November 16, 2022

regrets & what to do now that my time IS my own? Plus a sweater dilemma

I had an epiphany yesterday while I was drafting my previous Debbie Downer post. 

Regrets:  I've had a few regrets lately. 

For example, I offered to take Reg and a buddy to Notre Dame to see the Clemson game on November 5th. Coach was teaching in Florida and basketball season hadn't started yet. I could get away fairly easily. Curly could get a ride to her b-ball practice. We wouldn't be spending the night. 

The weather in South Bend looked kind of gross. Rain. Such high winds that they outlawed canopies in the tailgate lots. I wouldn't have bothered to get myself a ticket for the game, happy to wait somewhere warm and dry while the game was happening. I would NOT be hosting my own tailgate, but we could visit the tailgates of other friends. My sister Marie was hosting a tailgate, too. 

Reg decided that he didn't really want to be gone all day. Is he 85 years old, or 16? He didn't have anything else going on other than his daily quest to workout/shoot hoops, but he also noted the crappy weather. 

Mini, the masked ND fan on the left,
and her cousin who was in town for
the game. They bumped into each other
 on the field along with thousands of
 other fans. Mini's face is one of surprise
 and it's super cute, but you'll
have to take my word for it.
I considered going on my own. I could park across the street at my college, Saint Mary's. I'd bring my own food in a small backpack and my car would be in a great place to exit after the game. After our tailgate at ND, it took us over an hour to get back to our hotel that was a 5 minute drive from the stadium. 

I decided not to go. Mini was probably not gonna want a shadow all day. Plus high winds? Rain? 

I went to see my godson in a play Saturday night. Reg watched the game at his buddy's house. He texted me during the play:  I CAN'T BELIEVE WE AREN'T AT THIS GAME. IT'S CRAZY EXCITING.


I got home from the play in time to see ND fans rush the field on TV. Mini posted on her story a video from her vantage point while she was on the field after the game. Her hand is patting the top of one of the football player's helmets. So fun.

Reg got over the WHY DIDN'T WE GO faster than I did. I was glum the next day. I felt so bad that I hadn't pushed Reg to go. How silly is that?

My theory:  I'm slightly unaccustomed to choosing my own path. It has been years since I had so many options. My kids activities and schedules have dictated where I go and what I do FOR YEARS. With three in college and one grown but not quite flown, I have only two high school kids at home. 

I could've gone with Coach to Florida when he was teaching, but decided not to because the flights were pricey. Plus, it's hard to leave two teens home, one who's epileptic and not currently unable to drive. We've left them alone three weekends this fall. Why push it? Why ask for more favors? 

I love the social side of tailgating. I attribute my 'where to go, here or there?', 'what to do, this or that?' issues with life's natural slowing down. Tailgate season was insanely busy but SO  MUCH FUN, but I believe I'm going through a little tailgate withdrawal. 

I miss the hectic pace of life with all of the kids home following different schedules directing us in various directions, all while constant banter and joking provide a lovely source of entertainment. Life is good, of course. It's different though.

I may end up printing this post out in a 

few weeks so that I can eat my words. 

I bought this sweater
over the weekend.
 Here I'm trying it on for Curly.
She almost died
from laughter. I texted this
to Mini, she responded:
 "It looks like the sweater is
 wearing you instead of you
wearing the sweater."
 It was 50% off, but
still pricey, so I'm
 leaning towards returning
it. Pardon the
 bowling-like shoes,
 I swapped out this
 sweater with the one
 I'd been wearing
for the picture. Not sure I can be
swayed, by I'm interested
 in your feedback.
I thought it was a
nice splash of color
 although I'm not usually
 a leopard print type.
This is not a regret YET,
because I can still return it. 
Note:  Finn's raccoon
 toy is in the background,
but knowing our people it could
 just as easily have been a sock.
Once Reg and Curly start high school basketball season, life will get a little busy. They will both be on varsity. Often the boys play at home when the girls are away, and vice versa. There is only one of me. Coach and I might split up in order to have one parent at each game, but he works late Tuesdays and there are a lot of Tuesday games. It's gonna be tough, because they will both be starters.  

November 1st brain shutdown:  After I was sick on Halloween, I told Coach THANK GOODNESS THIS HAPPENED WHEN NOTHING WAS HAPPENING

We weren't in a hotel getting ready to tell people FIGHT ME for a parking spot, etc. I didn't even have to cancel many babysitting families because it was Halloween and a grandma wanted her grandkids with her and the twins were sick. 

I took the troops to the zoo on Wednesday, 11/2nd. We had a wonderfully fun, beautiful day. I got home, and checked my email. I got a message from a woman in my college book club. 



*** my brain made a loud clicking noise as it suddenly got in gear***

We met for book club on Thursday Oct. 26th. We talked about Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder - BTW most of us strongly disliked this book, in case you think it looks good. You might like it. Me, BLAH.

Anyway, we had an upcoming event planned on Tuesday, November 1st. We were eating at a local restaurant to celebrate our college's founder's day. I blame my trip to the ER for my disorientation. I SIMPLY FORGOT TO ATTEND. I could've gone. I had RSVP'd. I was home sorting laundry. 

I don't get out all that much, so I ALWAYS look forward to these gatherings. I cried a little. OK, more than a little. I was SO annoyed with myself and with my gut for distracting me. 

I messed up two other scheduled things that week. More on that later. This one was the most upsetting. 

I've decided that it is also a little harder to track what I have going on simply because there is less going on. Does that make sense? One would think it is the opposite, but my brain seems to be less aware of the schedule as the schedule becomes less demanding. 

Regret anything lately? 

Miss out on an event because you plumb forgot to go?

Sweater thoughts welcome. 


Nicole MacPherson said...

Ernie! That raccoon is the same one that Rex has and won't bring in the house!!!
I loved the first third of Prairie Fires, then I might have died from boredom from the last 2/3. Am I dead now and are you blogging with a ghost? Let's blame Prairie Fires. We get it, Rose Wilder was a libertarian.

I know that sweater is not usually your style but I think it's cute!

Kate said...

I think the sweater is quite snazzy - you should keep it! :)

Amy said...

I have to put all events in the calendar on my phone with reminders set to when I need to leave the house or office. My schedule is definitely less busy than it used to be - as we only have 2 kids left in school, but they're involved in more activities now. We used to limit their activities because 4 kids in 4 different schools and only 2 parents didn't always add up. You would think the school would coordinate things better! We couldn't have been the only family with a kid in each of the schools. Sheesh.

I get it though - on the rare occasions when I don't have plans and can actually choose what I want to do....I have no idea what that is! Afterwards, I'll get so mad at myself - I could've gone hiking, or clothes shopping (most of my clothes are either hand-me-downs, has an IT logo from work or was a gift from my husband). Something just for me! Bah humbug.

Ernie said...

Nicole - I think Finn is done with many of his toys, but like so many things getting Lad to weed out the ones he is done with is asking a lot. Finn totally prefers to sneak into the family room and snag a toddler toy that he's not allowed to have.

That book, good grief. I can't really say I enjoyed the first part of it either. I love the Little House books and the show. At first I blamed my dislike of it on the fact that it was the first audio book I ever listened to. I listened to it on the way home from Georgia with Reg. He had his earbuds in. Later I learned that the other women in my book club struggled with the book too, so it wasn't just the audio version. Laughing that the ghost of Nicole wrote that comment. Death by Prairie Fires, the book. Eek.

I kind of like the sweater, but it is really pricey for not having a great reaction from my people. I keep forgetting to model it for Coach. He often says he likes me to wear more color in the winter, so he might like it for the splash of color. He really doesn't get that many winter clothes tend to be dark colors. Not like I prefer to dress like I'm going to a funeral.

Ernie said...

Ally - I didn't always like hectic. There was a time when I would've preferred more down time to crazy busy. It's funny how we adjust. I assume I will adjust to this too, and then perhaps there will be a lot of grandkids and I will need to adjust to ramping up my activity level again.

Thanks for the vote of confidence. ;)

Ernie said...

Kate - I kind of like it too. I have a pair of tan colored pants that would look very nice with it too. I will have to get Coach's opinion. Even though it was 1/2 price, it was still more than I'd care to spend.

Anonymous said...

I am so with you on when I have less going on the worse I am at getting things done. There is a reason they say that if you need something done give it to a busy person. I have 4 step-kids who all lived with my husband and I and we are down to one so I know what it is like having your time planned for you and now having actual time on your hands. It is an adjustment but you will make it work. I hate the sweater.... so I guess I am team Curly and Mini.

Suzanne said...

Ugh -- I hate missing out on things for avoidable reasons. But I think this all makes sense. Your routine is being disrupted! Your routine may have been busier before, but I bet it required you to keep such a close eye on making sure everything went smoothly. And with fewer things going on, maybe you've loosened the reins a teeny bit, and so some things are getting shaken around. Sounds natural to me, even if it is frustrating and disorienting, and I hope you adjust soon.

I love the sweater - so pretty!

Ernie said...

Amy - I used to use my calendar more, but something about the way it works changed on my phone and I find it intimidating or confusing at best. I need to sit down with a teen and have them teach me how to use it.

I am SO tired of asking the kids to get rides places because of Reg's seizure. He can't drive until Feb 1. I will be very happy to have college kids home next week and for a month at Christmas, because they can share the driving duties. I made Lad skip Boy Scouts when he was very young because I couldn't figure out how to get him there and back with so many napping kids. I still feel guilty about that, because I think he needed that.

Oh how I dislike the mini panic attacks I have about what to do with my time, or my regret that I've misused my free time. Last night was Coach's b-day. I spent hours making him dinner. Then I went to Curly's basketball game. Then I came home and accomplished nothing. I would normally have tried to write something on the computer, but I was tired from cooking for hours and didn't feel right hanging in the study alone when it was Coach's bday. They were all watching basketball on TV, which I wasn't interested in. My list of things to do just started at me when I went to bed and I felt icky. SO SILLY.

Ernie said...

Anonymous - I remember putting Lad on a club swim team even though it was practice every night. He had other things and Coach thought I was nuts. We had lots of very small kids to load in the car to go pick him up and drop him off. Lad had a hard time getting his homework done. I think he was in 5th or 6th grade. We were shocked, but being forced to manage his time made him get EVERYTHING done. It was amazing. All that to say, YES - the less time you have to get things done, I think you end up getting more done.

I SO appreciate your honesty on the sweater. Team Mini and Curly will probably sneak this sweater back to the store if I try to keep it. I feel like Mini was maybe on the fence, her reaction was only a text. My friend Delilah was over, and she witnessed Curly ROLLING AROUND LAUGHING when I had the sweater on.

Ernie said...

Suzanne - I do think that visiting the ER on that Monday through off the whole week. Still, if I was more busy I would've been more attentive to what was happening the next day . . . and instead I blanked. The group posted a photo of the event that I missed and I saw all the people that I attended. One of the woman was a writer who I've met with to talk about my writing. I even read her manuscript for her during the pandemic. I would've REALLY like to chat with her. She doesn't attend the book club regularly and I haven't seen her in forever. Ugh.

I forgot to watch a local news station last night. They're doing a 3 part series about an unsolved local murder that is like 60 years old. I watched the first part and forgot to tune in last night. I have asked Alexa to remind me.

I like the uniquness of the sweater, but I might not end up keeping it because if Curly dies laughing when I wear it I will have a hard time pulling it off. ;)

ccr in MA said...

The sweater is kind of fun, in more of a dress way, but I know what you mean about wearing something that doesn't feel right. You have to trust yourself there.

Ernie said...

ccr - Yep. If I fear it looks silly, which Curly thinks it does - then I won't keep it. I don't need a ton of dressy clothes, so I try to choose things that will stand the test of time. And things that I really love.

Nance said...

Okay, first thing: I'm a firm NO on the sweater. Why is the leopard print even on there? Take it off, and maybe.

Anyway, I get your brain thing. Sometimes, the more I have to juggle, the better my brain keeps clicking. I live in fear of Alzheimer's, which my mother has. I monitor my brain/memory like it's a part-time job.

Pat Birnie said...

It seems like you are going through the adjustment from crazy busy to slightly less busy and floundering a little. Totally understandable, and as others have stated, the more we have to do the more productive we are for sure! And yes you may be eating your words when everyone is home for a month and you are back to your chaotic comfort zone. I think the sweater is ok, fairly nice, but if you are not sure I bet you won't wear it much as you just won't feel comfortable in it. What did Delilah think and have you shown Coach? If they both love it then it's a keeper. So sorry you missed your outing with the ladies -- could one of them not texted you that night to see if you were on your way??!!

Kari said...

I can imagine how difficult these transitions must be. I remember how I felt when Anna left for college. Going from two full-time children at home to one probably felt the same way for me as this does for you. I felt disoriented. I felt as though I didn't know what to do or whether this was what I was intended to do. This seems to be what you're going through with the posts you published the other day and today. My single piece of advice is to make time for yourself and to remember that doing so is never selfish. 

Also, that sweater makes an excellent sweater dress. 😊

Kara said...

I don't like the sweater. Sorry. It's too busy. It may be the leopard print. But, it's a no for me.

Jenny in WV said...

I don't love the sweater, but it does look cozy.

I have Prairie Fires on my Amazon wishlist, maybe I'd better get it from Inter-Library Loan instead. Less chance for regret!

Joy Marie said...

Haven't commented in awhile because of TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES on my end involving a dead phone, losing SO many logins that were saved on my phone, and then the computer also appearing to die. But, I've been reading.

That feeling of what do I do with myself now and the regret of not using it for *something*.... I graduated from grad school in 2018 and moved 800 miles to a place where I knew one person who was a medical resident working insane hours. Went from working 80-100 hoursva week, dating my then-boyfriend-now-husband in person, and an active social life to an exactly 40 hour workweek, long distance dating, and no social life. Took A LOT of long solitary bike rides. Now of course with 2 2 and under my days are jam packed again but still recall the sinking feeling of "there's 24 hours a day, work consumes 9 including my commute and lunch wtah do I do with the rest if my time let alone weekends???"

P.S. now I'm suddenly realizing I didn't actually have a login to lose for commenting on blogger like I did wordpress. Could have been commenting after all!

Ernie said...

Nance - Rest assured, the sweater was returned this evening. Curly said the same thing when I tried it on for Coach. "WHY LEOPARD PRINT? AND FLOWERS? AND ZIG ZAGS." Turned out it wasn't on my receipt. The woman never charged me for it, so I returned a pricey sweater that I sort of got for free, which is fine but I was excited to get $125 back.

Coach: Now the sweater is back at the store where an 85 year old woman can find it and give it a home.

Yep - my brain does better when it is juggling so many things. I live in fear of Alzheimers too. Not sure that that is my mom's issue, but the second I forget something I wonder if that is what is on the horizon for me.

Ernie said...

Pat - Yes, I do believe my slightly less crazy schedule is throwing me off. Who'd have ever thought that was a thing.

I took the sweater back tonight. Delilah liked it, but I don't think she loved it. In the end, I didn't live it either and for $125, I needed to love it. Then when I returned it it was not on my receipt. Turns out the woman never charged me for it. I was excited to get back the $125, but I ended up getting back $59, because instead she charged me twice for the pants I bought.

I was SO bummed to miss the event. It would've been nice if someone texted me, but I only see these women at the book club monthly. I don't think any of them have my cell, just my email. Also I don't think the few that do have my cell weren't there based on the photo. That would've been nice, because I would've bolted.

Ernie said...

Kari - It has thrown me off my game to have this extra time. I think in addition to that, I'm also missing Mini. It feels different to be drifting around without my regular day to day time with her.

That sweater only had one button closure, so I would've been flashing a lot of people if I wore it as a sweater dress. hee hee. Kidding. I would've been cute with leggings, but I decided not to keep it.

Ernie said...

Kara - Yeah, I don't usually do animal print. I tried it on for Coach. It was nice, soft and a bit of extra color, but I decided I didn't love it. I enjoy the many different perspectives here.

Ernie said...

Jenny - You will be happy to know that I returned the sweater. It was soft, but I decided I'd rather wait to spend the money on something that I really love.

Um, I would not waste my time on that book. It was WAY too long. It drones on and on. I found the last bit about the televsion series interesting. There was a lot of depressing info. A LOT. If you want to look into it, I do think borrowing a copy from the library might make sense.

Ernie said...

Joy Marie - Sorry about your lost passwords and the difficulty with computers. Eek. Thanks for continuing to read. I've had trouble commenting on word presss before and it is so frustrating.

You are brave to move all that way and no almost no one. I imagine long lonely bike rides were just the tip of the iceburg as far as long and lonely.

Two under two, well that'll keep you on your toes. The difference from constant motion to slowing down and juggling things that allow room for down time is staggering. I used to live for naptime. Still do. ;)

Beth Cotell said...

I hate you missed your dinner with friends! I honestly would have cried too! I'm glad you returned the sweater because it was.......a lot........ :)

Ernie said...

Beth - Yep, that dinner is something I always enjoy - a little different from book club. It bothered me for DAYS. Oh well. I had to tell myself there were worse things.

Hee hee. Sometimes when things are on such a good sale, it's hard to pass them up.

Busy Bee Suz said...

Life is slowing (slightly) down for you and your 24-7 brain is very confused.

You need to start using your phone calendar and set up reminders 1 day in advance and two hours in advance. (this works for me)

I'm sorry you missed something fun. That really stinks! It's called FOMO. I rarely have it as I'm turning into a homebody; when do I call myself a recluse? Please let me know.

I like the sweater! Pair it with some leggings, a solid top, and cute boots. MEOW.

Ernie said...

Suz - My brain is confused. I'm still blaming the ER visit/illness for throwing me off, but other things are slipping my mind too. I do need to get back in the swing of using my phone alert. I had a reminder on my phone for months that I couldn't turn off and I no longer needed. I'll have college kids home soon. Time to ask for a tutorial.

My version of staying home involves looking around at the things that need to be cleaned up, sorted, put away, scrubbed. Eek. Getting out and pretending that isn't a thing is better.

I've taken the sweater back to the store where Coach is confident an elderly woman will be happy to find it on the sale rack. I'm holding out for something or other that I really love. I may or may not have just ordered myself a very cute dress that I've been eyeing. I think it will receive high marks from my people and I think I'm gonna love it.