Monday, September 15, 2008

on living in the moment

I used to have a smaller stomach. It has never been flat, exactly, but it was much much closer when I was 25. Do you know what I wanted when I was 25? For that stomach to grow into a baby. And it did - not then, but eventually, and now I get the baby but also the flabby belly. I'll take the flab.

Another: I got an email today from Elizabeth that made me so jealous I had to repent. Seriously. Ask her to describe her trip to mainland China. Ask her to tell you all about it, because it was so beautifully described, and sounds like the kind of experience you talk about for the rest of your life (I guess maybe all of Hong Kong will be that for her, but this trip stands out). I read her email and thought, what am I doing here? I have the same passions as Elizabeth and Mikkee. Mikkee just came home from Peru and Elizabeth is in Hong Kong. How did I become just a mom?

And that's when I had to repent. Because all that time I was doing my version of what Elizabeth and Mikkee are doing now (although it was NEVER as cool as what Elizabeth is doing now) - all that time I was in the prayer room and traveling and teaching and hiking - do you know what I wanted? To have a home and be a mom. Huh.

My point is that the grass is always greener. When you're in school you want to be established; once you get established, you usually want to go back to school. When you're traveling you want a home; when you have a home, you want to travel. The unknown is always more appealing than the moment.

I'm trying not to live that way. There are things about my current moment in life that I love, and things I will be glad to see end. That will always be true, regardless of what I'm doing. It will also always be true that the memory is usually sweeter than the reality. I'm trying very hard to enjoy where I am, to enjoy my day and know that when this is over, I will enjoy whatever comes next, too.

It's like The Weepies tell us -

I can't really say why everybody wishes they were somewhere else
But in the end the only steps that matter are the ones you take all by yourself.
You and me walk on
'Cause you can't go back now.


Amen.

5 comments:

jmac said...

brilliant post.

pallie said...

Stephanie-

I got to your blog via Laura M's and thought "I must comment on this post."

I am in at that point in my life where I am a student who wants to be settled and a young woman engaged to be married to a wonderful man who can't wait to be a wife and mom.

Thank you for your insight from the place where I can't wait to be. When I am finally a wife and mother, I will remember reading this blog, that many women feel this way and that it doesn't mean we are ungrateful or strange but that we are exceedingly normal.

Jeff, Carrie, Kara Beth, and Kaylan said...

brilliant indeed.

Elizabeth said...

So true, so true. I spent nine years of working praying for marriage and motherhood. Now that I'm here, I sometimes think about how I enjoyed my job, and the freedom I used to have to do things and go places. But I don't often mourn for what I used to have because what I have now is so much more fulfilling, even in its limitations.

Heather said...

In Eat Pray Love, Elizabeth Gilbert talks about spending 4 months in Italy and finding herself jealous of the people she met who were traveling. She said it was like making love to your favorite movie star while fantasizing about making love to your other favorite movie star.

Hee hee

You are a mom, but never "just" a mom. Just is a diminuitive word. It makes us feel unimportant and boring. Lose it.