How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.
– Annie Dillard
I feel a little out of sorts. Like I’m on my way somewhere, and the days – one after the other – are merely points on the route to that place. Only I’m not sure where that place is that I’m going to. I can’t see it on a map. I’m not even sure the place exists.
The future? Maybe that’s the place.
I would call this feeling the “in-between” if I had to call it something.
It feels like waiting.
Waiting for our babies to sleep through the night.
Waiting to be done with the diapers.
Waiting for the pot to boil and the oven to pre-heat.
Waiting for the next baby to come along.
Waiting for pre-school to start and summer to end.
Waiting for five minutes of quiet time in a long day that is not quiet.
Waiting to find the right house, the right spouse, the right town.
Waiting for order in that house, once we find it.
Waiting for the CAT scan.
Waiting for the job offer.
Waiting to renovate and waiting for the garden to grow.
Waiting for our children to grow.
I see the problem with this; it’s always been this way. We will always be on our way somewhere. It turns out that the days that seem like stops along the way are the place. This is where we were going, after all.
We’re here, already. We always have been.
And so, the challenge is this: to know that we are here already. To know that we are not on our way somewhere anymore now than we were when we were teenagers who couldn’t wait to get to college, or when we were children who couldn’t wait to be grown-ups who could stay up late.
We can stay up late now and we don’t even want to, most of the time.
I wish I could tell those kid versions of myself that it may always feel like this; that I may always be looking on to the next thing. And I would want to say to the kid versions of myself, “Don’t do that. It’s a waste.”
And so today I want to say it to the adult version of myself. “Don’t do that. It really is a waste.”
I’ve already arrived at the place I think I need to get to.