Today started with a very early morning, a big breakfast, and sending Anya’s friend home to officially end the sleepover. The girls, all four of them, decided to wake up at 6:00 am this morning (I really need to teach Anya about proper sleepover etiquette. You never wake up that early after a sleepover, especially if you stayed up until 11:00 pm watching movies and giggling in your mom’s very comfortable bed while she tossed and turned on the couch). After reducing the girl population by one, we had an entire Saturday with nothing to do, and I intended to take advantage of this. Our weeks are plenty busy, the house cleaning could wait another day, I could afford to procrastinate on my next research paper a little, and we were all tired. We watched cartoons and movies, colored, did puzzles, and read books for most of the day. Lazy days are awesome.
As I have mentioned before and will mention again, lazy days also have a downfall. They are filled with nothing, so if you have an active mind like I do, you still want to be thinking or doing something constructive. Some people like crosswords or computer games – I’m known to get pretty intense into my iPad Scrabble game. Some people catch up on books or magazines – today, I tried to continue reading “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and to catch up on recipes I find in magazines. Some people just engage with others around them – let’s face it, I’m surrounded by people constantly, so I’m always engaging with others. Despite all of these means for constructive thinking, my mind still wanders. When Andy is gone, my mind wanders onto one particular stream of thinking: will I ever be content with life as it is?
I know, this sounds broad, perplexing, and a little too philosophical of a thought to just randomly spurt out. But I wonder this all the time. I feel like I am always waiting for something in my life. I am waiting for my husband to come back, waiting for my children to reach a certain age, waiting for our next assignment, waiting for a paycheck, waiting for phone calls, waiting for people, waiting for a deadline – my life is a series of countdowns. This means that I am always looking forward, which can be conceived as a positive outlook on life. I also see it as someone who cannot be content in the present. For example, I loved living in the Tacoma area. We were there for three years, and I loved it. In spite of this, I was always aware that our time would come to an end and was waiting for the time to leave, wondering where we would go and what we would do. My children are growing everyday, and I keep waiting for them to reach certain ages and stages – I cannot wait to have all the children in school and to have them more independent. Should I be enjoying these moments more? I am living in Italy, and I know I take it for granted. I have three young children who will someday leave me; shouldn’t I be enjoying their milestones and lives right now before the time passes?
I sit and wonder if all I am ever doing is waiting for the next thing to happen – a job, an assignment, a birthday, another year to go by – when am I going to be happy with life as it is? What if I spend the rest of my life just waiting for the next thing to happen? I’ll spend my life waiting until I am ultimately waiting for death, something I cannot even fathom to think about (note: I have a horrible fear of dying). Am I abnormal to be thinking and feeling this way? And if this is how many people think, then what is the point of life in general if all we are doing is waiting and waiting until our death? It is at this point in my thinking that I start to panic about dying, so then the whole stream of thinking takes a very dark turn…
Now you see how my horribly anxious and sometimes neurotic brain can operate. After thinking about this yet again, I decided today that I have to break out of this cycle of waiting. There are certain things that will not change – I will always have some kind of countdown going on in my life, because everyone does. We will continue waiting for Andy and for certain aspects of life to happen. But I have decided that I need to enjoy life right now. So what if I still have kids at home? So what if I cannot work right now? So what if I I am here in a foreign country for the next two and a half years? Instead of waiting for all of these things to end, I want to focus on their positives and try to enjoy them now. As cliche as it sounds, the last thing I want to do is look back at my life and realize I wasted it waiting for the next thing to begin. I want to enjoy the present before the things I have in my life now are gone, and I want to enjoy my life now, no matter what is happening in it. I’ll always be waiting for something, but I can still be happy as I countdown.