We sat on the back porch with a cup of iced tea and I asked my cousin Kristen a question that had been bothering me. Kristen is one of those people that you want to hate. She’s tall, thin, and gorgeous. She is actually even more beautiful on the inside (barf inducing, I know). I asked her about enjoying the moments we are in now, instead of always wishing for something different. I have thought about it a lot this year. There is uncertainty with Oilman’s job, missing him when he is gone, questions on what to do next, and questions on whether or not we will have children.
Kristen spoke up and said that was definitely something she struggled with. She talked about regret. Regret for not enjoying more of each day with her little ones. You spend so many days as a mom counting down until bedtime so that you can get just one minute to yourself. You can’t wait to enjoy that tiny window of time where you are not helping someone, wiping something, or covered in some type of food and/or body waste. You countdown until the children are out of diapers. You countdown until the children are in school or mother’s day out or childcare. You are always counting down to the next thing, never enjoying the now. At some point, you realize how much you have missed. Maybe it is when your little one becomes a teenager or enters Kindergarten. You stop for a moment and wish you could go back to the time you were hoping would pass quickly. That moment is gone now, did you appreciate it?
I have spent a lot of time seeing the negative about Oilman’s schedule and our infertility. I haven’t always appreciated the season of life I’m currently in. To every negative aspect, there are positives. Oilman’s schedule means that I get a lot of time to do whatever I want. I can be incredibly selfish with schedule when I choose to be. If Oilman should ever have a “normal” job, I will probably regret that I didn’t fully enjoy 10 days off each month more. In an effort to appreciate more of what we can do right now, we decided to take an impromptu trip when he comes home. We’re going to visit a place we’ve never been and see a band we truly enjoy. This weekend, I’m going to partake in some “me” time. I’m going to put away the list of what I should do and simply fill my time with what I want. I don’t have any commitments and Oilman comes home in another week. I’m going to think about what would make me happy and I’m going to do it. The perks of having infertility are that I can choose to read a book whenever I want. This weekend I may choose to stay in pajamas all day. I may have a glass of wine and definitely will enjoy a good cup of coffee with real cream. I’m going to make a meal for myself that doesn’t involve heating something in the microwave. I’m going to turn on the Food Network. I may sit on the back porch or take a long bath. I’m going to get a pedicure with my mother. I’m not going to worry about how clean my kitchen countertops are, or if the dishwasher needs unloading. I’m going to intentionally enjoy where I am.
It’s stupid how much time I spend focusing on the next thing instead of the now and not appreciating the place I am today. The funny thing is that at some point in my life, I was wishing for the life I have right this second. It is amazing and I need to enjoy it. Whether it is regret or simply not seeing the positive in today, we can all spend more time being thankful for what we have and where we are. In the words of Jennie Allen, “Eventually, our days and minutes equal our lives.” I want to look back knowing that I fully embraced those days and minutes, not wished for something different.