It started for me in college. I had an English professor who pointed out that people always ask you, “What are you going to do?” instead of, “What are you doing?” We spend our childhoods being asked what we will do when we grow up instead of being asked who we are today.
I have always struggled with wanting the next step to be here. I want to move to a new house. I want new chickens. I want to plant next year’s garden. When I was dating my husband I wanted to be engaged. When I was engaged I wanted to be married. When I was married I freaked out. I became depressed. I spent the first six months of my married life lamenting my new home, my jobless state, my crappy yard and my cheap carpet. I spent so much time in a bummer place in my head that I missed the beauty that being a newlywed is all about. And I can’t get that back.
So when I have a moment where I say, “I can’t wait for my babies to crawl,” or “I can’t wait for them to talk,” I immediately try to soak in something good about their stage right now. Cormac is currently kicking his legs on unison and cooing. Clara is sleeping on my lap because she won’t nap on her own today. Yes, I would love to go eat something, but I’m going to take a moment and soak this in. Someday I’ll wish she needed me to help her nap. And someday Cormac will be running all over the place with those cute legs.
It’s easy to want the next thing, but we should all take a minute to look at our family members and friends and see who they are today. Try to see the good in each phase of your life, even when you are sleep deprived or depressed. You can’t get these moments back, so remember them in the best way you can.