here and now

First of all, a major thank-you to Kristin, who talked me down from the edge of paranoia yesterday.  I’d like to talk more about our conversation another time, because, well, she’s awesome, but I need to devote some more time to it, because, well,  she’s awesome.

Thanks in part to that conversation, but also in part to some thinking I’d been doing, already, I had one of those moments, while watching the fireworks last night.  It was a good moment, but kind of a, “this is my life, right now,” moments.  Don’t know what I’m talking about?  Well, this morning, I remembered a post from the old, defunct blog, that actually talks about this very thing:

I have this kind of default way of thinking about my life that I’ve been trying to resist for a while now.  I seem to always be living in the next step, living in the fantasy of the next day.  So much more of my energy seems to go to tomorrow, or next week, or when X happens, and so much less of it seems to go to today, right now, this moment, my life as it is.

Often, the thing that I see as missing in my life will take on some kind of magical quality.  Kate Harding calls this the Fantasy of Being Thin, but it can be the fantasy of getting married, being rich, having a baby, or just about anything that takes on this quality of “my life will be perfect if only X.”  I remember as far back as middle school, thinking about a classmate of mine, “What does she have to be unhappy about?  She’s got a BOYFRIEND.”  After all, that was all MY life was missing, wasn’t it?  If I had a BOYFRIEND then I would never be unhappy again.  All of my other problems would just fade away.  (Though looking back, of course, this over-focus on a boyfriend was a convenient and safe way to avoid facing some of the real dysfunction and pain in my life at home.)

A while back I started realizing how much I wasn’t living, how much my life was on hold.  I was just waiting for the magical baby to arrive (shortly preceded, of course, by the magical pregnancy).  I think since I got married, all of my energy has been so focused on “when I get pregnant” or “when I have a baby.”  (This, too, has been to avoid facing some pain and dysfunction, but that’s a story for another day.)  Since being married, my professional life hasn’t exactly gone as I would like it to and I haven’t put nearly as much effort or energy into friendships as I used to.  I’ve been lonely, bored, and disconnected.  All of this was ok, though, because pregnancy and baby were right around the corner, I just had to hang in there a little longer.  So I didn’t really put much energy into my life, I just kind of numbed out and hung all my hopes on the magical baby.

I have been learning, slowly but surely, two steps forward, 1.5 steps back, to live my life as it is, not as my fantasies would have it.  This can be hard, as the here and now is often so painful.  Recently I read this piece in Exhale magazine, and it really spoke to me.  The author says:

“No babies are going to solve my problems, or return to me what I feel I am ‘owed.'”

Real life doesn’t start when I get a boyfriend, or get married, or get pregnant, or have a baby.  Though it may be full of pain and dysfunction, real life is right now.

Once again, I have found myself living in a transitory state, living as if this is just an interim period in my life.  And in some sense it is.  But lately I find myself waking up to the world, and realizing (again) that my “real” life isn’t when the divorce is final, or when I get a “real” job, or move out on my own.  It is now, it is here, it is flying past like lightning.  I don’t want to miss any of it.


11 responses to “here and now

  1. I think this stands for everything in our lives…it’s so true. All of those magical things I hold in front of me like a carrot on a stick, aren’t going to change me, really. We have to remember to live each day, right now…because that’s all that IS.

    Great post.

  2. I agree, Kristin is awesome! I’m glad she was there for you.

    It’s hard to live in the “here and now”, sometimes. It’s so easy to get lost in the fantasy of “tomorrow”. Our lives are always going on “now” nothing will be better for you then living in the moment. For everyone!

  3. I was honored to be able to help…and, I’m ready and willing to chat for fun too 🙂 It sounds like you are really making progress. I am impressed.

  4. Firstly, Kristin IS amazing. She’s talked me down off of many a ledge, too. I just love her.

    Secondly, your post today is a timely one as it applies to my life. I needed to read this today, as it solidifies something that I’ve been trying to tell myself the past few weeks and also sharpens feelings that I haven’t been able to clarify for myself.

    I’ve invested so much of the last 18 months into trying to get pregnant (surrogacy), that I’ve let many things slide by the wayside. I kept telling myself that success was right around the corner, and that if I could just hold on a little longer until then I’d be able to re-devote my time and energy into the areas I loosened a grip on. I found myself feeling like you described – emotionally strung out and disconnected. I need to get back to me and live my life as it is NOW to the fullest. I haven’t talked about this on my blog yet, but I’ve decided to take 6 months off from surrogacy (as it relates directly to me). I’ll still write about it and I’m an active supporter in my online community, but I’m not going to do anything major as a surrogate myself until Dec/Jan. I need to refocus and stop waiting to be happy about my future when there are many things I could be happier about now. That’s not to say that I’m *not* happy now, because I am. But I know that I’m not as happy as I could be because I have been letting the sadness of my life as a surrogate permeate too many other areas of my life.

    Thank you for such a great post.

  5. Kristin is great…and the best part of this blogosphere is that there is support and empathy around…mostly.

    R, remember that what you have in hand is the sand in your palm right now….even if it is slipping away, it has caressed your skin and you have felt it. It is on you if you bend and pick up that sand again, or walk away hunting for rocks!

  6. This is such a fantastic post. I love it. I have been feeling very much the same lately, like I had been in a holding pattern for years for something to come along and make me happy. I’ve tried blogging about it but was no where near as elegant as you were. I too am trying very hard to live in the now and enjoy what I have here and now without dwelling on what might be someday.

  7. Great post! Living in the moment is definitely something that we all need a little reminding about once in awhile. 🙂

  8. You’re so right. I need to move forward on my wants and needs, not just for a baby, but for everything else.

  9. Wonderful post, and such an important reminder. It is far too easy to miss out on the goodness that we currently have in the here and now, pining for some mythical place when we will finally arrive and be happy and fulfilled. Thanks for this.

  10. Kristin rocks!

    It’s so easy to get a case of the “I’ll be happy whens.” It takes constant vigilance to be where you are, to balance the now and the future.

    If you find any tricks to doing so, let us know!

  11. rosesdaughter

    I’ve always had the problem of thinking” when (insert whatever dream here) happens, life will be perfect. Of course, I get what I want eventually, and life is STILL not perfect. It’s a hard lesson to remember to enjoy the now. Even now, when I think my life is going pretty good, I’m still not living in the here and now. I’ve got to work on this.

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