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I AM STRESSED. I don’t believe in not claiming it because if I claim it then it will be. I believe in claiming it so others will leave me alone and let me find my peace. Don’t put anything else on my plate because my plate is full. Funny, reminds me of a song taught to my daughter in school:

Don’t throw your trash in my backyard, my backyard, my backyard. Don’t Throw your trash in my backyard. My backyard’s full!

I know. Crazy. But, I am stressed and get to find humor wherever I want. I claim my stress because it is and so I can get past my stress.

I am a single parent supporting two college age children and a child in private school who commutes an hour each way with me talking non-stop most of the time. Stress is my morning coffee, my lunch break and my midnight snack. We have come to know each other far too well over the years. Usually we can co-exist without too much problem because I can easy cope, through exercise/healthy eating/venting to friends/blogging/sitting, with the normal load that comes part and par with the territory of single-parenthood, teens, and work. But, every now and again an extra amount of stress tries to creep its way into my life and hang around for a while. It just jumps right in, unexpectedly, and tries to stack itself on top of the already too heavy burden.

It is at that point that I start to wonder if I really made the right choices in my life. That is, let me correct myself, have any of my choices been right? And if so, which ones? I start to travel backwards through time wondering which event was the one, single event, that made me veer off my designated path. What one thing did I do or not do that has firmly placed me in this world of mine?

Maybe my life would be different if I had not . . . . That’s the problem. If I had not what? Planned to have a baby? Fell in love? Met the Boy’s father? Moved to California? Decided to model? Gotten divorced?Had two kids? Gotten married? Moved to Atlanta? Gone away to college? Volunteered enough that I won the scholarship that helped me go away to college? Graduated from high school? . . . (What? Too far back. I know.)

That’s it, I don’t have any serious ONE thing. I have had a life; not one that I have always enjoyed but, one nonetheless. And every now and again I just want to be somewhere else doing something else with nothing else to worry about. Every once in a while, I get tired of fighting with my ex about whether I really loved him or just wanted a child as a “toy I could play with”. I mean, heaven forbid that I just go buy myself a cool electronic gadget to play with. Nope, it is so much more fun to just sucker someone into believing you love them, have their baby, make your life a living hell, have the sole day-to-day responsibility of raising a child. Riiiiiiiight! As my mother would say, and a thousand others stuck on cliché overuse, “if you buy that, I have a bridge I could sell you.”

These moments of pure mental, emotional, physical exhaustion bring forth the idea of where else I could be and what else I could be doing if only I had not . . . .

And, today, after telling my mother that I can’t really say definitively that I don’t regret my decisions as she insisted that she doesn’t regret any and that this moment will soon pass for me because they always do, I came across a picture a friend posted of her son on Facebook. He was standing at a point in the road on their hike where “two roads diverged” and of course, THAT reminded me of Robert Frost.

The Road Not Taken

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

I chose this path and there is no going back to any point with the idea of going the other. I am who I am because of the way I went and, perhaps equally as significant, because of the way I did not go. (Still, I sometimes do want a do over. )

Not that you don’t enjoy your life but, where else do you think you might be if you had not taken THAT path?