This is a post I’ve written some time ago, but never actually published. I think now is a good time.
I don’t know what type of person you are, someone who likes to have everything planned or on the contrary you prefer to see what happens whenever you get there.
Let me tell you this: I belong to the first group, or at least I aged that way.
Some personal history:
When I was younger, I just _did_ things without really thinking it through.
“You want to do what?”
– “Yeah, just go full speed with your stomach on the skateboard and see how it goes!”
“Cool idea, let’s do that”
“Mum, I lost a part of my shin, I think…”
“Hey, look at those vertical nets, I go hang at those and you guys pull and push them!”
– “Are you ok? Dude, you fell on your back and you scared the spaghetti balls of us”
“Yeah sure, just a little backache but I’m ok”
Now, this was between age 8 to 12 and after that, I started to become, like my friends call me, the daddy-friend.
I think you can guess what they mean by this; the guy who always wants to make sure everyone is alright or if everyone hasn’t forgot anything before leaving on a trip, etc.
In many cases this was ok for all of us, because they knew they could count on me to check everything, but it also scarred them when someone did forget something, even I asked several times, because then I became loco.
I can’t tell you how it frustrated me when I realized people didn’t listen to me, I could sometimes lose it completely and be untalkable (if that’s even a real word) for a few moments.
The reason could have something to do with my father who doesn’t tolerate any flaws or errors.
He always said that when there was incident, it would always be him to solve the problem.
He used to shout at my brother and I when we broke a thing of his, even when we were still young.
It’s strange, as I’m typing this I realize I’m exactly like him, even though I always said/hoped I would never end like him.
Anyway, the reason I started this post is about the “DON’T FORGET THIS OR THAT OR I WILL BECOME YOUR WORST NIGHTMARE!” and the realization that it actually isn’t that bad at all when it happens.
This is how I found out:
6 in the morning I wake up, nothing really unusual about that, I have 2 kids, 3y and 7 months old, who like to keep us awake at night.
I take my shower, clothes on, feeding the little monster and off I go to be on time at work at 7.30 so my colleagues and I can take the sub to the train-station to catch our 8.52 train to London.
Arrived at the station I even have time for a nice cappuccino and to wait for one of my colleagues who took another train from his home and arrived a bit later.
Finally, I get to the first pass control and then it hits me…
A small twitch appears, a little uncomfortable feeling in my stomach and the realization I might not have my ID with me.
For the ones who know me, I take my ID with me all the time, only when I go swimming in the pool, but that’s only because I would look stupid with my ID around my neck or with a banana-bag, aesthetics are important, you know.
This one time, ONE TIME, I gave my ID to my wife so she could get a package at the post-station, because I wasn’t able myself and she forgot to give it back to me afterwards… The horror, I thought I would die that instant. People looked at me, thinking what a loser I was. Somehow I perfected the “It’s-no-big-deal-face” and went back to the gate.
How will get on this train now? I only have 40 minutes left until the train leaves, what am I going to do? What would my colleagues think of me? How are the people in London waiting for us react? What are my other colleagues react when I arrive at work tomorrow? And worst of all, WHOSE FAULT IS IT?
A very nice gentleman at the gate helped me and told me I could get the next train in 2 hours. Sigh, now I have to wait 2 long hours, I hate waiting, I despise it, I unlove it the most.
But first, I have to call my wife, the culprit, the one who forgot to give my ID back!
So I called her:
“You still have my ID!”
– “I do?”
“Oh right, I see it here in my wallet”
And at that time I stopped being mad. Her calm and innocent voice hit me, gently, in the face.
If the roles had changed, me being her, and she being me, I would have gotten mad and almost scream at her for not thinking about that one important thing you should always have with you.
But instead of being mad or mocking me, she just told me that she would come to the train-station by car and give it to me and because I still had to wait for more than an hour, she suggested we could take our time and have a long breakfast together…
It really was a wake-up call, knowing that things can go wrong and that it’s ok to make errors. They happen all the time, voluntarily or not, and once they do happen, there IS a solution and you could blame people or yourself, but that won’t change anything afterwards. To blame people is to make them feel guilty.
So… what did I learn? Shit happens and it’s not that bad after all.