Welcome to this week’s Five Minute Friday. Our instructions, via creator Kate Motaung: “Write for five minutes on the word of the week. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation.”
Today’s prompt: ONLY
I have been feeling many “if only’s” lately.
(Caveat: I know this is raw writing but that’s the way I roll.)
If only I had done something more lucrative right out of school and built a bigger financial base (even if I didn’t love it).
If only I had made different choices about spending, debt, finances.
If only we hadn’t committed to such a huge house that we now have to sell, as I sweat out being able to give my kids and family a modicum of a holiday.
I have been listening to “Well” — a book by Sarah Thebarge — about her several-month stint doing volunteer work as a physician’s assistant in Togo.
One day, after two of her patients had died of conditions that would most likely not have been fatal in the US, she found herself at the end ….. she wrote:
“I was out of determination, out of energy, out of motivation … out of hope.” (Note of irony: she was volunteering at a place called the “Hospital of Hope.”
She went on to say:
“I was completely depleted, completely out of reasons to keep going.”
Although I know objectively HOW MUCH I have, I also know I face the consequences of the choices I made over the last decades.
They keep me from traveling as much as I would like to, from giving generously to the causes I love (one of the reasons I try to make up for it in time and energy), from giving the people I love the things I want to give them.
I have composed letters in my head to my kids “don’t let the lack of ‘stuff’ this year make you think you aren’t loved.” I probably won’t send them.
I only wish I could make peace with the choices I made years ago for which I am paying now.
This post is part of the weekly Five Minute Friday linkup.