Wake up, think “I can’t wait til I’m back in bed later
Leave your home, think “I just want to be at work. I wish I could just teleport myself there.”
Get to work, think “I can’t wait for lunch.”
Get to lunch, wonder what you’re going to have for dinner.
Get to the end of the day and think “Can’t wait for the weekend.”
Wish for vacation and once you’re there, think about everything you’re going to have to do once you get back.
We wish for the day to be over.
This week to be over.
This month to just end.
Next year to come.
I have had these thoughts and I have witnessed friends, family, and co-workers do the same. I know that it doesn’t make me happy to always be in my head -- in that space where you get to a destination and don’t even remember the actual steps you took to get there because you are daydreaming so hard you blocked out everything around you. I have been working really hard on being present and appreciating everything that is around me in the here and now. But it’s not always easy and I’ve had to figure out tools to keep me anchored here instead of in my head thinking about if and when.
I have to say that my new invention is slightly ingenious because it gives in to the leap and lurch of the mind. It allows for a jump into the future, but a very specific jump that helps me to get right back to the present. It’s about envisioning my future “way back when.”
Over my lifetime, I have had precious relationships with elders who have loved to tell stories. Reminiscing about their younger years and how they just wish they could for one day get back to that time when they were able to jackknife dive into a pool or run down the street after their young grandchild or live in the middle of the city with the world at their fingertips. And I think about their remembering faces while telling these stories. Welling eyes and warm smiles at having had these moments. Moments that now seem fleeting, so far into the past. It seems that at some point we stop wishing for the future and start wishing for the past. And that got me thinking about my future “way back whens…”
One day, I know I will remember back to these very days I’m living now and miss them so much. Wish to be back for a second to hug friends I couldn’t imagine living without. Wish to be back to be able to visit the cute one-bedroom I now share with Gerry in the middle of the West Village. Wish that I could have the energy to get to East Harlem every day to do work that I love. Wish to laugh with my brothers. My parents. Wish to be able to run to Boston for the weekend to visit Sue and Josh. Remember back to the day that Sue got her doctorate. And then on the train afterwards (a woman sleeping in the sun, flashes of brown tree trunks and deep blue water whizzing by) to make it back in time to be at Alicia’s baby shower. Becoming an aunt for the first time.
Today we are all living beautiful moments and future memories. One day I don’t want to feel like I am wishing and wanting to be back because I didn’t get to really live “those times” fully. I am only doing my future self a favor by really enjoying these times right now. And it’s an easy thing to remember. Every now and then I will be with friends or walking down the street and think: “One day I am going to really miss this….” And that gets me to appreciate how wonderful it is. Immediately.