Thursday, January 27, 2011

Living in the Future

I am and will probably always be an anticipator.  I remember being told as a kid not to wish my life away because every other sentence out of my mouth was "I can't wait until [insert something exciting and in the future here]."  There are definitely good and bad things to living one's life entirely in the future.  For one thing, I'm terrifically goal-oriented because of my misplacement in time, and that's really helped me to attain a lot of the things I want in life.

(Side note, I think that part of the reason why I am so good with money is because I am such an anticipator.  I can do with not touching my money now because of how much more it will be worth then.  And since I basically live in the then, it's not even like I'm really giving anything up.  This is, paradoxically, the exact same reason why I find it difficult to deny myself delicious fattening things now.  Because I know they won't last until then, because even if I don't eat them, someone else will.  There is no Chocolate Cake savings account with 3% Cream Filling compound interest. Wouldn't that be awesome?)

Unfortunately, being a time traveler from the future does make me mighty impatient in some ways.  I have trouble just forgetting about where I am hurrying and stopping to enjoy myself.  So if I don't force myself to take a moment every once in a while to notice where I am and what is happening, I miss out on some great stuff.  (It also leads me to be remarkably snippy on telephone help lines.  Why can't this problem just be FIXED already?)

What's odd is that I don't have anything to race toward right now.  The career I've always wanted is starting to come together for me, albeit in a different form than I anticipated.  I have a beautiful baby boy who stuns me with his happiness and delight in the world.  I have a loving, handsome, funny husband whose neuroses mesh very well with mine.  For all of my life, a running ticker tape in my mind would state "I miss...I wish...I can't wait...If only...etc."  Now, I find myself thinking "I wish..." and realizing nothing in particular should fill in the sentence.  This is only a problem in that I need to rewire my brain's default thinking mode.  (And you know that will require a phone call to the help desk.  Because the brain help menus are never user friendly.  And if that damn paper clip starts knocking, offering to help me write a letter, I will have something legitimate to be snippy about).

I've spent much of my life so far living in the perpetual future.  I think it's finally gotten here.  I have no idea what to do with it.

I suspect that this is where LO will come in handy.  Though he's almost completely potential at this point, he also is only capable of handling one thing at a time.  Babies are the ultimate in mindful living.  If he can giggle like a madman while taking a bath or having his diaper changed or after throwing up for the sixth time in a day, then clearly he knows a little more than I do about how to enjoy and recognize the moment.

There have been several times when I wished I could see what the ticker tape through LO's head is reading.  It probably doesn't get much more complicated than "I like this!  I like this!  Yaaaay!  Now I'm hungry!  Waah!"  But it would still be useful to know.  And I know that I could learn something from him.  Because how much more satisfied would I be if I could catch myself thinking "I like this!" several times a day?

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