Don’t Fail Me Now

Against a backdrop of the horror of war and fear for people in Gaza and Israel, my problems seem minor and inconsequential. I also feel helpless. Does anything else matter when children are being murdered? Writing has been nearly impossible. So has dating or meeting anyone new. Suddenly, everything is on hold as I watch as much news as I can.

I am not sleeping well. Not eating well. Barely doing my usual routines around the house. I have been forcing myself to go out for my walks every day – it is on these long walks that I am able to think. Think, think, think.

My worry has always been that I will fail in my life. What has become obvious to me these past few days is that I have already failed.

I’ve failed to find another partner. I’ve failed to create anything meaningful for society. I haven’t been able to help my parents by doing so well that I can lift them out of poverty. Even some of my friendships have failed. Some no longer talk to me because of my stance on vaccinations / mandates. And my “career”? It’s nothing more than a job I do well. It won’t lead anywhere, nor make much difference in the world.

By nearly every measure, I have failed.

I am ashamed.

And Angry

You know, I haven’t asked for much. I’ve never dared to be demanding. I have held my tongue when I wanted something because I could see someone else wanted it more – or that my wanting it was creating hardship because of its cost. I’ve sacrificed my own needs to keep the peace, to make someone happy, or to get along. I’ve set aside what I really wanted time and again because it was inconvenient for someone else.

Nor am I spoiled. I don’t know anyone else who has made their own toilet paper. (Only for #1 – unless the world ends. Ew.) Or who uses homemade Kleenex. (Used part of an old cotton sheet. A sheet that someone was throwing away, years ago, I might add. The rest of it is still good.)


Nearly everything I have is second-hand: most of my clothes, my beloved bed (from an antique head and footboard – the bed itself a gift to my parents from a bed and breakfast that was closing years ago), my couches, desk, table, chairs (mismatched and sparse – on the lookout for two more), lamps (one from a gay janitor friend that had a pink lightbulb in it), all my dishes, my car, and so on. I feel lucky to have everything I need. I do.

It has been this way since I was a kid – my babysitter gave me her bike and her Barbies. All my books were gifts or passed down from cousins. My favourite coat and clothes were hand-me-downs from a neighbour’s daughter. I did get at least one new toy for Christmas every year and knitted mittens from my Gram. Once she knitted all her leftover wool into squares and made me a blanket. I still treasure it, especially the squares of wool I recognize from my childhood mittens.

I worry I won’t be able to support myself so I’m cautious with my money. Careful. I don’t want to have to ask for help.


And I try never to “put things” on my friends. I will listen to them for hours without expecting them to listen to me when I’m down. Consequently, I hole up and hide like an injured cat when things are not going well for me. Very, very few times I’ve shared when I’ve been hurt – or devastated. Well, I used to share with my husband. Maybe that’s why he left. I shared too much. A lie! I didn’t share enough. Not of what was really going on with me. I didn’t dare. Ha! The consequences were the same. Interesting.

Lately, I’ve cheered on a friend who has found a partner and left me behind. She was my wingman – we went everywhere together. After we visit at our favourite coffee shop, I cry in the car all the way back home for the loss I feel. Selfish, I know.

Lost Friends

Worse yet are the friends I’ve lost to cancer. One was the first guy I dated after my break-up. He told me I was stunning and that if I was his wife, he’d have never let me go. I miss him every day. Another I’d known since childhood. She was one of the few people in the world that knew my nickname and thought I was cool. A former manager of mine who encouraged me in my career and thinks I can do anything has just told me his cancer has come back. I acted calm and asked him many questions but when I got off the phone I howled like a wounded animal. Our next meet up for coffee is going to be some of the best acting I’ve ever done.

I know it is selfish of me to mourn lost friendships when there are families left behind. The devastation when even one person is gone is nearly overwhelming. And that’s when you’ve been given time to prepare…to say “goodbye.”


What must Mothers, Fathers, husbands, wives, siblings, uncles, aunts, cousins, and friends be going through in the Middle East? In the Ukraine? In Russia?

Who are all these assholes who want to kill people? To drop bombs? To set fire to someone’s house? That think nothing of ruining people’s lives? And all for what? Revenge or power. It’s never their own asses on the line, no. It’s someone innocent who pays the price. Someone who wants nothing to do with their fight. The selfishness of those making these decisions is surreal.

All I Ask

My sincerest wish has gone unfulfilled for nearly 50 years. Every single time I’ve had a candle to blow out on my birthday cake – ever since I was nine years old – my wish has always been the same.

Tomorrow is my 58th birthday. I am OK with ending up a failure. I mean, I’m getting used to the idea. But it’s time I got what I wanted for my birthday. I don’t care how inconvenient or uncomfortable or expensive it is.

Even in the absence of cake or candles I’m going to make my wish again this year:

Peace on earth.

I just want Peace on earth.


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