I get so consumed with thinking about the future.
Actually, in my mind it’s not just the future, it’s THE FUTURE, all emphasis, all the time. I get so consumed with thinking about what comes next — when Will is older and he and his future sibling/s are out of the baby stage. Trying to decide about their schooling, about my career, our choices and lifestyle as a family. It gets overwhelming at times.
Just today a song on the radio reminded me of my early days in Virginia. I moved here when I was 24 — no job, no relationship, not even any friends in town! (Leah and my cousin Rebecca both lived here already, though, so it’s not like I was completely alone.) At the time none of this bothered me, but I remember later in my 20s feeling just the way I do now — unable to relax and enjoy the moment because I was so consumed with my anxiety over the future. Would I ever get where I wanted to go?
(I think this was taken in March 2007.)
Thinking back on that time in my life is like thinking about a different person. Look how different things are now:
And in the meantime I built meaningful friendships and a career I loved. I got where I was going to go, and I was always going to do so whether or not I spent all my time wondering if THE FUTURE was ever going to arrive. Of course it was. So why was I so worried?
I don’t want to look back on this time in my life and think to myself, why did I spend so much time worrying? Why didn’t I just enjoy it? — AT ALL.
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Obviously I can’t ignore the future and expect that that someday I’m thinking about will never arrive. (I’m living 20s-Amy’s someday right now, after all.) Instead, the best thing I can do is keep Future Amy in mind as I make my day-to-day decisions. Make my present look more like the future I am dreaming, rather than wishing away the present in hopes that the future will arrive sooner.
I think the reason I am clinging so tightly to a locked-down, this-is-what-will-happen-and-when step-by-step march into the next decade is that, I’ve realized, this stay-at-home mom lifestyle makes me feel like I am flying without a safety net, like I am untethered to the “outside world”. It feels terribly risky. I don’t know why, but there you go. It’s helping me to expand my definition of what life can be; I think deep down I still doubt that what I do every day is really worthwhile.
I mean, I doubt Will agrees with that.
Letting go of my anxiety over what comes next means letting go of the trapeze and just … flying. No safety net, just trust.
Time to work this out! I need my yoga mat.