I’m tired of waiting. And I’m not going to do it anymore.
You know what I mean? We live our early years in blissful “presence”, enjoying each day as it comes with gleeful abandon. Up until we’re about 11, the only thing we wait for is Christmas. Maybe dessert. And then … it begins. In our teens we can smell the gas and we start waiting to get a driver’s licence. Then waiting to reach legal drinking age. Waiting to get our first job, our first car, our own place to live. We truly believe that our lives will not begin until these milestones are achieved. We wait to finish high school, we wait to get that coveted degree, we wait to achieve a certain modicum of career success and we wait to buy a house. Or get married. Or have kids. We’re always waiting.
Then we start playing the “as soon as” game. Like – as soon as I lose 20 lbs. I’ll buy a bathing suit. As soon as I lose 30 lbs. I’ll actually wear it in public. As soon as I get through my divorce I’ll quit smoking. As soon as the kids are in school I’ll start working out.
For me, much of the wait these past few years has involved love. Romantic relationship love. I always reckoned that as soon I found it (or it found me), then my life would truly begin. That’s not to say I didn’t still have fun. I went to Vancouver – a city I learned to love – not once but four frigging times. I went however, in search of romance. So it doesn’t count. I did experience San Francisco with the girls, Cuba with the kids, the cottage with my son and sunsets with myself – and they were all fulfilling experiences. But (I’m ashamed to admit) never without that melancholy “Oh, if only Prince Charming was here with me/us.”
I was still waiting.
There were a few close calls. You know, princes who were charming but ultimately not “the one”. When I was involved in those relationships I waited … to figure out if they would work, to figure out how to end them, to get dumped. Whatever. I waited.
And then a certain prince did show up and after much work, work and more work, we settled into a partnership that felt good. It felt solid and right. Did the waiting finally end?
Um … no.
Because our relationship involved a lot of commuting (we’re talking hours here, not minutes), living in two houses (where the heck is my pink sweater?) and much energy (which is at my advanced age sometimes in shorter supply) devoted to merely being in the relationship. So, said I, I will write a book once we get a bit more settled. I will write more blogs when we are finally living under the same roof. I will tap into my creative well once I don’t have to drive so much.
Do we call this the “once” game? Once upon a time? More like once upon a future.
Then my beloved suddenly found himself “between jobs” and living with me (Oh there’s my pink sweater!). With a PhD in Fish Physiology, we understand it may take some time to find the right position. Now I have no doubt this perfect position will present itself but I also understand that said right and perfect position might be anywhere in the world. So guess what? Once again I’ve been playing the “once” game. Once he gets a job, once we move, once we are settled, then I will get down to my business – whatever that business might be (I’ve always wanted to have a B&B).
Not anymore, folks. As of today I am giving up waiting. I am tapping into my inner ten year old and I am going to live fully and completely engaged in the present. This present. Today I started writing a book. There are at least three of those suckers in me and they will find their way out.
And here I am, for the first time in ages, blogging. Because believe-you-me I’ve got a lot to say and I’m going to make an effort to say it at least twice a week. Go ahead, hold me to that. I’ve got lots of wine and I’m ready.
And you know what else? I’m going to buy a bathing suit. I might even buy a bikini, something I have not worn since I was twenty. Because this summer I want a tan on my belly and I’m not going to wait another year (or lifetime) to get it.
I can’t wait.