Wednesday, November 28, 2018

The Golden Years

It's kind of crazy that I've now been a stay at home mom (again) for a year now and I've literally never had a moment to blog. How does that even happen? "What do moms do all day at home?" (eyes rollin so hard)

Truthfully, I'm sure I did have moments where I could have found the time. I probably used that time to be lazy and catch up on Netflix binging or wasted time on my phone. AH WELLZ to that, but here I am now. And while I may not have been writing about it, my headspace for the past few months has been all about this topic; The Golden Years.

We (as in me and family) are in this amazing spot right now. We are finally past that stage of raising babies, although we still call them babies, our kids are now grown actual people who are (nearly) out of diapers walking and talking being their own selves demanding less of our time/energy. Yet at the same time, they aren't fully grown either. They haven't (totally) begun that stage of being sassy, smart mouthed know it all adolescents yet either. They still need us to prepare their meals, drive them to activities and actively want to spend time with us. I like to see it as though we have this small window where life is still busy as it always is, but it's easy too. Everyone is still eager and excited for family road trips, the kids are old enough to have their own sibling jokes, but not too old yet where they prefer their own time over family time. It's probably a tiny window of 5-7 years while we have this to make all the memories we can. So, how can I not call this the golden years?

For everyone who's still a step behind me rest assured this day will come for you too. I know you're living in survival mode right now, I was there for a (VERY) long time too. I too felt like it was never going to end and my sleep hating children had doomed my life forever. That look I see now on the faces of moms who have infants and toddlers is still too fresh from my own experience. (And we still get the occasional tantrum/meltdown to keep our feet on the ground too, don't wanna get too carried away there.) But I'm now in that stage where I can also recognize the glimmer in the eyes of moms who wish their kids in college would check in more often. I'm beginning to understand what it could feel like to no longer be needed as much as I have been for so long. And it's crazy, because all while you're in it you want it to pass quickly but once it's gone you wish it back. That's just how life works.

I see it now in my 4 and 7 year old's words. 'When I'm 10 then I'll be tall enough so I can...."  or "When I'm a teenager (its ALL about the teens right now apparently) I'm not going to have to do..." A lot of us grow up waiting anxiously to experience all that there is to see and do in life. I spoke about this to my husband and at first he didn't get it. He thought I was being depressive, but what I'm getting at is being mindfully in this moment.

All my life from childhood til marriage, then having children there was always something to look forward to. I've always been someone slightly dealing with anxiety because I couldn't stop focusing on the future. How would it all pan out, what could go wrong what could go right. But for the first time I'm at a plateau, I guess you can call it. I've done and seen everything on my life list. (MAJOR alhumdulillah to that.) The career, marriage, kids, vacations it's all ticked off (of course iA we will have more vacations because who ever says we're done to that?! But my bucket list ones are done.). All moments leading up to this was what made today possible. Maybe all my perfectionism helped make me check off everything sooner than others have. Who knows? What I do realize is that now I need to sit and bask in its glory, because it really truly is glorious this life. This life we've been given its here and happening now. For the first time I am actually NOT looking forward to the future. I know there's lots of exciting things still on that horizon too, like the milestones and achievements of my children; their colleges/marriages/careers. I'm not discounting any of that, but it's as though age has made me wiser.

I know now that the upcoming turn of life for me will also mean seeing my parents age and one day leave us too. That's not a stage I look forward to, at all. I do wish I had learned sooner to live in the present, to be content with whatever stage I'm at now. I don't regret how I lived, but I do think I would've been happier living in the present rather than the future. Even without things checked off on my list, life was still always amazing. We forget that when we're so forward focused.  I would've held those tiny babies longer, I would've been more carefree in college. I could have been more present in the conversations and relationships I had rather than unfocused and detached. Still, I do remind myself not to get depressive reflecting on the past, but I say all this to hopefully spark something in you my reader. This past year has been so great, and only so because I changed my focus. I prioritized the now. I made that shift that said I will be mindfully present here right now and nowhere else. It changes everything. Your relationships, your experiences. I hope reading this makes you reflect on whatever stage of life you're in right now and reminds you to be as present as you possibly can be.

Don't let your mind fly off into what else you should be doing or where else you need to be going. Life may be crazy, but life will always be crazy. It will always be awesome too. The chaos of today will be tomorrow's memories.  The things you're so hopelessly praying for today WILL be a reality and you won't even realize how easily that happen. Be as you are and be it confidently, happily and gratefully. Now you might ask HOW to do this shift? That'll have to wait for another post. Because I have to go live the NOW. 

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