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Forgotten by Richard Keeling
 

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  • My son forgot that he'd changed the time of his appointment with his analyst, and missed all but ten minutes of his session. When he told me this evening, a rush of memories of similar mistakes and self-recrimination from my own days of therapy rose up.

    Almost enough to paralyze.

    I hate being late. I'm one of those people who'd sooner arrive an hour early rather than be five minutes tardy. But still I miss appointments. I'll mark the wrong time in a calendar or not mark it at all. Then, when the moment has passed, I will stay up late berating myself into a sleepless night.

    For what? For failing to be perfect? Yes, in some measure. As I said, I hate making mistakes. But I continue to make them. Am I that invested in failure?

    No. The real problem is failing to grasp that all I have to do is to be adequate. Not perfect. Trying, yes, to avoid mistakes but being wise enough to realise that I will continue to make them. And when I do, learning a little from them in themselves, but learning the real lesson that this is simply the way of life and living and I do not have to be in control all the time.

    Here I am, fifty-six years old and all this should be old hat, thoroughly understood, and relegated to the past, right?

    I was going to write - 'If only.'

    But that's not quite true. It's a lot more old hat, thoroughly understood and relegated to the past that it seems in this moment, flush with uncomfortable recollections.

    In thirty minutes time I'll wonder why I wrote this at all.

    That is why I am so glad that here I am, fifty-six years old, washed with complexities but at least aware.

    Most of the time.
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