I am trying mightily to stay on the path that leads to happiness, but that old saw of a headline is a constant reminder of how easy it is to trip myself up and fall on my ass.
It is clear I am my own worst enemy, some unresolved aspect of my ego lurking in the shadows like a film noir saboteur who foils the happy ending. Looking back on a timeline strewn with potholes of my own making I can see the pattern clearly. So many no-win imbroglios that brought me to grief!
What causes someone to knowingly trip up their chance at long term happiness?
I’ve heard all kinds of theories as to why I’m prone to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, deliberately creating discord at the most harmonious of times. My analyst came up with the Freudian triangle; my psychologist pondered an unresolved residue of self loathing. Under hypnosis I took a trip back in time and recreated my guilt at not being the kid that was killed in the auto accident that took my brother.
Then there’s the Cock of the Walk syndrome. The need to advertise myself like a Bird of Paradise (Lophorina superba) in the throes of his courtship dance, becoming a hopping, whirling, psychedelic emoticon snapping my tail feathers together to draw attention to myself.
I thought I had this craving for attention under control when I reached middle age and was blessed to have Arlene in my life. But alas, I continue to do dumb stunts that threaten the enviable level of respect and esteem we have for each other. Picture me after a couple of drinks (see above), oozing smarm with the ladies at a fancy soiree as if the dinner bell was the one that Pavlov rang.
We get home and I apologize sheepishly; and mercifully Arlene being who she is, the damage is not permanent. But the event puts a strain on our unwavering contract and the one-on-one exercise that clears the air is not a fun-filled half hour.
Fortunately I have a few more years before I’m walking doubled over with my chin touching my belly button so I keep working on a more positive affirmation. It dawns on me this late in the game that associated with all the foolish things I have done in my life, alcohol has been present. So I’m giving up drinking.
Knocking back the occasional Chardonnay is not an excuse that absolves me for acting the fool. I can’t blame happy hour for my off-putting behavior. But alcohol does loosen the libido and take me back in time when true north wasn’t on my map. And if there is one thing I do not want to do at this stage of my life, is lose my way.
You don’t go to jail when you violate trust but the sentence is severe. It takes a long stretch in hell to regain trust that is lost.