Awhile back, I had a friend invite me out of the blue to go on a trip with her. She and I were pretty well acquainted at that time, but I was surprised by the offer of a vacation together because I suppose I thought we weren't "there" yet as buddies. Regardless, I was pleased at the offer and we headed out for a brilliant weekend trip.
While on the trip, she explained why she had invited me. "I wanted to give you an opportunity to have some fun, because it makes me so sad that you don't always have the best relationship with your family. I felt sorry for you that you aren't always able to do fun things with them."
I was immediately struck by two things:
1) Here was a person who was actually paying attention to me, who listened when I made off-hand comments, and cared what I said. And...
2) I think I must whine A LOT.
Here's the thing: I don't feel sorry for myself. I really don't. My life has played itself out pretty much in direct relation to choices that I've consciously made, knowing that the end results would not always be favorable. Yes, sometimes it's hard to not have as much in common with my family, and yes, I miss the effortless closeness we used to share. But I wouldn't take my decisions back, and I certainly don't sit around all mopey because things have turned out a little differently than I'd hoped.
I guess this sounds like a tirade against my friend. It's not. She was very sweet and well-intentioned with her words to me. She wanted me to be happy in a way that she is happy, and that's good shit and it makes me feel all warm and gooey inside.
What I am trying to say is that there can only be so much time spent throwing yourself a personal pity party about things that are "not normal." Eventually "not normal" becomes the "new normal" so you better deal or you'll be sniveling mess forever. If I really focused a lot of time thinking on things that have been lost, I'd miss out on the things and opportunities I have now. In a way, it's that whole concept of being "present" in what life is handing you.
And if that new-age sappiness doesn't make you vomit, I dunno what will.