When I look back at my life, there are periods of time where I think “those were happy times”. One of those is the years I spent living with my roommates while I was in grad school. And yet, during those times it’s not like I was perpetually happy and upbeat. Life had its ups and downs, I looked ahead to goals I was working towards, and I’m not even sure that I was always aware that I was living the “good times”.
I’ve always puzzled about this. Sometimes I think Life is more about how we remember things then how we felt at the time. Because the experience itself is limited by time, yet the remembering lasts a lifetime. So even if, at the time of a certain event, you felt miserable, if you can look back on it as a good thing – a learning experience, or even a happy event – then which is it? It kind of warps my mind a bit, because it’s hard to “live in the moment” that way. It almost challenges our idea of reality. Is a moment defined by how we experience it at the time, or how we remember it?
Regardless, I’m realizing lately that I am in Good Times. I really love being a parent to young children.
[note: I can say for certain that I love it alot more when I’m out and about with the kids – being at home can be stressful for everybody. My advice to new parents everywhere is get out of the house! Every day, as soon as you can get up and get everybody ready to go, get out and go. The kids are happier, it’s easier, it’s more fun for everyone…end of speech].
Anyways, DH has been working hard this week on a short-term contract job and so I’ve been a full time parent all week (usually I get a break for a couple of days each week – one of the advantages of having both parents at home). I’ve fallen into a good rhythm with the kids, and have overall been enjoying myself and my time with them. I realize more than ever that this time is short – they’ll both be in school soon, and the days of wandering around the city during the week doing chores, going for walks in the park, visiting the aquarium and science world, having coffee with Grandpa or my other mama friends…they won’t last forever. At times it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but in some ways it’s really nice not doing the “nine to five” grind, or trying to fit Life in on the weekends.
And when I stop and think about it, there is just so much Good going on right now, it’s hard to imagine that DH has been out of work for going on four months now, and we are living on credit. Things between him and I are wonderful. We had a “date night” this past Saturday, and overall we’re just really happy together. The kids are healthy and happy. Emily is doing great in school and I love the place. I have a faculty appointment. I have a consulting business I’m ready to get off the ground. The future looks really good. I’m starting to formulate a vision of our future (see my past post about visualization/being psychic) and that is giving me more confidence. I have a strong feeling that I’m going to look back on these “lean” years as a wonderful experience that was well worth the sacrifices. This time with the children is so short and so precious, I am just so glad that I’m able to really savour and appreciate it.
So I guess these are what the Good Times look like when you realize that they are, in fact, going to become the “Happy Times” part of my life story. I get afraid sometimes, knowing that life will surely, inevitably, bring rough times and challenges. Losing my brother in a tragic accident made that abundantly clear to me. But I can’t waste time and energy focusing on that – it can drive a mother insane. I must just enjoy the here and now, so that one day when life gets a bit tougher, I can look back on this and know that I appreciated the Good Times, and maybe also appreciate that they will return again.