My brother has bought a new house. This is his fourth property - three in the US and a flat in England (near Brighton, I think) where they stay when they go over to escape Redneck Central summers and visit my sister-in-law's family. He and his family wanted a place they could keep their horse to save boarding fees, so they found a nice place in the country on five acres with a barn. I saw pictures this past weekend, and it looks lovely.
The other two houses have become rentals.
He works with computers, and I couldn't begin to explain what he does, except folks think he does it well enough to pay him to muck about with theirs, and some of it looks like he has to sacrifice a goat to the new moon to make it work.
I can't help looking at my life, and his, and feeling a little...disappointing. I know that we are two very different people with different wants, needs, and priorities, but at the heart of it I think we share something common to ALL people, which is a desire to succeed, to do well for ourselves and our families. I can't help thinking I have failed, utterly.
I know I shouldn't compare. It's a habit born in childhood, when some of the most influential adults in my life would ask, shaking their heads, "Why can't you be more like...?", with the person named clearly better at something than I. My poor cousin Cindy was often the good example, and it's a wonder that I didn't grow up hating her...but it's difficult for me to hate someone simply because they are who they are - in her case, lovely, intelligent, and damned good at what she did/does. Admire? Respect? Sure. Hate or resent? Not so much.
Today I could tell them "Because I'm not... I'm ME!"
But "me" isn't enough. Me has no value. Me doesn't have houses and cars and horses and a bank account. Me doesn't do much besides fail...and the voices in my head like to point that out regularly.
So this week while my brother and his family work out what needs doing in the new house, moving dates, and the like...I am staring at two letters telling me another way I have failed - one from the state proclaiming that the insurance on one vehicle lapsed and I must re-insure it and pay a fine, the other from the insurance company telling me the other vehicle will be lapsed because payment is past due and they will be informing the state next week, which means I cannot legally drive and may have my license suspended.
41 years old and I still can't look at anything I have done and say "Hey, I succeeded at something!" Unless that something is fail spectacularly. Then I'm coming up roses.
I often think I must be the bad example. You know..."Eat your vegetables or you'll end up like...", or "Finish your homework or you'll wind up just like...", or "You don't want to be like...do you?
Sigh. Good to have a purpose, eh?
All I can say is, at least Mum got ONE good one. I'm glad he's doing well...
Quote of the day...er...week...umm...hey, look, a quote!!
"...besides love, independence of thought is the greatest gift an adult can give a child." - Bryce Courtenay, The Power of One
For old quotes, look here.
For old quotes, look here.