I’m a big advocate of living for the present. Especially now, with a two-year-old son who seems to be changing and growing before my very eyes. Today, he actually said two sentences strung together. He said, “Where are you, daddy? Watch baseball!” I want to enjoy these moments as they happen. If I dwell too much on the future, I become afraid. If I dwell too much on the past, I get trapped in nostalgia.

I know how deceptive memory is, and I have occasionally been shocked at how I’ve colored my own images of the past. I can’t live in times that are gone, because it really means I’m living in a world of my own making. I can’t have any regrets, because that would just make me depressed. Although part of me feels behind the times and past my prime, I like the modern world and I see no reason to look back.

As for the future: when I was a teenager I read hundreds of scifi books. I was always looking to some imagined future where we traveled around in spaceships and visited other planets. So far that future is much different than I thought it might be, but it’s still very interesting for all that. Nowadays I don’t try to predict what’s coming; I find it better and less stressful to just enjoy the ride. Not that the future will be perfect–but I’ll try to make a difference where I can without tying myself up in knots.

In my own life, I realize that as a mother who isn’t currently in the workforce I face some challenges ahead–I can’t even imagine what my future holds for me. That’s a little scary. Will I be able to find a paying writing job ever again? Will I find some kind of personal fulfillment? Will I be able to resume my career? And if not, what will I do? Worries like these would just make me crazy if I dwelt on them constantly, and I wouldn’t be able to enjoy being a mom so much.

Take it one day at a time, that’s what I’m trying to do. Life is difficult enough as it is–why add things you can’t change and things you can’t anticipate to the mix? Somehow things will work out. I truly believe that.

Advertisements