Wishing, hoping: some advice I’ve heard

Wish

I’m back from New York — and coming to you with
some Blogtember words of wisdom today!


I’ve never been good at living in The Now.

It feels nebulous, hard to pin down.

When I was in elementary school, I couldn’t wait to be a fifth grader — oldest in the school — for the sense of power and sophistication it would grant me. Then I turned 10, got to fifth grade and . . . well, it was fun, but not all that I expected. And I couldn’t wait for middle school.

Then high school.

Then a driver’s license.

When I was single in those early days, I couldn’t wait for a boyfriend. Then I got a boyfriend — one in a string of wrong boyfriends — and . . . just wanted to be single.

I wished for freedom, for work, for life to begin. I remember visiting my future college with my dad one summer, back when I’d just received my learner’s permit. He let me drive the 45 minutes to campus on the Beltway, ever mindful of passing traffic, and I fell in love with the sense of independence that came from walking around the University of Maryland. Though I still had my senior year of high school to look forward to, it lost its appeal.

I suddenly couldn’t wait to get to college. I wanted to be older, wiser, grown up.

And now I’ve been done for six years.

Growing up, I used to bounce from activity to activity, constantly asking my parents “what we’d be doing next.” Whether it was playing Uno, watching TV, making dinner or scratching out some math problems, I liked having A Plan. I wanted to always know what we’d be tackling, where we’d be going. And I simply “couldn’t wait” to get there.

But I don’t say that phrase much anymore. My mom and dad drove home one salient point as I got older: Don’t wish your life away. I spent so much time waiting, waiting, waiting to hit Point A or Point B, wanting to reach some achievement or other, when I could have been taking a nice, cool sip of Right Now.

Right Now, I’m less than 70 days from my wedding. And just three weeks from my sister’s.

Right Now, I’m enjoying the creative inspiration that comes from a fresh, new office with so. much. natural light.

Right Now, I’m going through my bridal shower gifts and writing thank-yous and thinking about how lucky and grateful I am to know such amazing people. And to be marrying into a wonderful family.

Right Now, I’m remembering the first few sips of the first pumpkin spice latte this fall.

So the Right Now? It’s pretty awesome. And standing on the brink of so much change, I can’t help but feel fortunate.

The time, these fleeting moments . . . they’re precious. With so much to look forward to, I’d never wish that away.


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37 thoughts on “Wishing, hoping: some advice I’ve heard

  1. Yeah, this time right now…you’ve got to soak it up because you will look back fondly on it forever. I remember when my cousin got married (right before I got married) she said she was sad because “she had nothing else to look forward to”. That just blew me away. Really? What about children? Vacations? Retirement? Anyway, you’ve got the right idea, and is advice that everyone could use. Live in the moment!

    • So true, Sandy — there’s always something to look forward to, even if it’s a simple pleasure (like our favorite TV shows coming back for the season. Wahoo!).

  2. I think we are very similar in this respect…I feel like i always spent so much time thinking about the things that were going to happen instead of what was happening right then! Time to get in the moment!

    • I often remark that things will eventually “slow down” or magically be “sorted,” but I’m slowly realizing I’ll have to slow them down for myself . . . not an easy task!

  3. I am so guilty of wishing away time. I do so completely unintentionally. I call it ‘planning for the future.’ But in reality, I’m not living in the now. I identify with your post. How wonderfully exciting your ‘now’ is! And it’s wonderful that you are aware enough of your nature to slow down and purposefully enjoy it. Best of luck to you!

    • Thank you so much! I’m also a big planner (or just plain worrier, if I’m being honest), so it takes a great deal of effort for me to not sit around staring at my calendar all the time. My friend and officemate makes fun of me for always being “booked up” on the weekends, and the truth is that this constant need to plan has often been a source of pride . . . but it keeps me from just enjoying the present. Must keep working to change that.

  4. I think we all do this at times in our lives. Sometimes the anticipation is sweeter than the event. Now as I am in the later stages of my life I thank God every day that I have good health and that I am still mobile. I still look forward to what each new day will bring but cherish the moments because they go by so fast and there may not be too many left. God Bless!

  5. That’s wonderful advice! Enjoy every moment while you’re living it. Another wonderful piece of advice is to not save anything for special occasions. Looking back, I wish we’d used our good china and crystal, etc every single day. I didn’t want to risk breaking anything so it didn’t get used. Now, I realize it’s better to enjoy it and have a piece or two get broken than to keep it hidden away. That goes for a lot of things in life.

  6. I was always the same way growing up. Maybe it’s inevitable? But it looks like you’ve been able to change your tune. Your now looks pretty wonderful šŸ™‚

    • That’s right, Allie — precisely. I kept looking forward to an endless series of events without enjoying the build-up. I’ve been very conscious of that while wedding planning, wanting to enjoy the journey . . . and it’s really helped, I think.

  7. This is just such a beautiful post. I was reminded this weekend that life is extremely precious and short. Living in the moment is something I definitely strive for more often. You give great advice…don’t wish your life away. Have you read Eckhart Tolle’s book “The Power of Now”?

  8. Really enjoyed your post and can completely relate. Always in a hurry to grow up, to move onto the next thing but then when you get older and wiser suddenly you just want everything to SLOW DOWN a bit. I feel that every day has a Magic Moment that each of us needs to recognise and hold on to for as long as we can. Live in The Now and grab those Magic Moments. Super great blog!

    • Thank you so much, and I’m so glad you agree! I’m definitely done being in a hurry to grow up. Now that I’m “born and raised,” as John Mayer would croon, I’m trying to stay firmly rooted in the present.

  9. This is sooo sweet, and so true.
    man, 70 days… time is ticking!
    Take it from me, one day you’ll wake up and have been married for a year.
    It goes fast. Enjoy the now.

  10. I have to remind myself on a daily basis…if not multiple times a day…that I shouldn’t wish my life away. I spent a lot of my teen years doing that, and it’s a hard habit to break! I’m getting better though. I’ve changed jobs and that has helped a lot. I now have more time to do the things I was wishing to do!! =]

  11. Yes ma’am they are. Precious. Beautiful. Special. So glad you’re relishing them. I love this quote. Thanks for the awesome post and reminder.

  12. I almost cried reading this post. I know it’s silly, but I’ve been thinking of you a lot. You have the right idea, these moments are precious and you want to hold onto them, and the memories will be spectacular too. Thank you so much for taking your blog right along with you on this journey!

  13. Great great great post. I feel like I wrote this. Lol seriously… I’m always planning and living for the next step. Sometimes I wish I was better at pressing the pause button and enjoying life RIGHT NOW. This post was right on time. Thanks for sharing. I would write more on the topic but then it’d be another blog post within a post. Xo

  14. Oh my goodness, I am totally with you. I am ALWAYS wishing for something ahead in the future. I’m working really hard on trying to enjoy and embrace the moment, but it’s so much easier said than done.

  15. I love this advice. I’m a very big proponent of gratitude and living in the moment, but let’s be honest — it’s not something that comes naturally! It’s funny to think we have to focus in on living in the present moment, but all too often for people with similar personality types, we are worrying about 18 things that could come up in the next 5 years. Here’s to living in the now… after all, the now is pretty darn good.

  16. Hmmm… Living in ‘the now’ is one of those phrases that makes me shake my head at the PR of it all. Last year a book called ‘If I Die’ was turned into a book and they changed the title to ‘Now Is Good’ because you know, audiences would like that better.

  17. I totally agree with you and the quote! I guess it’s something we need to learn from life though, we learn and grow and suddenly we know: ok this is it, it’s here and now and it’s special šŸ™‚

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  19. I can SO relate to this feeling. My parents used to give me the same advice when I was growing up. It’s amazing how much we focus on what’s ahead and we completely miss what’s going on right now.

    And especially with your wedding day coming up, make sure that you take a few moments throughout the day to soak up what’s going on around you. There is an immense amount of planning that goes into that one day and it all goes by so fast! I remember wishing that we could do it all over again when I woke up the next day!

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