You know how annoying it is when you are going somewhere and you’re already stressed out and your kids keep repeating, “Are we there yet?” Young kids aren’t great at enjoying the scenery along the way. For them, it’s all about the destination. The drive is just an annoying part to get through until you arrive.
Well, tonight it hit me that I’ve been that bratty child more often than I can count.
See, I’m not good at living in the present. Instead, I tend to beat myself up over the past or borrow trouble from the future. My mind easily strays to the “what ifs” of tomorrow or the “I should haves” of yesterday. And, I make those places my home more often than not.
I think this is a common practice in motherhood. The 24/7 nature of mothering can be pretty daunting and exhausting. It’s easy to fall into the trap of trying to accomplish one thing just so you can move onto the next. I used to find myself thinking, “I’ll relax and enjoy the scenery when the baby sleeps through the night.” Or, “Once I finish potty-training I’ll be able to rest.”
The problem was that every time I got to the end of one road, another one appeared. I was never “there yet”.
Tonight, as I finished baking pies for Thanksgiving, I caught myself thinking, “Good, only 24 hours to go and this holiday will be over.” And, that just made me sad.
Because, I’ve already traveled the road of potty-training. I’m done with learning disabilities, the school years and sports schedules. I’ve taught all my kids to drive, dealt with the teen years and boyfriend/girlfriend woes. I’ve been blessed to watch two of my three find their soul mates and start their own families. Yet, I am still waiting to get “there” before I allow myself to pause and take in the beauty around me.
Where is “there” anyway? Where is this magical place I want to get to? And, what beautiful scenery have I missed along the way?
So, I am going to try and push pause every once in a while. I’ll stretch my legs at rest stops and pull off for “reptile farms” and “the world’s largest ball of twine”. I’ll really look at the other people in the car with me and feel blessed that they’re taking this trip with me. And, I’m going to try and keep my mouth shut as my Father drives me down unfamiliar roads and not annoy him with my constant shouts of “Are we there yet?”
In short, I will try to stop being an annoying, bratty child in the backseat of my own life.