Saturday, May 5, 2007

Living in the Present

Since my post yesterday I've been thinking of how I long for the past. It's a new sensation. For the first 28 years of my life I was always looking forward.

When I met Penn and we started dating, I couldn't WAIT until we were exclusive and he was totally wrapped around my finger and head over heels in love with me. Check. Then I couldn't WAIT until he asked me to marry him. I think back about that period of time and I could just slap myself! I was so clueless.

Have you seen the movie "How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days?" When I saw that I couldn't stop laughing because it was so me! I tidied his apartment, "redecorated," and made him change his haircut and throw out a lot of (albeit horrid) shirts. And his pair of PLAID DENIM shorts. He truly needed me. But that's beside the point.

I did everything wrong, include basically rushing him into an engagement. Then I couldn't WAIT for the big day. I became totally obsessed with all the details of the wedding and honeymoon. Nevermind the relationship. You know, the marriage? How can one little person be so hugely flawed?

We had a two or three month break up, when we moved from Connecticut to Seattle. So that, of course, really helped me to gain perspective and do things differently when we got back together. Right? Right? ...notsomuch.

It was right back to the old "can't-wait" syndrome. I couldn't wait until we were engaged - again! Then the wedding, although what we planned was more low key. Although I STILL COULDN'T WAIT! Then we got married and right away, we were compromising about when to start family planning. Penn wanted to wait a few years. You'll never guess, but... I didn't want to wait. We met in the middle and because it took us some time to conceive Nicknack didn't arrive until we'd been married nearly four years. And praise be to God, the timing was perfect.

If I had a time machine, I'd go back and give myself this advice: Yes, you can wait! Stop obsessing about the future! To everything there is a season! Enjoy your life, wherever you are in it!

But I don't have a time machine, and if I had one, old me wouldn't have listened to new me anyway. It's kind of like how you can't tell a teenager anything. They tend to know everything, already. So save your breath! I wonder if teenagers where like that when Jesus walked the earth. But I digress.

So, as I shared before, I enjoyed my pregnancy. I mean, I loved it. For the first time in my life I wasn't looking forward or looking back. And, in hindsight, although I'd love to be pregnant again I feel so satisfied by my experience that it was enough. It was so good, and I was actually so present and conscious of how good it was, that it was enough.

Since Nicknack was 11 days old (that's the first time, of many, I looked at his one-day-old photo and cried about how much he'd changed), I've reversed my old bad habit of living in the future. I've started obsessing about the past. After my last post, I realized that this is just as wrong. The one time in my life I've really been totally content to live in a season without looking forward or later trying to relive it was our pregnancy. I look back fondly, but I don't feel the need to relive it and I don't feel the same bittersweet nostalgia as I do about Nicknack as a little baby. I just feel happy that I got to experience it.

I need to live that way now. Otherwise, someday I'll be looking at this period of my life and longing for it. I need to live this season fully, just totally enjoying all the big and little joys and not looking back so often. I can certainly look back and relish the past. But to long so for the past tricks me into missing some of the joy of right now. The enemy is so so crafty, isn't he? But this time, his victory was short-lived, and ultimately, he failed. The difference is that during those old days (years!) I was technically a Christian. But I wasn't looking up much. I still feel like a baby Christian, with mustard-seed faith, much of the time. But I really and truly believe and desire God. And he has been so faithful to work with me. He's really showing me what "to everything there is a season" means.

So even though I will continue to spend this, Nicknack's birthday month, looking back in my posts, I will not be constantly looking back in my day to day life. Instead, I'm going to concentrate on the adorable and amazing little person he is now and all the things I need to learn in this season of our lives together as DatDat, Mama, and Nicknack.

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