When I was seven years old I loved to play baseball. I wasn’t much good, I guess, but then again I was only seven. Those were good times. When something would happen and one or more of us encountered a rule we didn’t know about: Do Over!
Later, the Atari video game console became popular. If the game wasn’t going right or if you’d made a loser move that would prevent your breaking a record, just a quick tap on the rest switch and: Do Over!
In high school when I knocked up my girlfriend: Do Over! … aaaaand Do Over!
Do Over was becoming more difficult, however. By College, there were no more Do Over!s. Didn’t do the pre-reading? Here’s a mittful of lumps, now catch up or there’ll be more lumps for you. Professors collect a lot of lumps in a career and the good ones don’t mind doling them out to whomever needs them. Eventually I learned. No Do Over!s, just lumps and learning, and Do and Accept. Eventually I forgot. Lost temper? Lost job? Hole in your resume? No Do Over!s, but maybe a hole in your head? No Do Over! for that so don’t.
Do Over! Is for kids. It’s for anyone who is learning how to learn, but once you’ve learned how to learn, it’s time to learn. Learn to Do and to Accept and to Build with imperfect materials. I don’t get to feel anymore because I’m insane. I don’t get a Do Over! anymore. My son is also insane and he’s only 11. He won’t get a Do Over! but in a way, in a way that’s larger than I am, I will get a Do Over! through him. Because he won’t have to learn over the course of half of his life that he’s crazy, he’ll always know. I’ve seen to that. He’ll get 15 years of life that I didn’t get because I spent it crazy and insane. He’ll just be crazy but will have help staying away from insane. I hope. But on days like this, when the chemistry is strong and the CBT doesn’t work and all my energy is focused on staying away from the bottle to keep the demons at bay, I despair and I know that The Crazy will win with him too. The Crazy will get a Do Over! It always does. Because The Crazy cheats.