Sometimes progress is measured in small pieces. They say that those who don’t know their history are doomed to repeat it but I sometimes wish that I didn’t so obsessively remember my own. One of my bad habits is my tendency to beat myself up over mistakes I’ve made, long after I should have moved on. As far as bad habits go this is worse than my habit singing street signs but probably better than if I kicked babies but it’s a problem just the same because if I’m always worried about yesterday I can’t focus on the present. My dad calls this “Thinking too long” and says “when you think long you think wrong” and he’s right. My wife says I should go easy on myself sometimes because this harsh self assessment is the leading cause of me doing stupid things.
I’m working on it but here is a partial list of things I still feel bad about doing:
Breaking Craig’s nose for cheating at kickball.
Calling that girl a fatty fat fatty.
Telling my brother that our mom died.
These are shitty things to do but they all happened in 1985 and I’ve got years woth of lists like this in my head, it’s probably ok to let them go but I haven’t. Actually the last one while mean was pretty funny, you should have seen the look on his face when I told him…
“Hey while you were at school mom got into a car accident and died…we waited till you got home so you wouldn’t miss the homework assignment”
Mom is still alive and he did his homework so in retrospect I’m not sorry about that last one, but the first two have bothered me for years. You know what else has bothered me? November 13th. That day has bothered me for years and not just because it’s the day Felix Unger was asked to leave his place of residence (that request came from his wife). Something significant once happened on that day with someone I dated once (I wrote about it years ago here) and whenever that day passed I’d feel bad. Now, I haven’t felt bad over the relationship being over, that was bound to happen, I just kicked myself because I felt like I made the situation worse than it needed to have been. So, every November 13th I’d tell myself “I fucked that whole thing up” at least I used to…you see, November 13th was two days ago and I never thought of it once. It wasn’t until yesterday when Nina and I were having dinner that I realized that a day that used to lay me low had passed without notice. Maybe it’s just because I’m happier now and just maybe I’ve gotten just a little bit smarter. Whatever the reason I was able to turn off my own self doubt, look at my hot WGA striking wife and really just appreciate the moment. It’s a small bit of progress, but I’ll take it.