As I've written before (here and here) I've been struggling lately to accept and truly live this life that I've spent so long building. I'm so used to overcoming hurdles and trying to fast forward through the challenging times that I really don't know how to just be. I've been told recently by several (older, wiser) people that "these are the years" to cherish; these times when the kids are still in that cuddly and needy phase yet growing and developing so quickly and amazingly, when our careers are taking off--and the slope of the trajectory will be set by what we do in these early years, and we still have our relative youth and health in order to manage and enjoy it all. Busy, chaotic, and oh-so-full.
This living-in-the-moment sounds so easy in theory, yet so difficult to put to practice. Sometimes it's like my fingers itch to grab the remote and hit the rewind or fast forward buttons, going backwards or forwards to a time that in my mind is simpler, easier, or more exciting. I fantasize sometimes, as I walk home exhausted from work yet gearing up for the next few hours, about skipping ahead 5 years through these challenging little-kid years, or going 5 years to back to a life spontaneous and free. And on rare occasions, I even think about the completely different paths that I could have taken in life.
Yet for so many years I longed for exactly what I have right now. I wonder why I cannot embrace it. Is this just my personality? Am I inherently unable to enjoy my life for what it is, constantly wanting something more or less or maybe just different?
It isn't that I'm not grateful. I am. Every single day I am grateful for my amazing fortune. And it isn't even that I don't find joy and wonder in so many moments throughout the day. Because I do. And I recognize that. It's more a general physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion sometimes. It's that sinking feeling on Friday night, that the weekend will be busier and more exhausting then the weekdays and then the ache in my heart on Monday morning when I miss the constant togetherness with my boys.And perhaps also a lingering wistfulness for the girl I used to be. The girl that may still be there, but is buried under to-do-lists, sensible shoes, and emerging worry lines.
I think maybe it's just recognizing that life as an adult can be rich and fulfilling but will always be tough and tiring. I think it's growing up. And I'm not sure that I like it.