What a Waste

I had a totally different topic that I was going to write about today…but something else is bothering me, so ….

The son of a friend of  ours-really my SO’s- came to stay with us.  From the UK.  The parents are very old friends of my SO and he has spent a lot of time with them where they live in the country.  They go back “donkey’s years” as they say…Anyway, they have a son-32 years old- who still lives at home and is around whenever we’re there.  But the interaction is fairly minimal as he’s doing stuff-whatever that is.  Doesn’t really work.  He was in a band for a time and traveled around a bit with that in Europe-but nothing ever came of it.  So he really doesn’t work other than doing things around the property for money.  Kind of like when I was a kid and I had to earn my allowance.  Which stopped when I was about 15 and got a part time job after school..Which this guy has never done. And just to be clear-and set the picture, his parents are not wealthy, landed gentry.  Well, they do have some land-but they are not wealthy.  He is not a “trust fund” child.

Anyway, when he called or e-mailed my SO to say he was going to be here in Austin for a week and would like to stay with us-we said fine.  Almost immediately, I suggested to my SO that it might be an nice idea to treat him to a hotel one night in the downtown, music part of town. When we realized that the second night he would be here we were committed to “Ashram sitting,” which is another blog post, and would be out of town ourselves, we thought that the perfect night.  So we arranged it.  We also offered him my old, beat up van to use while he was here as well as asking questions about what he would like to do. To be honest, my thought was that he really wouldn’t want to be with us at all and would love the freedom a vehicle would give him, etc.  But, no he said.  He didn’t want to use the van. So, my SO left me in Brenham, Texas at the Temple of Compassion taking care of the 2 sacred Brahma Cows and came back to Austin to pick him up from the airport and spend the night.  The next morning, he took him on a tour of Austin and checked him into the hotel that we’d booked.  My SO then returned to me and the cows.

So, to make a long story not so long, the guy wasn’t at home when we came back.  My SO went and picked him up and brought him back-where he ate some leftover pizza he had and then crashed out.  I’m not sure exactly what happened that night, but I can guess that a ton of alcohol was involved… Fine.  Now my SO and I are not into going out-driving downtown, etc.  Trust me, I have done that a zillion times and I just can’t be bothered.. The most we ever do is take people to a place called The Continental Club-which is iconic-for the 6:00 show..Anyway, earlier in the day on Saturday, he said he wasn’t going to go out.  Was just going to sit by the pool or hang in the back yard.  Which he did. Drank 8 beers and smoked a ton of cigarettes.  All before 6.  Then he decided he would go out.  My SO said he’d run him where he wanted to go and he could get an Uber back.  Sunday morning around 11, I was just trying to figure out how to check the previous evening’s arrest records when he called and said he was on the way back-some guy he’d met the night before was bringing him.. While he didn’t say so, I’m sure he was hungover..the shaking gave it away.. He had some toast and juice to hold him over til we had our usual Sunday lunch.  Then he took a nap…passed out is what I would say.

We didn’t see much of him that evening and he didn’t want to go out the following evenings. Just sat outside and drank and smoked.  On Tuesday, he decided to sit by the pool in the morning and had 7 beers by 2:00 p.m. Then took a “power nap” as he called it.  I call it passing out.

He’s gone now.  Left yesterday to drive to El Paso (God knows why!) before going on to California for a couple of weeks and then back to the UK.  The thing is though, I have had some major buttons pushed and am not exactly sure which ones.  I never once wished I was drinking.  And I don’t give a flying f*** if someone else does.  And, as I watched him sitting on the patio, drinking, smoking and listening to music, I couldn’t help but think about how I did that every night for, well, donkey’s years.  So what’s bothering me?  I will say, that his interaction with us was very minimal. He never seemed drunk.  He was always polite.  Said “thank you” and “that was lovely”.  But I couldn’t help but feel that those were canned responses-the kind he uses to appease his mother.  Of course when I was drinking a bottle of wine on the balcony every night-it was after working a full day.  Being productive.  After having gone to the gym and working out.  Walking the dog.

Which brings me to the question of, is there really any difference?  Is there any difference between someone who’s pretty lazy and spoiled and abuses alcohol and God knows what else-and someone who puts in their shift and more.  Someone who still gets the laundry done, the shopping done, dinner on the table, earns a paycheck? Does that make that person a “better” abuser of alcohol?  More deserving? There’s a part of me that feels that he is lost.  He’s in some kind of pain-on a “soul-u-lar” level.  As is everyone that abuses.  I don’t know-I wanted to put a list in his suitcase that went something like:                1)Move out of your parents house  2)Move out of that podunk town 3)get a job-any job-earn your own money 4)interact with different people… Shit like that.  Although as I’m going over this list here, it occurs to me that I never thought about telling him to quit drinking.  Huh! I don’t know.

Don’t know why I can’t just say to myself, “he’s gone..” and just forget about it.  Something about his energy-or was it the energy of a person in that state that is upsetting to me?  I will say my SO even picked up on it.. I thought I smelled something burning yesterday and when I mentioned it, my SO said he’d lit some incense to cleanse the energy-smudge the space!!! Of course after that, he’s just moved on-and I can guarantee you he hasn’t spent any time analyzing the whole thing. My SO I mean.  But in my case, this feeling of dis-ease is lingering.  I know in time, it will pass.  As I write this, what has occurred to me are the words “what a waste”.  And, maybe that’s it.  You know, I try to not be a would’ve, should’ve, could’ve kind of person.  I also try not to dwell too much on  the cringeworthy things in my past.  I don’t like to think about the drugs I took or the moments I was extremely drunk in a public place.  I also don’t lay a guilt trip on myself about it all.  But seeing it play out in front of my eyes-and I want to be clear-this guy wasn’t acting like this because “he was on vacation”.  No.  This is his life.  He’s 32.  I’ll be 62 in a few weeks.  Less time in front of me than behind me.  And while I had a long drinking career, I’ve also lived a life.  Had a career.  Traveled.  Met a ton of people. Grew in many ways.  Could I have grown more and maybe been more successful if I had been sober the whole time? Maybe..Probably.. Who knows?  I’m not going to beat myself up with those questions. I also came into this world with some drive.  Some desire to accomplish.. I’m a worker.  Just am.  It’s in me.  I realize it’s not in everyone.  But being a witness to this guy’s behavior was very upsetting to me.  Because, as far as I can see, it’s a waste.  It’s sad.  Don’t let that be you.

With love

 

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Unmet Expectations

We all have them.  I certainly do.  Some are realistic-some not. To be honest, I don’t know where half of mine come from! My expectations that is. We are inundated with so much stuff from almost day one of our lives. As a child- and a girl child- it was “read” into me to expect a Prince Charming to sweep me off my feet one day-offering me a glass slipper and a carriage ride into a fairytale life. I started to believe and expect that for every bad situation, the would be a Glenda- the good witch of the East- to rescue me and send me back to safety with 3 clicks of my heels. Again, fancy shoes were involved! This time the Ruby Slippers. You know as I’m writing this, it’s occurring to me that shoes have played a big part in fairy tales- all the way from Cinderella up to recently, Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City! But I’m getting away from the subject here- or am I? Maybe having fancy shoes or not- does come into play here. It does for me! My feet are so messed up from working on them for so long that shoes are a big problem for me . To be honest, I’d rather shop for a swim suit- and that is not because I like how I look in one! So yes, I do have an unmet expectation in regards to shoes. I never imagined that they would be such a problem for me.

There’s both unmet and unrealistic expectations.  Sometimes they merge and become one in the same. We are so brainwashed into how we should be- eat a certain way, weigh a certain weight, workout this way or that. Meditate this way- do one kind of yoga over another. It’s trickled down into every aspect of our lives- my life. I find myself wondering just how I would be without so much outside influence. Wondering if at times I might not feel so let down if I could just know at my core what is the best way for me to be. So many ideas can sound so good when I read them in an article- but then in reality, they don’t really fit into my life. They don’t fit with who I am. And that’s where a lot of the problems start. At least in my case. Because what’s happened is that I’ve bought into some kind of “way of being” and instead of realizing that it’s not me and go on from there, I feel like something’s wrong with me. I’ve let myself down. I haven’t met up to my own expectations of myself. I’m just not good enough. Of course I realize this could be a never ending cycle. Because it’s possible and in my case probable, that I will always find some other expectations to have and not come to fruition.

And then of course, there’s the other people in our lives- what about when they don’t meet our expectations? How realistic are the expectations that we’ve placed on them? I know in my case one of my major, recurring issues is that I sometimes give people too much credit. I have had this come up mainly in work situations. Giving someone too much credit . Then they don’t meet my expectations. Then there’s problems.  I had this problem in my marriage- thinking my ex and I were on the same page and then being extremely disappointed to find out differently. I will say, that as far as my relationship with my SO now, I don’t have this problem. At least not in the sense that I’ve received mixed messages from him only to be disappointed. Nope, not from him. The only times I’m disappointed is when I’ve concocted something in my head and it’s just not so.

Of course there’s the saying that goes something like “if you don’t have any expectations, you won’t be disappointed “ but that is so hard to do in this world we live in- there’s so much on social media- so many magazine covers screaming out about a new way to be- so many strangers surrounding us that look so perfect-  Last night I got hooked into watching an infomercial on some skincare line. Those sales people are sooooo good! I decided to Google reviews for the product. While it didn’t have a horribly negative rating, it didn’t exactly have a positive one.  If I had bought it, I’d have one more unmet expectation.

I think another aspect of unmet expectations is that often that they then become a way for us to beat ourselves up.  I’ve had too many “day ones” or “I have no willpower” or whatever it is.  That way of thinking can eat us up. I’ve seen people who are so full of resentment and bitterness over their unmet expectations- whether of themselves or in regards to another person- that it just takes over their lives. Like a parent who can’t accept that their son is gay.  Or a Jewish father that won’t accept his non-Jewish son-in-law. The list can go on and on. It’s poison. It’s a waste of time and energy.

So here’s what I’m going to TRY to do. I’m going to try and be more conscious of my decisions- try to be clearer in my thinking. I’m going to try to remember to question what exactly my expectations are in a situation. When- because it will happen- I find myself having unmet expectations, I am going to try and react differently than I have in the past. I will question myself as to why I’m disappointed. I will try to let it go as soon as I can.  I will also remind myself that there’s a reason- in some cases, maybe I’m just not meant to do something- it’s not me.  Or maybe something better is coming in place of it.

Our lives are so short. We have so much going on in them- so many experiences and choices. In our quest to better ourselves, it seems like there’s a fine line between lovingly accepting who we are and building our lives around that truth and setting ourselves up for disappointment in the form of unmet expectations.  Life is fluid. It’s always shifting and changing. We should try to do that too!

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With Love