I need to learn to forgive myself, especially when it's largely outside my control.

A couple of weeks ago, I went on a two week vacation. That's the first in over a year; the two years before that were also lacking a bit in off time.

At the end of the week after, my son brought home a stomach flu and we had a shitty weekend.

The next week I had my second vaccine.

This week, my son has a cough and is home.

Why is it that all I can think of is how little progress I've made on ?

@jens It’s a matter of priorities. There are things which are absolutely important (child, health, other humans) and those which are less so (work, projects, hobbies, etc.).

What helps me is to think long-term: what does a week of time spent on “X instead of Y” in a life of a human being make in the grand scale of things?

You don’t need to forgive yourself - you did nothing wrong. I’d say “acceptance” is the right term to consider here.

With these thoughts, maybe you’d be interested to read a bit on (modern) Stoic philosophy.


@FailForward Oh, I understand that acceptance would be good, but it's not how I was raised. It's hard to switch off those inner voices that have been with you for a lifetime.

The Stoics have a few good points, but I'm more attracted to satanic teaism. Which is both a joke and somewhat true; the point is, I tend to find any single philosophy one sided. Usually, the right course seems to be situation dependent, and that means reconciling seemingly opposing views.

@jens Whatever works for you there. Hauptsache being that you’re OK.

As for how we are raised, yes, I recognise that. I made a relevant (deep?) observation recently: some personality traits tend to be the true drivers of our lives. They serve us well for decades. Until they don’t. I personally (retrospectively) realised that it’s exactly those things which I found very precious in my upbringing and personality traits which drove my inner “machine”, which later led me into a dead end. They did not cause the ensuing hardships, but contributed to me getting stuck and in a way prevented me to find a way out sooner. The solution to such qualms was to rebuild one’s world, to become somebody slightly different. Still the same person, but now with slightly shifted (perhaps balanced?) values. And that’s f**ing hard. Hard because we so much value the way we were raised, not realising that maybe some parts of that became (or always were) obsolete over time in this changing world. I learned to accept that.

@FailForward That's certainly a journey I've been on the past few years. My wife and her story contributed to this, but the main trigger was observing how my "inherited" values do and do not work for/with the kids.

It makes me wonder very much about people who carry forward their own upbringing to their kids without reflection. It's clearly visible, right in front of your eyes, what is good and bad about it, by the results of trying to apply it.

Side-tracking, sorry.

@jens Yes, yes and yes. There’s just one thing I always do when the conversation comes to this point 😉 : poetryfoundation.org/poems/484

@jens just to add: I passionately disagree with the last verses of that poem 😄

@FailForward It's a very interesting trip, trying to raise children without repeating your parents' mistake.

The worst part is, I have *great* parents. They tried, and got a lot right. And what they got wrong just wasn't really visible to them; that it should have been isn't always clear.

It sort of makes parenting a no-win scenario, but... well, can't give up on trying, either.

Actually, I think it can be a win scenario. We just need to push our horizons forward towards longer term. I am telling my kids this: “I know you don’t like this. Me neither. But I am doing it, so that you become a good person 20+ years from now.”

Think about it this way: in a previous response, you expressed gratitude to your parents. That’s what we are working towards: so that they are one day grateful to us for who they became - with all the positives as well as negatives. Then, I hope, parenting can be a win. And to stress that, I try to be explicit about that gratitude of mine with my old guys too. I also know it cheers them up, especially because it’s honest and true.

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