I’ve had this feeling lately like I’m racing toward a stop sign.
I when I was pregnant with my first child I decided that I’d never rush things; that I’d never wish away any stage in order to get to the next. I chose to not wish “if only they were out of diapers” or “if only they were in school.” I’ve noticed lately that I’ve let that commitment slip somewhat. I’ve been focused on what will happen when our kids have flown the nest and my husband and I have only ourselves to be concerned with on a daily basis.
I don’t think this was selfish, but more of a way of embracing the changes in life and encouraging our grown children to build lives of their own.
My mom said something recently to me – that there were years, many of them, where she only existed.
Wow. Those words had such a big impact on me. Sorrow for her, love, empathy too and then I began to reflect. Am I just existing, waiting for some future state? Am I so carefully navigating stress and complicated family issues – tip toeing to cause the least reactions – that I am not actively living or appreciating?
Am I in rush to get to some future state? I can’t ignore that the future state I seek will be closer to the end of life. Reality hits. What am I racing for? Have I forgotten to appreciate what is and not rush or hurry to what is next?
So many moments of life are so challenging. Pain and struggle, conflict, anger, judgment – there’s so much that causes us stress. Allowing ourselves to get mired in it though, that’s a choice. I’ve tried so hard to always find the joy, to remain hopeful and to open my heart to love.
Joy is such a rare commodity if you think of it. How often do we let ourselves feel that exquisite emotion? How often do we just give in to joy without tainting it with worry or negativity? It’s tough to do but so precious and a gift really, sharing joy with family – that’s a goal I also embrace.
I’m hoping I’ll manage to dig in my heals and remember to live for today, appreciate yesterday and have hope for tomorrow.