Monday, March 10, 2008

Stop and Smell the Flowers TODAY!!

I have spent most of my life waiting for the "next" step. In high school I couldn't wait for graduation. Then I couldn't wait to get out of nursing school and get into "real college." In college I just wanted the degree so I could get into law school. Once I got to law school, I seriously couldn't wait to graduate. Once I graduated, I waited impatiently to get through the bar exam. We decided to have a baby, and I restlessly awaited the arrival of my little bundle. Well, I made it through all of that. I have a beautiful baby girl. I passed the bar exam. And then I got a job. The next step was to put all my focus on finding and buying a house. Check and check.

Now, I wake up every morning a little lost and a lot confused. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to be waiting for now. I don't have any more "graduations" on the horizon. Without any huge change in the near future - nothing to measure my progress toward, I've started to feel a bit like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. I realize there will always be an endless supply of stuff to want and work toward, but it just doesn't seem to hold the same meaning. More importantly, I've grown kind of tired of waiting to live my life. Sure, I've had lots of good experiences over the past decade, and I have some really wonderful memories, but I can't get over the feeling that I've been perpetually putting my life on hold.

The solution, of course, is to do everything within my power to live each day fully, with gratitude for all the opportunities that have filled my past and the blank sheet that is my future. I, like most of the world, constantly despair that I don't have "enough" money. This has been the case no matter what my adjusted gross income was for the year. But so many things that I love to do are doable without more money. I love to read - especially fiction. Today, I'm going to do that. I love to travel. So I can't afford to go to the Bahamas for my birthday, but maybe I can afford to go to the Oregon coast. I love to take Valerie to the park. Nothing is stopping me from doing that today but myself. Ironically enough, the most joy in my life comes from the doing something that can always be done without worrying about the balance in my checking account - spending time with the people I love.

With a little help from Valerie, I have cut back on how much I sleep. There will be plenty of time to sleep when I'm dead. With a little help from the writer's strike, I have cut back on the number of hours I watch TV. I'd rather be living my life than watching people on TV live theirs. Each day is a gift and we aren't guaranteed a tomorrow. I have to start living that way and stop "waiting" my life away.

1 comment:

Melissa said...

The checklist of life is a common theme among many of us. Once we get to our destination, we're not quite sure why we were going there in the first place. I think this blog is the perfect place to expand upon that. I look forward to reading more as you expore this issue.