It is 7:25AM and I wanted to start writing this entry while the thoughts were fresh in my head. I have been up for a while as I got Zack up early so that he could take care of doing all the things he needs to do to get ready for school. It is my constant mantra - "give Zack the responsibility to take care of himself". But in doing that it takes a lot more time. He moves slower and doesn't do things as well as he might if I were constantly bugging him and telling him what to do. But he needs to have the expectations set that he must become an independent teenager without the constant support of his parent.
Without a doubt I sacrifice a lot of my time to ensure that he is doing the things that he needs to do to grow up. It is a very difficult effort at times and I will not deny that it takes a lot of out me. It would be easier in many cases just to do everything myself and let him get away with being lazy. If I were to do that though I would not be a good parent. He needs to take responsibility for himself. Ultimate I sacrifice of myself because I love him. (Please don't read anything into this that I am saying I am a perfect or even a good parent. That is not the point that I am trying to make. The point I am trying to make is that I do what I do for Zack because I love him. Without a doubt I could do a much better job and be a much better parent to Zack, but I simply do the best I can.)
Because of our love for our children we are pretty much willing to do anything for them that helps them grow and become better people. This isn't a statement about just me - this is a statement about parents in general. We make sacrifices of ourselves to give them the opportunities that we didn't have as kids. We work hard to give them the lives that we think they should have. Of course, in today's day and age this often comes back to haunt us when our kids think they are entitled to so much. I have a great example of that regarding Zack. When he was much younger, I used to fly for my work all the time. As a result, United Airlines gave me more first class upgrades than I really knew what to do with. Whenever we would fly as a family, I would usually put Patty and Zack in first/business class and fly in coach. Zack unfortunately got used to that and at times gives he a hassle because we never fly business/first class any more. Oh well Zack! Get used to it, most people never get to fly business/first class even once in their lives!
I am discussing this whole issue to make a point. Though most people would not say it, they are many ways in which they would be better off if they didn't have kids and instead concentrated on their own needs. The one obvious area in which people would not be better off is that they would lose out emotionally and spiritually. Without our children we would be much poorer from an emotional standpoint. Even if we have an extremely difficult time with our children - if they become disabled, have a long-term illness, get in trouble, hardly anyone every gives up on their children. Despite the emotional and mental pain and turmoil we might feel, we still soldier on loving our children like there is no tomorrow. Even with a ton of difficulty that takes years from our lives no one is willing to walk away from their children.
My point in saying this is simple, if we are willing to make those kinds of sacrifices and suffer that kind of pain for our children, why aren't we willing to do the same for other people we love? How many times do you talk to a friend who has gone through a breakup or a divorce and they tell you they had to get out of the relationship because it was too hard on them, or they weren't getting what they needed from the relationship, etc. We can make all these tremendous sacrifices for our children but when we face the same kind of challenges from our spouse or partners it is just OK to ditch the relationship and walk away - even if we love our spouse or partner. Why is there any kind of difference in this equation? We will accept just about anything from our children because we love them but we don't have the same kind of tolerance for our partners. I realize not all people love their spouses/partners and I guess that can make a huge difference in the equation.
Now that I have made that point I can get to the bottom of that for which I am really aiming. Yeah - for my long term readers you probably know where this is going. The point goes back to the relationship that I had with Shelly. It wasn't an easy relationship. I wasn't all Shelly's fault nor was it all my fault. (OK - I did really fuck up by dating Shelly and Carrie at the same time. That was totally my fault - Shelly didn't deserve that and I was pretty much a shithead about that.) Regardless of whether it was easy or not, I did love Shelly immensely. The turmoil that I went through as a result of the relationship was well worth it because of the amount of emotional satisfaction that I got from it. And yet despite that intense emotional satisfaction I received lots of advice I needed to get out of the relationship because of the turmoil. That is like telling me that I need to walk away from Zack because he causes me a lot of emotional turmoil. (Let me tell you Zack does cause me an immense amount of emotional turmoil. I am quite sure that his anxiety and OCD complexes have taken years off of my life.)
Maybe loving Shelly wasn't/isn't easy. But I am sure loving me isn't easy either. Because of where I have been in life I bring a lot of baggage to the table. With all that baggage there is no way it easy to love me. Regardless of all that, I think it is worth it to love Shelly and to be involved in her life. The rewards that she brought to me in terms of so many different aspects of our relationship are/were well worth the difficulties. I obviously can't make the same statement for Shelly as I don't know exactly what she thought. When times were good between us, I do believe she received significant emotional fulfillment from me. Maybe things weren't perfect but in some way, some manner we both received a lot of fulfillment in many different ways from our relationship. Additionally, I don't think we were programmed towards conflict. I believe much of the conflict resulted from the baggage we both brought to the relationship and general circumstances of stress that we both found ourselves under during our relationship.
Though I have no clue whether or not we will ever be together again, I am determined to keep working on those things that will make it easier for Shelly to love me - by taking away more and more of the baggage from the past. The funny thing is, as I work to eliminate that baggage, I realize how much easier it makes my life in general. For example, I have talked about purging myself of large amounts of my possessions that I just don't need or even understand why I have at this point. That makes my life easier because it makes cleaning my house simpler, it makes the place look much more organized and well kept and in general it takes the burden of those possessions off of my back. In the end run I am sure it would make it easier for Shelly or for anyone for that matter to be in my life because I am not weighed down by all this stuff from the past.
Why am I even discussing this point at this time? Because I can't get any of it out of my system. The harder I try to get her out of my system the more I realize that my thoughts and love for Shelly aren't going to depart my mind and my soul. The realization has dawned on me that despite the turmoil of our relationship, it was so worth it to me. There are plenty of people out there that I can date and it is not hard for me to get a date, but that isn't what I want - as I won't get anywhere near the same level of happiness and satisfaction from another relationship. The fact comes down to it that in my heart I really want to be with Shelly. I am not a believer in the whole concept of "soulmates" or anything like that. However I do believe there is a very small and select group of people in this world with whom you are compatible and can develop a relationship that can last a lifetime. Shelly is one of those very few people for me. As hard as I have tried over the last 2 months to kill off the thoughts of her and satisfaction that she gave my soul, I just can't do it. It runs counter to all the advice I have been given by friends and psychologists, but I know for me Shelly is the right thing.
What does all this mean? It means that I am going to be happy and content with being by myself and having Zack and friends to be with. My heart and my mind belong to Shelly. She may not want me now or at any time in the future, but I am going to give it plenty of time. There is the saying that "love will always find a way" and I believe in that. Perhaps to re-build a relationship with Shelly we both have to totally let go and then at some point in the future we will find our way back to each other. That's what I am going to believe and that is how I am going to act. There is a ton of other things that I can do to keep myself busy. For once in my life I can go without the instantaneous gratification of rushing back into a relationship. I've found what I want and it is Shelly and I can wait until fate, destiny or one of us pulls us back together. And yes - I do realize that it may never happen, but I have hope. And my hope entails me thinking that there is love for me in Shelly's heart.
The reality of the situation is so very different than what my heart feels. The reality is that it has been over two months since I have even seen or talked to Shelly. Our break up was pretty dramatic and doesn't reflect well on either of us. I have no idea where in life she has gone. For all I know she might have a new long term boyfriend. I suspect that she has moved from the southeast metro area because when we fought she always told me that she was going to move away and start a new life far from me. I can only assume she made good on that statement as I believe her lease was up at the end of the year. The bottom line is that there is currently no links between us at all. There isn't any hope or plan for us to reunite. There is only the separation between us. Maybe someday I will get the courage to call her or she will call me. Or maybe we will each be out and about at the mall or a restaurant and run into each other. Those are all maybes and there isn't anything certain about any of this situations. But my heart won't let me give up all hope. As I have always said "as long as there is life in this world, there is always hope". So I will keep the flame for Shelly burning in the deepest recesses of my heart as I know "love will find a way".
I will keep the faith and I will continue to write about my feelings for Shelly in this blog every so often. Since my back is still messed up I don't have much to write about so I will take the time every other week or so, to write about what I am feeling and thinking along these lines. Perhaps Shelly will actually read this blog someday or perhaps someone she knows will read it and tell her what I am thinking. Maybe someday she will see that we could build a relationship free from conflict that would provide us both with what we need.
To be continued.....
There isn't a lot to be said for the day. I had to take Nancy to the doctor's today. Though Cranbrook offers rides to resident's doctors offices it is sometimes hard to schedule the van, so it is usually easier if I just take her. The appointment was just a follow up to her ER visit on December 30th.
Today was the first day I would have been in India. I am trying to stay on top of all that is occurring there and I am working with my counterparts there to develop a detailed process improvement plan for the year. On top of that I am attempting to really get my hands around the entire healthcare claims and new membership processes. These are the areas in which we will get the biggest productivity bang for the buck and will lead to the greatest business process improvements this calendar year.
We have several days worth of leftovers in the fridge from last week and this weekend, so I am not going to have to cook that much this week. Though tomorrow I am taking a the remains of a turkey I made last week and making a big vat of turkey and rice soup. I'll cook the carcass to make a really good turkey stock and then use the remaining meat I have to cook a hearty and tasty soup. That will definitely keep us fed for most of the week.
Well - that's about it for the evening. If you have made it to this part of the blog entry all I can say is thanks for reading all my ramblings!
Thanks and peace to all! ~J.