I Could Live With That

Posted on | July 26, 2019 | 1 Comment

I’ve always thought too much about the future.

Whether it was as a fourth grader, worried about what comes after death, or as a college student worried about what comes after graduation, I’ve always had my mind firmly focused on what comes next. Will it be good? Will it be bad? Will it hurt? What exactly IS the next big thing on the horizon that I should be worried about or looking forward to?

I think it’s part of what happens in our society now… there are so many boxes to check.

Single, Married, Divorced, Widowed
Education Level
Number of children
Rent or Own

Our lives are pared down into pre-printed forms that ask only the simplest questions, minimizing our greatest accomplishments and worst defeats into little more than bold print square boxes that hold check marks. “Okay, life. I’ve gotten married. Now what?”

It’s hard not to look for the next big thing when everything around you is pulsing with the reminder that there is more. “Tell me what’s new with you,” people say, and they mean “what new big thing has happened or is happening in your life?” No one wants to hear “Everything is exactly the same in my life and I’m super happy to be enjoying the status quo, thank you so much for asking.”

When you’re dissatisfied or restless, it’s important to look ahead. There is something better, the world whispers, and you believe it because certainly there’s something better than whatever sludge is pooling around your ankles. You’re too young or too old, too fat or too out of shape. You eat too many carbs. Your life would just be so much better if you bought this or joined that club or became friends with that person.

Everything around is geared to make us dissatisfied with whatever it is that we have. There’s always someone who has it better. There’s always someone with more. For most of my life, I’ve been caught at the edge of a long list of things to do or accomplish, a treadmill of life goals. I’ve been gripping the handles for dear life and barely keeping my feet in rhythm with the churn beneath me. One misstep and I’ll fall off but, gosh…  if I just run faster, I’m going to make it to the front of the line.

Lately I’ve realized there is, in fact, no front of the line. Life on this treadmill is just holding on to the handles and barely scraping by. It’s sweating so profusely that you absolutely have to buy the water resistant make up and all the fancy hair bands because otherwise, everything you’ve worked so hard for will smear and pool down and block you from seeing that elusive moment where you reach your stride. The moment it all becomes worth it. The moment you can start to just live.

Then one day, you wake up and realize that if you just let go… just let yourself slide off the back of the treadmill… you’re not going to miss anything. You can stand at the back and be perfectly happy, sweat-free, and sure, maybe a few pounds heavier… but no longer running to get nowhere.

I’ve let go of the handles this year. I’ve stepped off from chasing the long list of things I haven’t done yet. Because life is not about catching up to what anyone else has. It’s not about reaching and stretching and desperately needing something attainable or even unattainable on the horizon.

Life is about letting go. It’s about trusting that what you have is what you need. It’s about a slow, calm, stretch of morning with a cup of coffee while three sons weave magic just by breathing. It’s about all the moments in your life twirling into now… into this exact moment.

This moment when you have everything.

Life… before the asterisk of losing weight or making more money or publishing a book or buying a bigger house.

Just Life. Just in this moment. Just in this brief, content moment, where if nothing ever changed?

Yeah. You could live with that.



One Response to “I Could Live With That”

    July 27th, 2019 @ 6:06 pm

    I also like this quote from Bianca Sparacino: “You’re going to realize it one day — that happiness was never about your job, or being in a relationship. Happiness was never about following in the footsteps of all those who came before you, it was never about being like the others. One day, you’re going to see it — that happiness was always about the discovery, the hope, the listening to your heart and following it whwrever it chose to go. Happiness was always about being kinder to yourself, it was always about embracing the person you were becoming. One day, you will understand. That happiness was always about learning how to live with yourself, that happiness was never in the hands of other people. It was always about you. It was always about you.”

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