my life. I have spend more time escaping a bit—2 new books to read (and more to come!). I know that for me-- learning (not just life lessons, but stuff) is one way to deal with change –especially change I don't especially like. It doesn't have to be on topic knowledge—any topic will do.
So this week I have been reading (and rereading) my new books.(and thinking about adding others to my new Nook library)
The first book is Napoleons Button's, (Penny le Couteur & Jay Burrson) —It's more chemistry heavy than I realized—but not so much so that any one with a HS education in Science couldn't deal with. That's all I have (well-- I have pursued some chemistry on my own—learning a good deal of organic chemistry from Isaac Asimov (The World of Carbon and The World of Nitrogen)--and some more basic chemistry from Oliver Sack's (Uncle Tungsten) and others along the way. My knowledge of chemistry is shallow but it still growing and getting deeper—all the time. (Or maybe it isn't, and it's just I have been able to keep fresh what I learned in HS all those years ago!)
The second book—The History of World in 6 Glasses (Tom Standage)--is for the most part much more lighthearted. (but together, the 2 books work very well!). There is some overlap of information; sugars, starches and alcohol, and organic chemicals (Caffeine! Cocaine!) --presented from different perspectives.
And that's what I need: A different perspective.
Next week, I will have another book—I just bought Principles of Knitting. I don't know how many facts this book will teach me (not many, I suspect)--but I think it will be good for teaching me different perspectives—And that's important to me right now.
I have been sewing (still!) Come Sunday knitting, I have a new skirt to wear!