Friday, July 3, 2015

Frustrating Conflict In My Head

I want to be to be in two places at one time. 

Yesterday I came back from a 10 day business trip.  I was five time zones away so it was difficult to keep in contact back home.  When I got home yesterday, my daughter was the happiest to see me.    I am sure the other kids missed me to, but they had other things on their minds.... like Xbox.

Tonight is an annual fireworks display that I always attend with the family.  I always have a good time and the kids like it.  Since I have been gone, it seems extra important that I attend.  At least in my head.

One of the guys from T's new batch of friends is having a birthday today.  I have met this guy and his partner at T's house more than a few times.  They are good guys and I was invited to his birthday dinner tonight.  In addition to being a good excuse to see T (whom I have not seen in several weeks) it would be another chance to make an impression on these new people so maybe I can make some friends of my own.  

I cannot be in both places at the same time, so since the kids expect me at the fireworks, I told the birthday boy that while I appreciated the invite, I was doing this other things with the kids.

Now I am agonizing about this decision.   You see I WANT to go to the birthday dinner.  However, I feel like I HAVE to go to the fireworks with the kids.   

While I am at the fireworks, I will be thinking about the dinner and how much fun it probably was.  I will talk to T later tonight and he will tell me.  (If it was super crazy fun, T would tone down his report so as not to make me feel bad.  He might tell me the food was not too good, so I would not feel like I missed out.  Not exactly a lie.  Maybe a "soft-peddle" of the truth.)

On the other hand, if I go to the dinner, I will be thinking about the kids at the fireworks.  I don't want to be the absentee father, so I would be feeling guilty about not being there.  MY daughter told me she really wants me to come, which would add to the guilt.  I think I would have a good time at the dinner, even though I am on the outside of that group, they are nice to me when I am there.  Every time I get together with them, I increase my chances of making a connection.  (All I want is a friendship connection.  Not looking for love at this point.)  At the same time, I don't like the idea of missing events with my kids.  

Last year K took the the kids on a cruise.  I went too.  Not really because I had a burning desire to take a cruise with her and her husband.  It was more that I did not want my kids to have that experience without their dad being there to share in it.  More than a year later they are talking about the cruise and I am happy when they say to me, "Dad remember on the cruise when....?"  and I can say, "Yup, I remember that!!"     I kind of feel this way about the fireworks tonight.  I know I don't need to be "super-dad" and be at everything.  That is not realistic anyway, but I kind of feel like I have to try.  

I know  I cannot be in both places at once, but I want to be.    I know I cannot do everything, but I want to.  I know there will be other events (for both the gays and the kids), and I don't have to go to all of them, but I want to.

"Do whatever you want and then be happy with it.  I make my decision and I am OK with it.  You get sad."  T told me this morning.  He is right.  I wish I could be more like him in this regard.  He makes his choice, sticks to it, and lives with the consequences, even if they are difficult.    He does not agonize over the possibilities and he does not bemoan the outcome.   He is decisive.   I REALLY admire that about him.  It's probably why he has been successful in his business dealings.

I want to be more like that.  It's just my brain is not quite wired that way.  I need to fix that.  It might be why I have trouble sleeping.  But that is a whole different blog post.

For tonight I am still not sure what to do.  It has been cloudy all day.  Maybe I'll get lucky and the fireworks will get rained out and postponed.  Then I really could do both.  


TwoLives said...

I totally relate to your dilemma.

As you've said, either way you'll be regretful if you can't go to both. That means you have to be at peace with missing one of them.

Choosing the kids is a no-brainer IMHO. Of all the people in the world, you'd never want to be a disappointment to them.

Acquiring new friends is very important. You need to stay in good mental health both for yourself and for your kids. The thing is, genuine friendships aren't one-event dependent. If they're friends worth having, they'll invite you to more events in the future - and certainly you can invite them too.

One thing you can do to keep yourself in their good graces is to send the birthday boy a thoughtful gift and a short note, expressing your regrets. By doing so, your kindness should be long remembered, perhaps even more than if you had actually attended.

RB said...

You'll be invited to the next party those guys have.