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Endlessly waiting

by Karen on March 3, 2010

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve had a pretty serious addiction to countdowns. It’s normal when we’re kids, though, right? We’re always waiting for the next birthday, Christmas, summer vacation. It seems we’re always counting down to something.

It’s just that I never grew out of it.

It’s not that I’m unhappy with the here and now. Sometimes I am. But most of the time, I recognize how good I have it now. I enjoy the present. I do. But I’ve always got one eye on the future, looking ahead to what’s next. It’s in my nature to plan and prepare, and how can I do that without anticipating the next big thing? How can I prepare if I don’t keep my eyes ahead?

The problem is, no matter how hard I try to stay grounded in the present, all of this anticipating inevitably steals some of the joy of now. The more exciting the next step is, the harder it is for me to enjoy what’s now without wishing my days away.

I hope I always have a next step to plan for. I hope there’s always a reason to look ahead with excitement. The day that I wake up and realize there’s nothing exciting in my future would be a sad day, indeed. But I need to work on looking ahead to tomorrow without rushing through today.

I need to teach myself to focus more on the present. Most importantly, I need to learn that while it’s okay to plan and prepare, it’s useless to worry about the future. The universe has a tendency to work itself out for the best. My worrying won’t make a bit of difference in the end. All it does is steal my joy in the present.

Each day I look at the calendar and mentally tally up the days until our trip and the days until the next chapter in our lives begins. Each day it gets a little easier as the wait gets shorter. But every once in a while I need to remind myself to slow down. I need to remind myself that someday I’ll look back on this time in our lives, and I’ll wish I hadn’t counted down so anxiously to its end.

Photo by wdecora

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{ 4 comments }

1 Mrs. Money March 3, 2010 at 8:35 am

I just think some people are like that. :) I know I am. Whenever I have something coming up, I’m like “come on days, pass until I get to X”. Which is not good, because then I don’t enjoy the present.

You let me know when you figure out how to stop that. ;)
.-= Mrs. Money´s last blog ..How Much Money are we Spending? =-.

2 Cathy March 3, 2010 at 11:04 am

Although I think we should all strive to live in the now, I also think some personalities crave the planning and what lays ahead of them. I still think that once you start having babies, you will start enjoying the “now” more because each day you will find something that excites you, something that couldn’t be planned for.
.-= Cathy´s last blog ..Hanging On to My Vision =-.

3 Marla March 3, 2010 at 12:37 pm

I have a name for this: “Tying a Knot in the Rope”. I have to have a knot tied in the rope to pull myself forward (trip to Hawaii…new job…etc.) all the time. I get a little nervous if I don’t have at least two knots ahead at all times. I think its normal to want to look ahead with excitement and doesn’t negate the enjoyment of now. I actually think the knots in the rope help me glide over the rough spots of life. The anticipation of things – Christmas morning, vacation, wedding, etc. is a huge part of the enjoyment of the overall experience. We all need to be a lot gentler with ourselves for being human!

4 Brittany March 3, 2010 at 12:37 pm

If it makes you feel any better, I have a “sticky” on my desktop that currently says “85 days till Brian comes to China,” and I update it every day.
So you are not alone :) I think it’s only natural to look forward to exciting things, like, you know, going on a cruise and going to Europe and finally moving back to be near your family! Wow, you’re going to have a hell of a year in 2010!
Enjoy the cruise!! Get lots of sun and whatever you do, don’t take your laptop!!
.-= Brittany´s last blog ..My First (and Last) Mass =-.

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