For the past two days, I've watched my kids careen around the cul-de-sac on their tricycles. They giggle and pedal as fast as their short legs will allow. Both days, I've dealt with owies resulting from said careening and both times, said children were taking a corner while looking behind them. No matter how many times I look into their teary eyes and try to impart the importance of looking at where they're going not where they've been, they still look over their shoulders, giggling and unmindful of the dangers ahead.
While I'm trying to teach my young ones to always look ahead, I'm still looking back.
I've heard it oft repeated that if we don't learn from our mistakes, we will be doomed to repeat them. My problem is that I've learned from my mistakes and yet I repeat them over and over in my mind, going over every last embarrassing detail, until I just want to flay myself. I don't know why I constantly remind myself of those indiscretions, but I do. It's like this sick little hobby, to go over every detail of the specific moment when I opened my mouth and inserted my foot or when I hurt someone's feelings or broke a heart. And in looking behind me, I inadvertently trip over my feet here in the present. I miss what my child just said or glaze over during my husband's deconstruct of his day. I walk through the present, but I'm not really present, because I'm living over the worst moments of my past.
I just want to look straight ahead and quit peeking over my shoulder, because I'm so damned tired of bandaging up old owies that should have healed long ago.