Friday, June 4, 2010

Contentment.

Do you ever find yourself longing for the "next thing" in your life? Going through this phase to hurriedly get to the next? Wasting your time in the NOW dreaming of your future?

For the first time in my adult life, I'm not.

It all started my Junior year of college, the first time I remember wanting to rush life. I couldn't wait to get through the next two years of college so I could finally marry the man of my dreams and never have to say "goodbye" to him as we dated long-distance. I wanted to marry him and live happily ever after - if only I could get to that place, THEN I would be content.

That time finally came and what a magical time it was. We were young, carefree, and had the world at our fingertips. We took trips together all the time and I was always scheming up the next adventure for us to find. Life was bliss, marriage was all I'd hoped and dreamed it would be and things were amazing.

Inevitably, a few years went by and I had my sights set on something else. A new phase. A baby.

We had a timeline for when we wanted to try for him, and it seemed like an eternity to get there. I didn't want to be in the workforce. I sat at my desk daydreaming about being what I've always wanted to be when I grew up - a Mommy. I found myself counting down until "the month" that we could start trying and it came to a point where it consumed my thoughts. July 2008. If we could only get to July 2008, THEN I would be content.

July 2008 came and two months later I popped up pregnant! Horray! Yippee! Life was great and I was satisfied.

....

Until I started growing and bulging and just wanted that little baby OUT of me. I was tired of being pregnant, tired of being huge and I just wanted that phase to be over with so I could get to what I dreamed of for so long - the phase of motherhood.

Levi finally decided to come out to play and my world was filled with diapers, wipes, toys, swings, formula, and all things newborn.

And THAT is when I wanted time to stop. I have found that life goes by entirely too fast. A year passes in the blink of an eye and the here and the now is what it's all about. I look back on those awesome years as newlyweds and I think about how fast that went. I think about my "working years" that I desperately wished away, and I can't believe it's already over. Pregnancy seemed so long at the time, but once Levi made his appearance, I was shocked at how fast it went and that he was HERE.

And now here I sit, with a one year old. No longer a baby, but a toddler. Where did this year go? I didn't wish away one second of it and yet it still flew by faster than I could try to explain. I literally tried to savor and cherish each moment with my baby and yet, I still feel cheated. How did he become this little boy that he is today?

A lot of people have been popping the question of when we want another baby since Levi just turned one, and it just makes me laugh. At first I was taken aback. My brother and I are 3 years apart (as are Husby and his sister), so I'm used to some space. Life is just so great right now. We are SO enjoying our little boy and watching him grow and learn - it's simply fascinating. Husby and I have known from the start when we think will be a good time for #2 and we won't even begin thinking about that little one until he graduates next May. When I'm asked this question, it just reminds me that everyone is always looking for "the next stage" not only in their own lives, but in other people's too!

Maybe it's just a part of our makeup as humans? Keeping our sight set forward...

We complain that life goes too fast, but is it partly because we're wishing it away? If only I could get a new job... If only I could get a new house... If only we could get married.... If only she could sit up by herself.... If only he was potty trained... If only they could drive themselves... If only I could retire... If only, If only, If only.

Goals are one thing, but dwelling on them is another. And if we're honest with ourselves, I think we can all find ourselves unhealthily dwelling on what isn't in the here and now.

I am finally at a place in my life that I have ALWAYS, since I was a little girl, wanted to be. I am in no hurry to rush it, change it or get it "under my belt". This time is perfect. And I am wholly and fully content.

It just took me several years to get there.

And I pray I'll stay for a while.

Today, the present, is what you will look back on as "the good old days". Are you savoring them?

35 comments:

  1. this is a great reflective post.
    i am cherishing every single day of being pregnant.
    i look fwd to meeting my little man in August and watching him grow.
    however, i'm quite happy with where my life is right now, in this moment.

    :)

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  2. this is wonderful. i think i figured out kind of early that i had no idea what life had in store for me, so i was super loosey-goosey and just went with the flow. and i'm so happy now that i was the way that i was, because had i not had such a gypsy soul, i would have never been in the position to meet the sweet man who proposed to me over the weekend.

    BUTTT ... now i'm in the what-next phase. :) YIKES!!

    contentment is such an amazing thing, though ... there is an amazing feeling of contentment when you realize that life is exactly as is should be, and i'm relishing every second of that.

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  3. great post!

    im currently stuck in the i-want-my-baby-out-now pregnant phase :/ but its just because im sooo miserable!

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  4. We've also started getting questions about when the next baby's coming. It has started to annoy me a little, not just because it's an awfully personal question, but because it does show that people are looking for the next thing rather than enjoying what they have. I'm perfectly happy to enjoy life with our 16 month old for a while longer, giving her all the attention a toddler needs, and then have more time and attention to devote to our second baby later on :)

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  5. I think it's because God places eternity within us. We are eternal beings. Our flesh continues to seek out the next big thing, then another. It's not until we stand in the presence of our Almighty Father that we will truly be content once and for all.

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  6. Great post :) People are always asking us WHEN we're having kids ... we've been married 3 years, it must be time already!! But not so much for us. I used to be bothered by the questions, but I've realized that (most of the time), the people who are asking are honestly just curious. So I don't mind answering them.

    The only times in my life that I can actively remember wanting to rush things along were in my last semester of nursing school, when I was burned out and newly engaged ... I wanted to graduate already, marry my best friend, and start my job. And then toward the end of us living in Chattanooga, we were both pretty miserable ... I was desperate for a change, for a move, for more stability, for SOMETHING, and I wanted to get out of the limbo that we were in. God has taught me patience, and I've managed to listen. It's taken a while, but even though I desperately want a house and for Mark to have a job so we can move on and have a baby etc etc etc ... I'm content where we are right now.

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  7. So true. Great post. Enjoy Levi. Two is great but ALOT! I have a 3 year old and an 8 week old. XO KJ

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  8. It is good that you are enjoying the moment. I can look back on my life and see the times when I was just wishing for the next thing. I now wish I had savored the time I was in then. I am trying to do better. It's a lesson we all learn every day.

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  9. I'm trying really hard to savor these moments of pregnancy when my baby is truly in the safest place he'll be in life, but it's definitely hard. Every day I say, "I can't wait for him to be here." I hope I can live in the "now" every day with him just as you do with Levi. It goes by so fast.

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  10. Hi Whitney! I have been reading for awhile now but not sure if I've commented before...

    Just wanted to say how much I can relate to this post!! I feel the exact same way you do - both in how I always looked forawrd and how once my daughter was born (almost 10 months) I stopped wishing away the time. Though I DO find myself still thinking, "won't it be nice when all the kids can do XYZ...?" I'm working on it :)

    Oh and there is only ONE kid right now!

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  11. well put! I feel the same way! I wanted to be married, have a baby, and here I am! I know I won't wish a way a moment of Tucker's life!

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  12. A fantastically well-written post. I'm often guilty of looking ahead, but am trying to be more in the moment!

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  13. Hi Whitney! I've never commented on your blog, but I've been reading it for quite some time. It was your "dont hug the homeless" post that got me hooked. You are so wonderfully insightful. Even though we are so different in many ways, your posts cause me to step back and look at the world from another angle, and make me think about how much we are all really the same. And it doesn't hurt that your little boy is ADORABLE!

    I've been thinking about this very subject for some time. I too felt like I was waiting and waiting for a very long time. I am still with my high school sweetheart, and college seemed like an eternity. He did not go to college. Then I got my M.A., which also felt endless. I finished my M.A. a year ago, and since then, I've really stopped to enjoy life. I even decided to stay at my current job for a while, rather than apply for new ones right away. It's been wonderful, and even without a baby, I wonder at how quickly the year has gone by when I'm living instead of waiting for what's next.
    -Sarah Jo

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  14. So true! Both my husband and I find ourselves planning for the future so much that sometimes we have to remind ourselves how great the present is. I think people our age have a tendency to do that because we have so many fun things to look forward too! Marriage, buying a house, career, school, and babies! I often find myself counting the months until we can start trying... eeeek!! But I imagine I should savor these days where its just my husband, myself, and our dogs.

    Cabin Fever in Vermont

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  15. Great post! I am so trying not to wish my last three weeks in Virginia way, but being in a temporary house and know I have a cutesy little house in OK to decorate makes me crazy! Not to mention being able to submerge myself in friends and family once I'm there. If only hubby would graduate :-)

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  16. It's not always easy to live in the present -- that is for sure. I understand where you are coming from, though. My daughter will be two in another couple of months -- and I don't get how the time has flown so quickly!

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  17. This is so, so, so true. It's really cheesy of me to mention this, but this post reminds me of the song "You're Gonna Miss This." When I first heard that song, I teared up because I could totally relate to it. I wish I could hear it every day for a reminder to just sit back, look around and ENJOY where I am right now.

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  18. I was always, always looking for something else. Until now. Now with Baby Girl here, I want to freeze time. While I look forward to her growing and being able to do more on her own, I love this newness of her and I don't want it to ever end. I know it will, but I am truly just content with where I am right now..

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  19. GREAT POST! I always have done that--since college as well. I am always thinking, planning, and waiting for the future---always. Do Men do this as well, or is it just a woman thing? Thanks for writing this and reminding me to TRY to be happy with where I am now.

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  20. Crazy how I keep reading about things that I've been praying about. :) I finally reached the point of contentment at the end of last year. And I remember thinking that I had NEVER felt so comfortable, so content, so satisfied in all my life. But this week, I have been struggling. And wondering where my "contentment" went. But you are so right...why do we always long for that next step or phase in life?! I prayed this morning about two specific things and I fell upon two different blog posts that touched on each of those prayers. :) I love how God works! BTW...I enjoy reading your blog!

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  21. I completely relate to this post. Unfortunately, I'm not content and I do spend my days wishing I could be married and wishing for a baby and wishing that I could stay at home with that baby...this was a great reminder that I need to enjoy what I have right now.

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  22. Good post and very true. I am in the wishing for a baby phase. I think it is just part of beings human to wish for the next phase. I think eventually we get to that phase where we can take a step back and enjoy and not rush to the next but I think in general looking ahead to that next phase is also what drives us. Gives us that shining light to the next phase of life. The next change.

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  23. This is so true! Great post!

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  24. Great post. My oldest just turned 14 yesterday and it truly just feels like she was born. Time speeds up, my friend. Savor each day!!

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  25. I wish I had a pause button most of the time. For this particular phase in our lives, I wish I had a fast forward button!

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  26. Great post. This is something I really need to remember. I'm definitely one of those people always looking forward to the next step. Just like you, I couldn't wait for college to get over so I could get married. Now that I am, I can't wait to have a baby. I know I definitely need to remind myself to enjoy this time when it's just the two of us!

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  27. Oh wow, I can 100% totally relate to this post, so very very true. I can't help but continue to look forward to the next stage, the next stage etc. I am looking forward to that moment when I can feel completely content!

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  28. I had some major complications when I had my son, and so I knew that I would probably never get pregnant again. For a while we thought about adopting, but then I realized what my husband already knew . . . our lives were good and we were both at a place where we were content. Most of my family is great with this, but some people make comments like "you're just giving up easy", and then there are the friends that feel the need to tell you what a diservice you are doing your child if you just have one. I think we live in a society that doesn't encourage contentment, in a lot of ways it discourages it. I just have to remember to learn to "be content in whatever state I'm in" and not let others bother me.

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  29. I love this post.

    I spent most of the year wishing that it would go faster, that we could be done with residency and move on... But right now I'm feeling content, and I want to stretch out this time as long as possible.

    Thank you for the thoughtful words!

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  30. great post! I actually find myself in the waiting for the next phase right now...just gotta get through the next 3 months before the wedding :-) But that isn't to say I'm not content with life right now...

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  31. Hi - I just found your blog yesterday and I have to say, it is now my favorite. I am a little bit behind you in life - just a month away from moving into our first house, after apartment living and working full time for 3 years; and less than a year away from that "baby goal". So this post was really wonderful for me to read. I'm constantly thinking everything will feel better and more settled if I can just get a few months down the line. Thanks for your reminder that we really need to just enjoy every moment of every phase, because it will be gone before we know it...

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  32. Everything you've said in this post really describes how I am feeling right now. Honestly, my son was a little unplanned. We weren't exactly "trying" to have a baby, but we weren't "not trying" either. So throughout my pregnancy I didn't take very many pictures, I don't even have hardly any pictures of his birth or his first few days of life in the hospital where he was born. I TOTALLY regret it now, and I try to take pictures of him daily! My son is 18months old, and sometimes I find myself wanting another baby so that I can cherish every moment of pregnancy and the newborn stage. But then I always feel guilty because I feel as if I want another baby so I can do the things that I didn't do with my son, and that makes me feel bad. Thanks for writing this post, it really has been a wake up call for me!

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  34. Hi! I know this is an old post but I just re-read it and I just HAD to write about this contentment stuff on my blog as well! So if you don´t mind, I put a link on my blog to this text because it´s just so good. :) And if you do mind, just say so :)

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May the Lord bless you and keep you safe today! Thanks for the comment, friends! :)

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