I have 1.5 days left in the old job. My colleagues are actually being quite nice. It looks like I'll be able to purchase my computer, which is a good thing as my ancient Mac (purchased from my last job 4 years ago!) died a few months ago. So this way I'll get a personal laptop, and can have a bit to decide about computers for the new position.
I'm a little nervous about Monday. I think I've mentioned this is a start up, so there is literally nothing. No office, no structure, no phone number, no accounting system, no nothing. So, um, what do I do on the first day? I think I call the Board chair and start figuring out expectations, and also set up calls/meetings with other board members. I might actually think about a trip the second week, to meet with the primary funder - all in all, it's a big, daunting project.
Today I had a counseling session, and then we did a joint one. I think I'm still flummoxed by the switch flipping. My husband truly acts almost as if the fall didn't happen, that we're just getting a fresh start. Which I guess is how you have to act, but I have trouble believing it.
We spent most of the session talking about normal things - well, as normal as you can expect given his family issues. It was at the end that we talked about New Year's Eve. A friend of mine volunteered to babysit for us, and we took advantage and went to dinner with another couple friend. It was hard sitting across the table from them - he kept his arm around his wife nearly the entire time, they were affectionate and so clearly had a solid base of love and support for each other. The woman is a friend of my husband's, and so we knew they actually had a hard holiday season - she wasn't happy with their holiday plans, and she said several times she spent the holiday baking and eating cookies alone. The husband had - without first checking with his wife - agreed to help some friends with a complicated construction project. So he spent most of the time off away, doing his own thing, leaving his wife alone. My husband said he had also noticed how tight their bond seemed to be at dinner, but also thought, what do we know, for all we know they went home and had a huge fight. Which is possibly true. You never really do know what is going on between two people. But still, that night I wanted what they seemed to have.
The counselor reminded us that it was a miracle we had been together to go out at all on NYE, and that's true. It did lead to me saying I had spent most of my 20s insisting I wanted to lead a life of no regrets. I never wanted to look back and say I regretted my choices or any aspect of my life. Maybe that's unreasonable? Does everyone have regrets? Big regrets?
Even with my daughter as part of the mix, right now, I really regret marrying my husband. I wish we had broken up when we were dating. At this point in my life, I really do regret our entire relationship. In my alternate universe, I would have married someone else with whom I shared more core values. We'd have lived a more adventurous life, and we'd have 3 kids. Not quite sure how the adventurous life would match with earlier procreation, but hey, it's my fantasy alternate life.
Our counselor told us about a story in this week's New York Times, The New Year's Cocktail: Regret With a Dash of Bitters. The subhead is: Ruminating on paths not taken is an emotionally corrosive exercise and the common wisdom about regret appears to be true. I need to read this a couple of times.
Our joint counselor is a cognitive behaviorist. So she's big on us moving forward, putting regrets aside, changing behaviors, getting better. Usually I'd be that way too. My own counselor, though, said it best - it's too soon for me. It's OK that I'm not not quite ready to forgive and forget, just move on, after I was dealt such a blow. My husband kicked me when I was down. Hard. And it's going to take some time to heal from that.
I've only read the article once, and I think I'll need several re-readings. Read it (registration might be required) and let me know what you think.
What regrets do you have?
3 days ago