When I was a child, I was eager to grow up. When in middle school, I wanted to be in high school, and when in high school I desperately wanted to go to college. I loved college very much and started to truly become the person I knew I was meant to be, but I was eager to get finished and get into “the real world”. Once I graduated, I was chomping at the bit to set up a private practice (after an internship that I certainly wasn’t eager to complete) and then to move into an apartment and get my life Started. No sooner had I accomplished that — in fact a little too soon, I can admit now — I was ready to meet someone and have a real relationship. Granted, at this point it was 2002 and I was almost 25, so it’s not like that’s out of the question. But…..it was another two years until I met Brian, so I had to bide my time. In 2004 we met, started dating in 2005, and I knew pretty quickly where this was headed after my initial balking at dating a Nice Guy. I loved this man, I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him, and I was ready to get this show on the road! We were engaged in 2006, planned a wedding in seven months, and were married in October. Finally! Let’s Start a Life!
Except….let’s wait until we have a better house. I had moved into a small, ancient house in 2005 and we lived there together after we were married for a while. It was a good house to start a relationship and marriage in — there was nowhere to hide from each other and we learned to work together to fix things or cope with the crises that house seemed to bring. But the water was horrible, it had a mold problem, I wouldn’t ever want to raise a child there, and we were hoping to buy a house. So we put our wedding gifts in storage (who wants to wash their new stuff in un-filtered well water with no black light or any other precaution? Not me.) and waited until we could find a house we could afford. We moved to The Square in June 0f 2007. Now we could get life started, right?
Not yet. We decided to wait a few months to get clearance from my doctor to really get underway with babymaking. I went off the pill in January of 2008 — let’s have a family! (Insert record screech here) We all know how that went. So….we worked on that for three years. We made plans for “when we have kids” or “when I’m pregnant” or “when we have a family”. Soon it became a matter of biding our time until Brian could find a new job, as the stress of hating his current one wasn’t making Project Baby 2008, 2009, or 2010 any easier. But as soon as he got a new job, or we got more money, or we did this or that or the other thing, certainly I would get pregnant and we could really Start Living.
Then, Brian lost his hated job, we stopped Trying, he got a new job, and we decided to adopt through foster care. Now we just need to save up a little bit, fix a few things in the house, maybe put down some hardwood, put up some curtains, make a nursery, take a gajillion classes, do some paperwork, have a home study, do the whole foster care thing and we’ll be able to Start a Family and really Start Living our life. Right?
Why do we always look for what we need to do next in order to fully enjoy life? Why can we not live in the moment, enjoying what we have? I spent my childhood wishing it would fly, my adolescence wishing for adulthood. I spent my single years wishing for marriage (though I will say this is much better than that!), and our early marriage wishing for a family. But aren’t we a family? We’re close to my family, we visit Brian’s family as often as possible and stay in touch through texts and internet, we have strong family roots in several states. How are we not a family of two, primarily, and a family of many past that? Children don’t define a family, they enlarge it. Besides, we’re raising three cats and none of them have gone to jail yet, so we’ve had our practice! It just seems like we’re always striving, running, pushing, and yet waiting for Next. At a certain point won’t I have accomplished Motherhood, Grandmotherhood, Great-grandmotherhood (and further, hopefully)? What then – striving toward Dead? I think not.
So these days I’m trying to live Right Now. Right now I am a happily married, happily employed woman who needs to enjoy every minute of the Without Kids period of my life so that I can wring every bit of awesome out of it before moving on to Next. Sure, I’m going to plan and pursue, and we’ll start fostering stuff here pretty soon in preparation but you can be sure I’m going to enjoy every minute of it as much as possible. It’s time to be present in the moment and enjoy Today.
I don’t share videos or songs very often on my blog unless they really, truly touch me. This song did. I heard it live in the beginning of the summer and found myself welling up right there in public. I play this a lot and more often than not it’s the earworm running through my head. If you’re reading in a reader, it’s worth clicking through, I promise. Listen carefully, please, and make sure that this is your best day.