One of my friends was having a bad day a while ago and wrote on her Facebook status that she needed a “do over”. Later in the day I was at a retail store and the cashier was having a bad day and we laughed about how sometimes we just needed a “reboot” on the day. I took it a bit farther and said there were times I just wanted a “reboot” on my body as well as my day!
So it got me to thinking. About do overs and reboots and starting over. How many hours have I wasted on worrying about what I did or didn’t do? How many hours have I whiled away wishing something had turned out differently? How many hours have I spent thinking about how a different scenario would have played out if I had just changed one little thing about my day? How many hours have I spent thinking and wishing I had said something differently? Or maybe wishing I had just said something? If I added all these up it would most likely be an astronomical number that I could not comprehend.
I don’t have the magical reboot button but I do have control over how much time I invest in regretting decisions. What is done is done. My brother in law, Carlton, had a hard time talking about the past when it involved difficult things. I don’t think that this is unique to folks with Down Syndrome—I think it is difficult for all of us to confront difficult times in our past. Carlton always said “the past is in the past” and would not discuss it. I tried time and time again to have the discussion with him that the past is what helps create who we are today and that we build on the past but that was lost on him. He just wanted to forget it. I understand that to some degree.
I also understand that I am who I am today because of choices and decisions and paths that I chose over the years. I am like an archaeological dig—-the many layers of me are based on my experiences. When I think about that reboot button now I think that I would not want that because it would erase some of my layers. And in my case—layers are good. They are part of me. There is the layer of innocence, the layer of discovery, the layer of excitement, the layer of insecurity, the layer upon layer of love and compassion, the layer of sadness and grief, the layer of joyfulness and the layer of satisfaction. Today I am embracing my layers and invite you to embrace yours, too.