13 Jul Loving the Life I’m Already Living
Summertime appears to be the season during which I realize the need to savor every moment. Maybe it’s Myquillin Smith reminding me that we only get 18 summers with each of our children. I have eight left with my eldest. Last August I wrote about living in the moment rather than constantly wishing for tomorrow.
This theme is one I revisit frequently. I have a certain focus in my writing now that I struggled to find in the past. The kids (and the dog!) are getting older. It was hard to maintain a real work routine during the years when they were little. I spent time writing, but lately I feel more driven to create, to promote my work, to pursue the career I truly desire.
I’m trying to keep my perspective healthy, though. I can be impatient, even jealous, and think I ought to be further along than I am. I get discouraged, believing I should have a larger email list, more “likes” on my Facebook page, more followers on Instagram. I also tend to think maybe next year, or in five years, I’ll be there. I will have arrived.
Perhaps John Lennon said it best. “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”
Alexandra Kuykendall wrote a book about this concept. I just read it with my Haphazard Book Club. This “Book Club” is really just a group of friends getting together to talk and drink tea or wine late into the night. We usually choose a book to read before we meet. Some of us read the book (or part of the book) and discuss it, even with those who haven’t read it. (Hence the “haphazard!”) Last month, two of us read Loving my Actual Life by Alexandra Kuykendall. I listened to the audio version and I loved it. One of the reasons I loved it so much was that I could almost have written it myself. It sounded like my life. Alex is a writer, had just turned forty, has kids around the ages of mine, and her oldest was starting middle school. A couple friends close to her age had passed away and that had reminded her what she already knew—this world is temporary.
It sounded like my life, except that she lives in Denver and doesn’t like to exercise. And I could be jealous of her career. If I were into that sort of thing.
But jealousy doesn’t interest me anymore. I’d much rather be grateful for all the blessings in my life. The book I’ve already written and the second one that will be out before too long. My family. I’d rather see my people for who they are and love their individuality. Nobody else gets to be mother to these children and wife to this man. I’m even starting to appreciate being one of the people our dog loves. (That transformation deserves a post of its own.)
It’s easy to get caught up in the race of every day life. The desire to be more, make more, do more. Sometimes I just need to sit back and be myself. Truly relish His creation. Can I work toward something more without missing what’s right in front of me? I want to enjoy the creative work I’m doing, loving the process as much as the product. The same goes for parenthood. Training kids is hard work. I pray when we’re finished raising them, we all still want to spend time together. But I also want to love them as they are now, in the midst of the mess of this crazy life.
My desire is to live this one life with gusto, fully present in the moment, enjoying the gifts I’ve been given, while staying faithful to my calling.
What about you? Will you join me?
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