Saturday, April 9, 2011

A bittersweet view of life

I have a few really bad habits. OK, more than a few - but tonight I'm focusing on one for which I should probably seek counselling. 

If I'm feeling particularly blessed, if something is going especially well, I start to feel guilty that others cannot enjoy it, too.

This one I don't know how to fix. Tonight, I was having the most marvelous dinner with my mum. Bill is away so we were left to our own devices. We grilled a couple of burgers, steamed some corn, opened up a bottle of Chianti and sat outside to watch the sun set. The air was soft and warm, the sunset was glorious, the temperature was perfect and I was with the sweetest woman in the world - my mum. I knew that I would remember this brief but lovely moment in time. However, rather than bask in the splendor that was before me,  I (a) missed my kids and (b) thought about the Japanese whose lives were turned upside down, focused on the Libyans, and the Syrians, and the Egyptians... you get the picture. All this, while simultaneously trying to turn my attention back to the "moment". Unfortunately, I kept wrestling with my anxieties regarding the present state of the world.

It's a constant theme with me: why am I so lucky while others are so unfortunate?  And, as I found out tonight, it is an issue with my mother. Maybe it's encoded in our DNA, but it seems we can never truly enjoy something without feeling some remorse.

I'm attaching a picture of the dinner we prepared for the evening so you can get some idea of  its idyllic nature.

If anyone has any advice, I will gladly take it. I know Bill will have words of wisdom - he always does - but tonight he is not home to reassure me. Although, usually his reassurance takes the form of : "Let me make you a nice dinner - and I'll pick out a nice bottle of wine". Tonight, without him, that tactic is not working.

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