Are you the type of person who judges yourself not on what you have done, but on what you could have? Think about this. “I could have been a doctor and cured cancer, I loathe myself.” That sounds ridiculous doesn’t it? “This page could have been better! I could be a better teacher to my kids! I could have earned more money!” There is an unending supply of could haves.

I have been that way my whole life, always drowning under the yoke of the could have. When I was 17 I had entered a national scholarship contest to design a T shirt about Art scholars. I got back a box of press announcements and all these congratulations…”You won 2nd place out of 70,000 entrants! This is a huge deal be proud call the papers tell the tv stations!”

I threw it all away…..like a friggin idiot. I didn’t win 1st for the scholarship, that’s all that mattered. Like a fool I didn’t see the pile of entrants who didn’t get as far as I. I didn’t see what I had accomplished, because I was short o my mark.

Damn the could haves and the never weres…. The can and should be motivation, but never a weight to carry.

Today this mostly translates into the life I provide for my family. I find myself upset still that my kids don’t have their own rooms anymore, or that I do not shower them in toys and trips.

Still like a fool I need reminders, or the could haves drown out that my daughters eyes and voice lights up every room shes in, and that my son is not only kind but athletic. Both grow up without addict parents. They are safe in ways we weren’t. The could haves demand more….