Wishing Life Away
Every stage of life has its rough moments. Right now, I am neck deep in making sure my almost-three-year-old doesn't have potty accidents or backtalk too much and helping my one-year-old through teething and learning to talk. It's exhausting, to say the least. I catch myself frequently wishing we were past the teething stage or past the potty-training stage or to the stage where maybe I could explain things to my children and KNOW they understand what I'm saying instead of just hoping they do.
We're also still house-shopping in an area where the housing market is completely insane and we don't have a huge budget. What that means is we can find things really far from my husband's job, smaller than we were hoping for, or way out of our price range. And it's so frustrating. Even more frustrating is that when we moved into our townhouse, stashing away not quite half of our possessions in a storage unit, we thought we would be back out of it by now. That means I'm missing a lot of things like my corduroy pants and sweaters now that the weather has turned ... and bemoaning the fact that we're sinking way too much in rent right now. And I catch myself wishing we were past this and settled into a house. Wouldn't life be so much better then?
And then I keep reminding myself to stop wishing my life away. Seriously! We have everything we need even if we don't have everything we want. Honestly, we have MORE than we need.
We prayed and tried to get pregnant for 6 1/2 years before we were blessed with the knowledge that our daughter was on the way. When we were in the middle of that infertility struggle, a friend actually told me she was jealous of me. Jealous! Of me! She has three beautiful children and I couldn't imagine why she would be jealous of me not being able to have some of my own. Then, she said that my children were going to be so cherished and loved and appreciated where hers were probably sometimes not because she hadn't had to work as hard to get them. Oh. I keep thinking about the country song that came out almost 20 years ago or so. "You're Gonna Miss This." If you haven't heard it, you need to go listen to it. It's a great one. And I'm living it right now. Do I live up to the expectations my friend had before I got pregnant? Probably not. There are probably many days that I take my children for granted, that I don't appreciate the fact of them enough, that I neglect to send another prayer of thanks to God for answering all my prayers so beautifully. And I will probably have many more days of being frustrated that my child isn't sleeping through the night again because he's teething or getting way too angry that I have to change another pair of wet pants.
A fable comes to mind that I heard a long time ago. I can't remember all the exact details, but I want to sum up for you what I remember. It's about a person who is having a rough time and keeps thinking that life would be better if only she were on the other side of this tough spot. She is given a ball of yarn and told that if she wants to skip over this hard time, she can pull off a piece of the yarn and snip it. This will speed things up until she's past this and she can get to the "better" times. The only catch is, she has to give up that much of her life if she wants to do this. She decides it's worth it and snips off the yarn. Life is better for a while, but then something else hard happens. So, she snips another piece. I'm sure you can see what is coming. Before she knows it, she has barely any yarn left and she has skipped over almost all of her life. I don't want to be like that.
I don't have any answers. I don't have any suggestions right now. I just know it's good that I'm aware that I'm prone to this tendency. Instead of wishing my life away, wishing past the hard times. I need to enjoy the snuggles in the middle of the night while I can. Someday, my baby will sleep through the night and won't need me anymore. Someday, my daughter won't make up with me by wrapping me up so tight with her little arms, pressing a kiss to my face, and saying oh so sincerely "I love you, mommy." Someday we won't be crammed in a little townhouse, able to walk to a playground or mailbox like it's an adventure, making do with half our possessions, but not always missing what we don't have around. These days have so many beautiful moments. I just need to remember to soak them up instead of focusing on the negative so much. Who's with me? Are you running out of yarn?
This is a place for me to share thoughts and ideas not just related to writing. Thoughts about what's going on in my life, about an idea I got that I thought shareworthy, or just a funny anecdote.