I live a lot in the future. Worrying about the future, making plans for the future, and waiting for the future.
When THIS happens, then THIS. Know what I mean?
I often dream about the big old farmhouse we will one day own in the country. It’s one of my biggest dreams and I think about it often. A huge wrap around porch, an open country kitchen, peace and solitude on a deck in the backyard. I make plans for this day, a day that I know will happen but I don’t know when. I often think maybe we shouldn’t bother making our current home the best it can be, feel a bit unsettled since this home is likely not forever. Instead of being grateful for what I have now – a home that isn’t a farmhouse but is beautiful and OURS – I think only about the future possibilities.
But this home, the one we bought in 2014, the one that was built by my great-grandparents… this home is the here and now. This was our first home together. This is the home we brought Caleb to after he was born. This is the home we lovingly painted after our honeymoon, waiting for the paint to dry so we could move in and make it our own. This is the home we fought in and loved in and grew up in. I will be grateful for the here and now. I will not wish it away with dreams of the future.
I often dream about being thin again, despising my bigger body. I feel shame in the weight I gained when I was pregnant. I feel shame that I haven’t taken it back off. I think about the future, when Caleb is a bit older and I’ll have more time for me again, time to work out and train for races once more. I think about how I will look in a beautiful new dress, tell myself I can stay up with the latest fashion trends… WHEN I’m skinny. I think of how I’ll feel confident again and how the shame – along with the fat – will melt away.
But this body is the here and now. It’s bigger than I’d like it to be, but this is the body that carries my son and tucks him into bed when he’s tired. This is the body that goes to work each day and comes home sleepy after making a living to support my son and family. In THIS body, this “fat” body, I dance with my boy and swing him around laughing. It may not be the body I want, may not be the body of my dreams, but in this body, I have been a mother and a career woman and done so many things I never knew I could do. Instead of waiting until I’m thinner, I should dress this body in a way that makes me feel good. I will not neglect myself and my sense of style just because I don’t think I deserve it, because I don’t think this body deserves nice clothes NOW. Newsflash: IT DOES.
I often dream about when I’m older and retired. How much time we will have and how we’d like to finally travel the world. How we will finally be able to take time for ourselves and each other. I dream about exotic locales, waking up slowly in the morning, and no longer having to spend my whole life rushing to this place or that. I think about reading all day and watching TV all night, finally getting around to all the things I’ve always wanted to do but didn’t quite have the time or money for.
But right now is when we should start living. In the here and now. We shouldn’t wait until we have the time or the money. We can FIND the time and the money right now to do the things we want to do. Sure, it may take a few years to save up and travel, but we should do that, shouldn’t we? And in the meantime, we should take little roadtrips: me, my guys, and the open road. We can spend a little money on a tiny hotel and find things to do in places not far from here. I should stop putting off projects, I should start reading more NOW, and stop waiting for the future to do all the things I want to do. For now, I will be proud of the work I’m doing, the money I’m earning, and be grateful that I’m growing in my career. One day, I will miss that productive feeling of a job well done and will look back with pride at the work I did. So in this moment, in the here and now, I will live the life I want to live, even if time and money are shorter than I want them to be. I will be grateful for a job that allows me to be creative and passionate and not wish away the time until I retire.
It’s so easy to daydream about the future and what it might hold — so easy that we often forget to be grateful for what we have right here, in this moment. It’s time to stop wishing it away, time to be present in, to be thankful for, all that exists right here, right now.