Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Tossed Overboard

It's an interesting expression, "Tossed overboard." Comes from the time when travel by ship was extremely perilous. When a ship floundered, anything that could be thrown over the side to keep the ship from going down, well, over it went. Provisions. Ammunition. Tools. Clothes. Food. Chickens. Ship's Cat. Livestock. Anchors cut loose. Whatever could be tossed, before Humans, went into the drink. Thrown Overboard. To stay afloat. To stay alive.

Have you ever been tossed over by a boyfriend/girlfriend? I have. It sucks. Mike Stakwick was the one who did it to me. (No need to say it, I know, another Michael...) He jettisoned me to get to one of my close friends, Sharon Hughes. I was bewildered and heart broken. How could he do that? We'd just started dating. He was really cute and funny. But, I guess Sharon with her long blond hair and even longer legs was simply too alluring to pass up. So, over I went. Glub. Glub.

And, the direct hit to our relationship, I mean Sharon and me, well that left a huge hole in things. I couldn't help but think, "Damn! You knew how much I liked that guy! What the hell? Why didn't you say, 'no' instead of being part of the pain for me? What sort of friend are you, anyway?" I'd think differently now, though...I wouldn't blame her. It is what it is.

One of my other friends, Dawn, did what a lot of young people do. They rush to your defense and champion your cause. They defend you on the field of honor. Dawn was as close to a Valkyrie as I'm likely to meet. She was tall, muscular, blond, angular. And, very Nordic in every way. She went nose to nose with Mike demanding, "Why would you do that to Holly? She really cares about you and is really hurt! Don't you feel crappy for doing that to a nice person like her?"

Honest answer from Mike, "Well, yeah, I do. But, what do you want me to say? I didn't mean to hurt her. I'm sorry I hurt her, but I don't want to date her anymore."

What do you say to that? Other than, "Ass..."

Is it wrong what he did? I don't think so. At least, not now. I think that we have the reasonable right to reach for what we want. Go for it. I think that twinge you feel when you let go of one thing while reaching for another, is that moment of consideration. It's the split second where you can wonder about what you're about to do. Weigh the consequences as it were.

It's not that you won't have those twinges of remorse about how your choices may impact others. You simply have to be honest and admit that you hurt someone. Apologize when you can. You have to own your choices. But, you shouldn't regret that you made a choice. Or take a risk. We toss things out of our lives regularly as we reach for something new. Relationships not the least of what we let go.

Life is about living and learning. Even the mistakes. Especially the mis-steps. But, it isn't about regret. Especially if you understand that every choice you make is a learning experience. Do you live your life so that at your last moments you can honestly say, "I leave here with a lot of living and as few regrets as possible,"? If you don't, start today with the choices you make.

I'm not certain what started me thinking about this...I think it may be a chat I had with Melissa. She was telling me that her mother got totally emotional and cried when she told her that they put Dash down last week. Beth had an emotional melt down. Which made Melissa a bit disconcerted. I asked why. "Well, I just don't understand what's going on in her brain. I mean, this is a woman who refused to ever allow me to have a dog. Very anti-animal. And, now she's crying over a dog she only met twice?! What's up with that?"

It does sound odd, doesn't it? What I didn't say was that I suspect that she isn't crying about the dog. Certainly she'd respond to it as being sad for Melissa. After all, she is her Mom. No. That's not what Beth's crying over. What she's crying over are her decisions as they relate to moving on with her own life, which means she's now pretty much out of sync with her children's lives. She's crying because she didn't know about Dash until after the fact. She was emotional because it points out that she's no longer in real relationship with her daughter.

I'm not blaming Beth. I fully believe that she has a right to live her life as she feels she should live it. If that means that she's moved on in a different direction, that's what it takes. But, she has to have moments when she wonders if she has done the right thing by tossing her entire former life over the side. Couldn't she have salvaged parts of it? She has to experience twinges of regret that her new life means that she doesn't have a closer tie to her children. How do I know? Because, just like me, she's a Human Being doing the best she knows how on any given day.
A Human Being faced with complicated choices.

I have them. Those 'what ifs.' Those, 'oh man, I should of handled that betters.' The, 'I didn't mean to hurt yous.' We all do. They're good things. They keep us honest. They can keep us humble. They make us Human. But, I don't have regrets.

Neither should you. Accept that you do the best you know how to do under the circumstances. Learn from each experience. Try to live life so that at its conclusion you can admit, "I'd do it all over again. Just the way I did it. It was a glorious ride!"

Be grateful to the things that you tossed overboard. They're the things that have kept you afloat. Honor them by moving forward. Oh, and if you're curious, turned out that Sharon tossed Mike overboard for a guy who had way more money. I guess what goes around does come around; sometimes you're the tosser and sometimes you're the tossee. Anyone know if that's even a word?

Namaste' Till Next Time,


Toni said...

Holly -- I've given you an award and tagged you -- go check my blog. [Miss Veronica will have to show you how to put the award on your sidebar if that's what you want to do with it!]

Will be back later to read your post; I'm at work and need to stop fooling around!

Karen said...

Wow, so insightful!I was thinking about the same thing today, only it wasn't nearly as organized in my head.

Opie said...

How many Mike's is that? I think you're a Mike-a-holic, is there a meeting you can go to for that? (and by the way, tossee is not a word)

Erin said...

for someone whom i dont see every day anymore, you sure are reading my mind! i have a pair of friends (couple) that should read this...too applicable to their current pains. thanks!

MelissaS said...

Who cares if tossee isnt in the dictionary? I believe that in your own blog, if you need a word that doesnt exist, you make it up. And really, sometimes "made up" words are much more fun!

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