One thing I have always had to consciously work at is living in the moment. In general, it’s tough for me to just relax and enjoy life where I am right now — I am constantly looking forward to the next thing. I’m always counting down however many weeks remain until x or waiting until y happens instead of just appreciating my current reality. Whether it’s because I was waiting to have a more fulfilling job or thinking my life wouldn’t start until I lost five more pounds, being here now hasn’t been a particular skill of mine. I did this to an extreme last year after my mom died — wishing away the rest of my life, however long or rich or full it might be, in order to get to the finish line — to our real Home.
The problem with this, of course, is that it makes it impossible to appreciate what I have. And as a consequence I think I let a lot of years go by without really fully living them. I was too busy waiting for what was coming next, for some vague future in which I was completely content. I was wishing the time away, waiting for that moment when I could finally relax and feel like all the pieces had fallen into place.
I realized the other day that I don’t do that anymore. I was thinking about how many weeks remain until Christmas, and it struck me — I don’t want Christmas to get here. Instead of anxiously waiting for the future to arrive, I’m doing the opposite. I want to freeze time.
This is a large part of why I am so happy these days. I keep telling people that I can’t imagine anything more fun than however old Will is at the moment (I said it at two months, three, four, and now five months) — his first year is going by so fast and I want to soak it all in as much as I can. Instead of impatiently waiting for his first tooth, for crawling, walking, talking, I am doing my best to just love where we are right now. This month. This week. Today. I’m not assuming that what’s happening now is worthless because I have five more pounds to lose and then I can appreciate life. I’m not wishing the time away because I don’t know what the future holds (though that in particular is a challenge on some days). I am just finally stopping here to look around. To enjoy it. To live it.
Whether I’m able to live in the moment more because I am happy or if I am happy because I am getting better about living in the moment, I’m not sure. I don’t think it really matters. I think it’s human nature to keep looking forward, but I’m going to do my best to just be present.