Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Y is for Yesterday


a combining form, now unproductive, occurring in words that denote an extent of time one period prior to the present period, the nature of the period being specified by the second element of the compound: yesterweek.

There are a million tainted yesterdays in my history because I am a bottomless pit of bad decisions. Spontaneous, honest, direct. All admirable qualities in the right context. But, I could be the most negative combination of those qualities EVER. I am constantly putting my foot in my mouth and saying things I should have thought through more carefully. Constantly. Like yesterday.

I'm sure I seem well put together and articulate in writing, but it's only because I have an opportunity to think about what I am going to say before it's recorded in print. That's a blessing. I'm not always so polished in spontaneous conversation and action. I have months worth of yesterdays that I wish I could "do over". So, so many.

When I was with my oldest girlfriends recently they thrilled in reminding me of a particularly rowdy weekend where I decided that the shirt some redneck was wearing was far superior to my own attire. So I traded. In the parking lot. Um yeah. Do over, please. Not a proud yesterday.

My least sparkling moment in verbal history could be when E and I were having a heated conversation about him going back to Graduate school. He was extolling the values of creating a network of like minded professionals to carry him through the next phase of his career. And right there, in our family room, in all my postpartum glory, I quip back "So you want my approval to put us $70K in debt so you can make new friends? Are you joking?" Uh, did the donkey come equipped with a rewind button? I just don't even know the person that said that out loud to the father of her children.

Imagine my recent delight to find that the formal definition of yesterday includes the phrase "now unproductive". Oh goodie! That almost seems to imply that there's no residual harm in our errant ways. No side effects of harsh words or wreckless behavior. That would just be so nice.

I realize I have been decidedly lucky in this lifetime that my carelessness hasn't been more "productive". I've never been arrested, seriously maimed in a car accident or punched in the face for bad behavior. And I have deserved all of it. And more. I do not take for granted that I have never been smacked by the cruel hand of fate and I have learned that there is no use in dwelling on yesterday. It IS unproductive. What I can do now is change tomorrow.

I can speak kindly and respond thoughtfully. I can (try to) curb my sharp tongue and brutal honesty. I can apologize quickly and genuinely, love deeply and think hard before indulging an impulse. I can not change yesterday. It is unproductive.

But every single day is a new chance to make tomorrow better. I am learning.


Desert Rose said...

Boy, don't we all wish there were some things that we wouldn't have said/done. But some of that stuff is great to look back on and have a great laugh at. I'm into the bettering myself phase also...but there's still that part of me that loves the late Bernie Mack for "saying what other people want to say, but don't". I think that's something good to live by...as long as it's not out of control!

MiMi said...

You DO write beautifully; very elequent. I unfortunately am guilty of speaking before I think. So now that I'm a mommy I notice that I just don't speak at all sometimes because I know it's gonna be something stupid. Don't worry, it's not like I'm wasting my time on the thinking either. ;)
Now, the thing you said to your husband: well, that can be chalked up to hormones. So there.

shortmama said...

I think we certainly all suffer from the occasional foot in mouth syndrome...I know I sure do. And while I have certainly done many things in my past that I should have done differently...I do not regret them at all. Because they shape me into who I am today...and Im good with who I am inside

JennyMac said...

Been there. Hopefully not often...but yes, I have been there.

Tyne said...

*smile* I love your honesty.

Don't look back, forge on ahead!

Jen said...

I like Tyne's comment, its all about what is up ahead.

Desert Rose said...

I forgot to mention about your question on the tattoo. If you go and see my post from Sept. 25 title Follow Up...I posted a pic and description about the tattoo. It isn't for any special occasion, I just like it and wanted one more.

Thanks for all your comments!


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