When I’d completed a final review of my book, the first dozen go-overs not being as perfect as I’d expected, I knew I could probably correct some of it again, and then again. And again in six months. So when do you stop? When is it too much? When is it not enough?
“Nothing compared to the last hour.” Suddenly reality hits me. “Adam is going to come back into our lives, Gracie, into mine. I’ve pushed him so far back in my mind that he barely exists, like some trivial half-forgotten relationship that has nothing to do with my children. They so very rarely asked and they always seemed pleased with the answers I gave them. Maybe I didn’t say enough. Or was it too much? I keep thinking I could have avoided this.(Closed Doors, ©2017)
Recurring questions, not just for a manuscript. Relationships, work, commitments. When could you do/give more? When have you done/given enough? Are you not getting enough? Or has it become too much? When is it time to pull the plug? Or strive for better? Once again it’s all in the balance.
He does it over and over, increasing the torment until I protest. “That hurts.”
“Too much? Or just enough?”(Closed Doors, ©2017)
I could have subtitled this “How not to regret”. Because that’s what it’s about, really. How do you make sure you don’t regret walking away, or making the extra effort when you can’t predict the outcome? What if it’s all for nothing?
We’re an interesting tableau: me, my lover and my children’s father. You’d think we’d have so much to talk about, so much in common. But there’s nothing to say, or rather too much. The past is a minefield and the present is treacherous at best. The minutes drag on, not even one customer. I long for coffee; the tea tastes like dirt and tiny twigs float on the surface. (Closed Doors, ©2017)
I don’t think there’s a one-size-fits-all answer. The trick is finding that point of no-regret. That moment when, no matter what happens after, you can live with it. You do more, go for more, put in the time and effort or you put a stop, put an end, put your foot down. Let the chips fall where they may. Whatever.
The only way to avoid any of this is to do nothing. No starting, no ending, no trying, no changing. But then, no change, no progress, nothing better, no life. It’s a choice. I’d rather take my chances.