Time is tricky in motherhood. Hours and days crawl by, while weeks and months fly. We focus on the things we’re looking forward to—kindergarten, babysitting age, the last one to kindergarten—so much that it’s sometimes hard to appreciate the now. We start to get dissatisfied with our lives now until we aches.
And sometimes, that’s not a bad thing. I came across an article called “The tension of the already, but the not yet” that points out that this longing is good when it prompts us for growth:
Maybe this tension is a perfect place? Not because we love being there, but because it’s the beginning of the end of our striving? Maybe this is when we realize that it’s not about us? That ultimately, we’re just part of a greater story that takes time to be written and revealed and at the point of these questions, we don’t know the full story yet.
This reminds me of something I’ve heard about writing. (Sorry, this is so generic that I’m blanking on who said this. Someone who knew what he was talking about.) An experienced writer argues that when we begin writing, we get very discouraged, and consider our writing terrible. And it probably is—and it’s a good thing.
It’s a good thing that we can see the difference between where we are now and where we want to be. We’re comparing our writing to published authors’—people in another stage of their journey, who have more experience and help than we probably do—and we naturally come up short.
But, this writer cautions, don’t let that stop you from writing. Push through this uncomfortable phase, writing and practicing more and more—learning more about and actually becoming what you want to be—until that feeling of being terrible passes. Change your circumstances, and change your attitude—and improve. That feeling keeps us working to get better.
We can’t make time go faster so we can enjoy the next phase sooner (and let’s be honest, we’ll probably still be looking forward to the next stage then), but we can channel this tension, this cognitive dissonance into looking at our lives now to see how we can enjoy them more—and what we may need to change to value and enjoy the present more now.
What do you think? How can you value and enjoy the present more now?
Photo by Joe Philipson