E is for Excuses

“Your will has to be stronger than your excuses. Your will has to be stronger than your fear.”
― Bryant McGill, Simple Reminders: Inspiration for Living Your Best Life

Excuses, excuses, excuses. Yes, I have plenty of them.

My excuses for not writing are endless. I’m going through a letting go process right now and it hurts like hell. I’ve spent the last several months sorting through years’ worth of stuff (I’m hesitant to say “junk” because not all of it is or was) as I prepared for a garage sale and putting up my house for sale. Talk about stress. I reread old journals, short stories, and love letters I either wrote or received before tossing into the trash. I cried as I uncovered my children’s old toys and baby clothes, pining for the time when they were little and I was young. When I told a friend how I missed the days when my girls were babies she laughed and said, “Hell, I don’t. I’m ready for my kids to graduate from college and start supporting themselves.”

The garage sale is over and the house sold before it ever went on the market. So, what’s my excuse now? I’m packing and preparing for the big move. Even before all this, I had been feeling stuck in a rut, questioning my abilities, my purpose. Now fear and guilt lurk over my shoulder whenever I allow my mind to wander. What if I’m making a mistake moving now? I’ve lived in the same house for 25 years, filled it with love and memories. I’m only blocks away from my aging parents. I can be at their house in less than five minutes if they should need me. My sister resides in the same town so they won’t be alone, but still . . . Three years ago, when my husband and I made the decision to move once he retired, my parents were doing fine. Now their health is declining and I’m filled with guilt. Lyrics pop into my head and haunt me while I sleep: “Should I stay or should I go?”

But now there is no turning back.

With these thoughts swirling around my brain is it any wonder I have trouble concentrating and thinking about what to write? Which leads to my excuses for continuing to smoke.

I’ve quit smoking so many times I’ve lost count. I quit for two years when pregnant with my oldest daughter. Back then, my excuse for starting back was my divorce from her father. The longest I’ve stopped was six years, before and after my pregnancy with my youngest daughter. Why I ever started again is beyond me. I have no good excuse. I quit recently for two months but a mini-breakdown drove me to the store to buy a pack and puff away. My daughters have a saying, “Mom doesn’t quit smoking. She just takes breaks.”

I have excuses for pretty much everything in my life. I guess we all do. At least these excuses led to me writing today.

There is always a perfectly good excuse, always a reason not to. The hardest freedom to win is the freedom from one’s excuses. ~Robert Brault

“The trick is not how much pain you feel-but how much joy you feel. Any idiot can feel pain.
Life is full of excuses to feel pain, excuses not to live, excuses, excuses, excuses.” Erica Jong

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2 Comments

Filed under Random Thoughts

2 responses to “E is for Excuses

  1. I understand all your emotions little sister. When I sold everything I owned to make this move to Kauai, people asked, “How could we do it? Was it was liberating?” In a sense it was liberating. I confronted the same issues of guilt, not only leaving the mainland and relatively easy access to our parents, but leaving behind grandchildren. The central theme is how could you do this to us? The answer is simple, “I have a life too.” I still have dreams of accomplishing many things in the days and hopefully years ahead. You cannot put off dreams or they never become reality.

    You once told me only you are responsible for your own happiness. That is a true as it ever was. So hold on to the best memories and remove all others. Be liberated and get busy living. Writing here and then replying is a great form of therapy.

    • How right you are. It would all be so much easier if everyone was on board with our decisions. It would also make it easier if I wasn’t always questioning my decisions. I’ve always been a little wishy washy. Change is inevitable. I just need to learn to adapt. Thanks for commenting. Hope all is well with you and your family. We miss you.

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