Why is it so difficult to enjoy the present completely?
Believe me, I know that Sam is growing quickly and that these days of pureed spinach and peek-a-boo won’t last much longer. And I love the time we spend cuddling and playing and making each other laugh.
But at the same time, I find myself slipping into nostalgia, sighing wistfully over the blissful freedom of my single days. Those three years between college and marriage already glow golden in my memory, and they consist of nothing but indulgent late mornings, the pure delight of living with dear friends who made dinner a few times a week, and beautiful hours of solitude where I could sip my coffee or cabernet as I read in peace.
Of course, it wasn’t really like that at all. I used to leave for work at 5:30am. I used to complain that my roommates didn’t do their share of the chores, even as I neglected my own part. I used to cry because I was lonely. I don’t want to go back to those days at all. Yet…wasn’t it lovely, before? When I could rest if I was tired?
And won’t it be wonderful, later, when we have our own house with a garden instead of this quirky, drafty apartment sandwiched in between a cheap motel and a tumble-down frat house with two Great Danes who exist to defecate on the lawn? And our kids can sleep through the night and speak rationally instead of crying? Won’t life be grand?
(Shh…don’t tell me about the mortgages and the bickering children and the trials of parenting. Not just yet.)
I’m not sure why memory so quickly gilds the past in perfection, or why the human heart thrills so easily at the anticipation of a perfect future, when experience consistently teaches otherwise. It’s certainly preferable to the dissatisfaction of regrets and the expectation of more troubles, I suppose. What it would be like to be one of those rare individuals who seem to live completely in the present moment?