I’ve got a ton of them. Some of which are actually good. Of those, there are a couple I can attempt. Like camping. In the backyard.

But deciding to put up a tent, blow up an air mattress, start a fire pit, and make s’mores all in the last 45 minutes of daylight, might be a little ambitious. Won’t this be fun for my daughter and her friend? They just wanted to have a sleep over; but I thought of something much better: a well-constructed night of fun carefully orchestrated to wring out the most amount of enjoyment allowed in the continental United States.

Step 10: continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

See, I’ll suggest a wonderfully outlandish idea, and when it’s enthusiastically approved, then I get to be in control of it. Which is great, until the big idea overwhelms me, and I get irritable and resentful.  I mean, I’m doing all this for them, after all.  It’s quite literally a disaster of my own making.

Not that the evening was a disaster. The tent was put up without a hitch; same for the air mattress. The fire wouldn’t stay lit, but we were still able to knock out a couple of credible s’mores.

The trouble begins when I decide to direct the festivities, as well as everyone’s reactions and expectations.  Just because it’s my idea doesn’t mean everyone has to do what I say.  They don’t have to enjoy my largess in the way that I imagined it.  I become bossy and pushy and sarcastic, which doesn’t play well with seven year-olds, who can’t understand if I’m joking around or really upset.  Neither can I.

So I’m frustrated.  Things aren’t going my way, and I have a series of selfish moments where anger, worthlessness, self-loathing and hopelessness all whip up into a froth of mushy brain thinking, where all of my feelings and emotions are cloudy and muddy and unnamable; suffice it to say that it means I’m once again falling down.

The Lesson:  Biting off more than I can chew, then spitting it out onto the floor for others to clean up isn’t the way to maintain anything close to serenity or sobriety.

Today:  Order the salad.

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