I always need to have something to look forward to. Holidays, vacations, parties, seasons, nap time, Kurt getting home from work, the girls' bedtime. I cling to things that haven't happened yet, to make me feel okay. I think that's part of the reason winter is so bad. There is just nothing to look forward to, but days and days and days of this. Grey and cold and being trapped inside. All of the water of the world is frozen, except the ocean, and I can't get there, from here.
When you look forward to things with as much religion as I do, it's hard to live through the thing you've been building up. Inevitably, you'll reach the point in the future where the upcoming thing is NOW, and it's hard to make now as magical as you make the imagined things, in the future. The things that are going to make you happy.
You're not happy now. But, you'll be happy then.
The happiness slips through your fingers, when you're not happy now. It leaves and you realize that holidays and weddings and lunch dates won't make you happy.
There isn't a way to be happy, except for being at home, right where you are.
There is a wonderful art to this, to staying with yourself. It's called, Everything Is Just Okay. Everything is No Big Deal.
We tell ourselves this thing when we're upset, to try to feel better. Someone rejects us or we get hurt, and we say, "I don't even care. It's not even that big of a deal." It's true. It's really never a big deal, not in the grand sense that considers that we'll all die. Some of us will grow old, and some of us won't. We'll all die, and, at the moment of our last thought, we won't be reaching back in time to cling to the time that our douche bag ex-boyfriend tried to tell us that a condom must have ripped itself from the perforated length of condoms and used its slippery little body to push open the medicine cabinet door and then crawled across the floor, under the bathroom door and through the laundry strewn around on the bedroom next to where you slept together, warm and together, and snuggled itself accidentally into his pocket, somehow.
It must have fallen in there, I don't know!
It seemed like a big deal, but it wasn't.
The real trick is learning to apply this same idea to the good things that happen in our lives; the Christmases and 3rd Birthdays. The vacations and nap times in the middle of a long day. The Saturdays when your husband doesn't wake you, and you open your eyes and sunlight stings them and it's 10:45am.
Anybody can understand that the bad things in life are no big deal. We all get hurt, we all get sick, we all feel disappointed, we all feel lonely, we all die. Those things that made us cry were not a big deal.
But, if we're all dying, then neither were the good things.
Telling ourselves that bad things are no big deal, but clinging to good things with our fists squeezed tight, looking forward to them with a fervor and a yearning, will make us miserable, because we have to live with now. Now is so very seldom Christmas or waking up on the first morning of a week in a rented beach house. Nap time is only a blip in our day, and there's always something to get done while they're sleeping anyway. It's a sweet thing, when it's 3:30 and your two year old is actually showing signs of being tired, but it's never that sweet. It is just okay. It's no big deal.
I guess it all boils down to this:
Nothing that isn't what you are and where you are, in this moment, is worth throwing this moment away for. It is important to grieve the things we've lost and to celebrate in moments when we're blessed, but it's also important to understand that time is moving on, quickly and without our permission, and we're all dying.