Looking forward when today feels too hard

Many times, I just need something to look forward to – a promise that there will be a better day, a happier, less-stressed day.

When my kids are feeling pain, and struggling, I don’t know how to not allow it to affect me. Even if I could turn off my concern, I wouldn’t. It’s how I’m wired; it’s how I love. Whether it is unemployment, break-ups, mental health struggles, health or university pressures, there’s so much coming at them. I’d love to tell them it gets easier, that things get better when you’re older. But that’s not been my experience. Life is hard. What I try to emphasize is having something to look forward to – whether it’s a goal or a vacation, starting something new, fun with friends or just a movie coming out they’ve been looking forward to.

For me, there’s a Bahamas trip in April and a family week at a rental cottage the end of June. I go there in my imagination sometimes and when things are particularly challenging I can at least look forward to those times.

My mom used to say, “This too shall pass.” And there is comfort in those words. There is the promise that troubles don’t last forever but there’s also the reality within those words that good times too will pass.

I’ve seen life plans, hopes, dreams, a future, simply erased by one person’s decision – and all of it replaced by a broken heart.  I can only hope that broken heart – will also not last forever and will one day heal to love again.

Some dreams die, but I look forward to new ones taking their place.

Some days seem like they’ll never end, and some days I wish wouldn’t.

While experiencing pain, struggle, loss, heart-break it feels like an eternity.

While recently celebrating our 28th anniversary, my husband and I returned to the location of our wedding reception for dinner. It was all too apparent how quickly those 28 years passed.  I feel a bit like that scene in Hook where Peter comes back and when Wendy turns to him she is old, “I’m ever so much more than 20, Peter,” she says.

I can’t think too much about how fast the time has gone, or how quickly it seems I’ve grown closer to the age of 50. On the inside I don’t feel my age. On the other hand, I feel I’ve earned the grey hairs and if I could go back, I don’t think I would.

I know I can’t hang onto yesterday, anymore than I can make today’s hurts speed away. But having something to look forward to helps me focus on the promise of a better tomorrow.

Sunrise Corfu Greece