The Time We Wasted

I am writing this to you as a roadmap, just in case you find yourself lost. This way, you will know when to turn and get off at the next exit. Otherwise, you might find yourself heading the wrong way for a long time, which is no different than driving the wrong way down a one way street.

I recall an afternoon after a long, hard day. I was living in a different life at the time. What I mean is I was not where I was supposed to be. I was in a holding pattern, so to speak.
I was at the tail-end of a marriage that I had my share of mistakes with. We were not fit for each other, which was obvious, but nevertheless, we took hold of each other in a younger time of need.
I remember one argument specifically because of its irony, in which, I was frustrated and explained, “Anything I say, you tell me I’m wrong.”
To which she replied, “That’s not true.”
I said, “We never agree!”
She said, “Yes we do!”
I said, “We argue about everything.”
She argued, “No we don’t!” and she argued this without noticing a hint of irony.

In fairness, there were faults in us both. In fairness, I will clear my side of the street. I spent more time nurturing my rights and validating my point that I forgot to sit back and enjoy life.
I did not care for my wellness. I did not learn to share myself properly. In fairness, I balked on too many occasions. I failed to engage in times where I should have. I made mistakes here. this is clear. However, the clearest picture is that people are not always meant to be together, which is fine.

The same mistakes went for my role as a parent. I found myself arguing with her, my co-parent, still, even after the divorce, which is why we divorced in the first place. We split so we wouldn’t argue anymore—and there I was arguing my point, still, which was valid at the time. But so what?
For some reason, I found myself caught up in the need to defend myself and be right.

Okay, so, what if I was right?
Even if I was, which I might have been, what is the sense in arguing with someone that will argue no matter what prove?
So then why prove anything?


What is this need to be right?
I looked up the word right in the dictionary:
(Thanks dictionary.com)

Right [ rahyt ]
Adjective, right·er, right·est.

In accordance with what is good, proper, or just: right conduct.
In conformity with fact, reason, truth, or some standard or principle; correct: the right solution; the right answer.

Noun
A just claim or title, whether legal, prescriptive, or moral:
You have a right to say what you please.
Sometimes rights, that which is due to anyone by just claim, legal guarantees, moral principles, etc.: women’s rights; Freedom of speech is a right of all Americans.

Adverb
in a straight or direct line; straight; directly: right to the bottom; to come right home. Quite or completely; all the way: My hat was knocked right off.

This is what it means to be right. At no point does this coincide with our basic needs to survive. Certainly no one dies from being wrong in an argument; at least, not in most normal cases.
Yet still, we hold our needs to be right as if this was us holding on to the flag of our own country; as if to say, “Don’t tread on me!” and as if being wrong is the same as accepting defeat, as in surrendered, and surrendering our rights as a human being.

Perhaps this is not always the case; however, in the case of bad relationships that only become worse, arguments are the weight that breaks the spine of what love is supposed to stiffen.

Words cut much deeper than a blade. Broken hearts will heal but scars do remind us where we came from.

I wonder why we do this.
To what avail?

I had spent more than a decade nurturing an argument that no longer needed to be settled. I spent so much time nurturing my need to be right that I forgot to enjoy the simple moments, like say, visitation with my daughter.

(This is why I draw this roadmap just in case people forget their way)
I see this as a common problem with divorced families. I see the direction people take and the aftermath left behind in the wake of their arguments. And I ask myself, was any of this worth it?

Is there really such a thing as right or wrong?

I spent so much time trying to validate my point that I lost the opportunity to validate the moment and those that were in it. And of all things in life; nothing is more irretrievable than time.

I was coaching in one of my empowerment classes and listening to a divorced parent discuss their visitation problems and the actions taken against them.

And I get it. Fair is fair.
This is true.

By why nurture an argument that will never be settled. Instead, what would it look like to nurture the moments we share that cannot be taken away or altered by any means.
I see divorced families go at each other’s neck. I see the fangs come out and the claws. I’ve watched people hit below the belt. I have seen parent alienation at its best and at its worst, but in the end, who wins?

Certainly not the child . . .

I read an article that stated families spend roughly 49 minutes a day arguing. That’s almost an hour. But let’s break this down even further. An hour of time together is crucial. Think about it. 24 hours in a day, correct? Minus the hours we sleep. Minus the hours we work. Minus the hours we spend going to and from someplace. Minus time in the bathroom. Minus our time away from each other. 49 minutes is close to an hour. That’s a long time

What a waste of valuable time this is . . .

I decided a while back to get off this bumpy road. I decided to find a better way to travel through life and a better way to spend my time. Life is not about right or wrong.
But wait . . . what the word wrong mean?

Wrong [ rawng, rong ]
Adjective
Not in accordance with what is morally right or good: a wrong deed. Deviating from truth or fact; erroneous: a wrong answer.

Not correct in action, judgment, opinion, method, etc., as a person; in error

Noun
That which is wrong, or not in accordance with morality, goodness, or truth; evil: I committed many wrongs. An injustice.

Adverb
In a wrong manner; not rightly; awry; amiss: You did it wrong again.

Why are we so afraid to be wrong?
Is this about pride?
Is this about ego?
Am I right when I say all roads lead back to rejection or fear of exposure (about being less than perfect) and the fault machine? Is this because we need someone to blame and we don’t want this to be us? Or, is this simply because we “Feel” and so long as we feel, we need to find a sense of accountability.

What if (and this is a big what if) we surrendered to the fact that we are in different places. We are sometimes mismatched with people and simply put, we are not meant to co-exist in certain regards.
Rather than nurture our needs to be right or find accountability for why things did not or could not work—or like it was in my case, rather than seek validity, what would it look like if I were to nurtured the moment instead of my needs to be right or prove someone wrong?

I can say this.
It would have been of great benefit during my visitation.

I understand about resentment. I know what mean spirited people do and I understand what it feels like to be imposed upon. This is a constant fact with some people; however, I now have the right to nurture a different direction.

A friend once told me the best revenge is good living. I smiled and said the kind of life I want is the best revenge is that I don’t need to get revenge at all.

I just want to live.

Haven’t we spent too much time arguing?
I don’t know about you but I can think of a lot of valuable things I can do with my spare time. This is why I agree with the motto surrender to win. Because I have won. Because I don’t fight anymore.

I don’t have to.

I don’t want to waste any more time . . .

Do you?

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