This blog post first appeared over at www.allisonvesterfelt.com - you can read more about Allison there!
I’ve always felt like the “next” season of my life was going to be the best season of my life. When I was in elementary school, I couldn’t wait to get to middle school (because no one tells you about middle school before you get there). When I was in middle school, I was certain high school would be the jam.
When I got to high school, of course, I couldn’t wait for college; and yet I spent the entire four years I was in college bemoaning college and waiting for the moment I would graduate and move on.
Photo Credit: Nana B Agyei, Creative Commons
Then, when post-graduation wasn’t anything like I expected, I started waiting for the moment I would get married.
Recently a friend of mine came to Nashville to visit. She and I lived together in Portland for a few years before we were each married. We both went through boyfriends together and break-ups together and career successes and failures together, and I remember thinking that was such a hard season. We couldn’t wait to move on.
Now, I live in Nashville and she lives in Arkansas with her husband, and they’re expecting a baby pretty much any minute, and we talked about how much has changed since we lived together back then.
We reminisced about all the fun we had—the nights of eating popcorn and watching Gilmore Girls, the long runs on the miles and miles of forrest that stretched out our backdoor, the “accidental” shopping trips and walks downtown to get frozen yogurt or lattes.
There were hard things about that season, but for the most part it was really good.
I guess, in some ways, there’s no way to get around this. It’s always easier to see the blessings of a season when we’ve moved beyond it than it is too see them while we’re in it (for me, at least). I think we have this funny way of remembering on the good parts about seasons of the pas and blocking out the bad. But at the same time, this conversation got me thinking.
What if I could look at the season I’m in with the same kind of perspective I have on that season of the past?
What if I could just decide to appreciate it?
If that was the case, maybe I wouldn’t have to wait until a season was over to really feel thankful for it. Maybe I could feel thankful while I’m in it. I wouldn’t have to resent my season or miss it. I could just enjoy it.
Maybe it just comes with age. It must. Because I really am getting better at this. I’m not perfect, but I’m getting better. I’ve been married for two and a half years now, which should be about the time we get the “baby” itch, but we’re waiting for awhile. I’m trying not to rush things, not to get ahead of myself.
I’m trying to remember there are not timelines for these things and to enjoy the time we have to ourselves.
Of course, there are things I hope to achieve in my career, but even with those things I’ve recently started thinking—maybe it’s better to have a long view. Maybe I don’t need to accomplish them now. Maybe the more I zoom in, the more I enjoy what I have, the less like I am to miss all the beautiful things about this season.
I look around me and can’t help but feel thankful. It’s not big things I feel thankful for, but little things. I just made myself some coffee at home, and I’m sitting in my favorite chair. I’m up early, and nobody else is awake. It’s quiet in the house. There’s clutter everywhere, but it’s my clutter, our clutter, the clutter of people I love.
Life is beautiful, even when it’s a little bit messy.
Don’t you think?