My youngest child is almost four years old. To me, she looks like the teeniest tiniest human in all of history; but to her she feels the need to frequently remind me:
“I not beebee , I big girl.”
She has also been ripping my heart out with the constant mnemonic:
“Soon I go to school.”
Insert all the cry emoji faces here.
I keep telling her,
“It’ll be here before you know it.”
Mostly, telling myself how quickly it all goes. A cue to slow down and take it all in.
I think back on all the times that I was not settled into my journey; just looking forward to the destination. I am not even sure I have been a participant in the last decade of my life. It’s all just happened.
I spent the last, oh I don’t know, all my life, wanting to reach the next phase of said life. I remember being little and so desperately wanting to write checks. Yes. You read that correctly.
And go grocery shopping. Rebellious, I know.
These days you would be hard pressed to get me to go grocery shopping even if you brought me a big ol’ Ed Mcmann check.
The “getting there” list goes on.
I couldn’t wait to graduate high school.
Then, I wanted to be out of college.
Then, I wanted to get a job. No, wait, that’s misleading. I wanted to be given money to live, and apparently they make you work for it these days. After becoming a registered nurse did not feel like enough (why, I still don’t know) I went on to get my Master’s in Nursing and became an adult nurse practitioner. I spent those two years in my graduate program taking allllll the short cuts just to get done so I could be “there.” Even skipping a last semester that would have opened more job opportunities, but would have taken longer.
Impatience in my journey has always won.
Then, I wanted to be married.
Then, I wanted to be pregnant.
And then I wanted more babies. My children are, on average, two years apart. If that doesn’t give insight into my “get me where I am going” mentality then I don’t know what will. I remember looking at my first born when he was 15 months old and an only child. He looked to me like he was 12. His unsteady walk and babbling sounds cued his growing up. I needed another baby; I wanted to meet the rest of my family.
Now, not later.
That pattern repeated itself an additional four times.
Once I got “there”, I would have a big family with a bigger house.
A family dog. Financial freedom. Time. Energy. Stability.
Now, here we are with kids that are becoming teenagers, no newborns left, and I wonder if spending all that time trying to get “there” actually made me miss the joy of being there.
I am here now.
Minus the financial freedom because let’s be real, I have 5 kids and a mortgage. So I am indebted to personal loans and credit card companies for eternity.
Sorry, that was negative. Let me rephrase.
Our debt free journey is one that we have yet to get “there” and I have made peace with slowly chipping away at the left over damage from student loans and subsequent poor financial decisions.
I am here embracing the ages of my children: old enough to be somewhat independent and funny little humans yet still young enough that they need our constant attention.
I still have goals, dreams if you will, and I am working towards them. Becoming a published author has been a dream of mine since I was a teen. Always too terrified to publicize my writings but now I figure, f*%& it.
I am sharing.
I am enjoying my days to write, without a done- by date in mind.
I am not trying to get anywhere. Simply walking a path that brings me joy.
I now look back at my teens and twenties and take time to reflect. Did I enjoy it enough? Or did I just wish it away? I certainly remember reminding myself to take in the moment. But, now, at 35, I think I am acutally learning what “be present” means.
I am okay with where I am right now while looking forward to where I’m going to go in the future. And to be an active participant in all of it unfolding.
I hope it’s not too late.
Maybe that’s wisdom that comes with age or the nonchalance that comes with exhaustion.
Either way, I am here for it.