How quickly we forget

Where did I put my keys? When’s the library book due? Did I take my vitamins yet today? What’s the name of that person…the one I just met?

All day long, I’m reminded of my short memory. While I may be able to tell you exactly what happened the week before I graduated high school with vivid memory or spout out just when was the last time we all sat in the same room together, I also manage to forget everything.

I forget what life was like before toys were everywhere and a toddler was serving as my primary alarm clock. I forget the strength of the body of work I’ve created or what I’m capable of. I forget how brave I’ve been and the kind of incredible moments it’s caused. I forget who cares about me or what kind of impact I’ve had at some point. I forget the many goals I’ve achieved and bucket list items I’ve checked. I forget the places I’ve seen and people I’ve encountered. I forget what I’m working towards, what we’re aiming for at the end of the day, week, month, or year.

Because I’m not paying attention. 

I’m tired. I’m distracted. I’m bored. I’m lonely. I’m self-depricating. I’m jealous. I’m busy. I’m scared.

Here’s the thing, I think sometimes we’re living the lives of our dreams. We’ve forgotten that this, what we once wished for or only imagined, is what we’ve wanted all along. Instead of achievement or elation, we forget because we’ve already started dreaming and lusting after another life. We get to this point, wherever it may be and it isn’t everything we expected. So we move on and determine that this wasn’t the life we dreamed up, because it’s simply not enough (or too much). There’s still a struggle and grind toward that next hurdle to cross.

Now don’t misunderstand me when I say that sometimes we’re living our dreams because in reality, sometimes we are living our nightmares. This is not to make light of those very real and painful moments. There are seasons of grief or misery that strike, and those are most obviously not the lives we’ve dreamed of.  But those times may remind us of what we’ve forgotten, either in the moment or once we’ve gotten to the other side of the season. 

So what have I forgotten? That I spend time each day watching my son learn and grow. That I love the man I married. That we live in a space and city that suits our needs. That I am healthy and capable. That I’m working as a writer in a freelance capacity. That I have friends and a community to support me. That I have the opportunity to be creative, generous, and kind.

Junior high me is swooning right now. High school me is overjoyed. College me is amazed. Early twenties me is ecstatic. Mid-twenties me is thrilled. And late twenties me? Feeling forgetful but grateful.

Are there things in my life that aren’t ideal? Sure. Am I sometimes lonely or exhausted or bored or about to go crazy if I hear another battery-operated kid song? Yes, absolutely. But in so many ways, this moment I’ve landed on is fulfilling so many of my hopes and dreams. Therefore I want to live in celebration of what it is I have and what has been achieved. Instead of living in comparison or discontentment, I want to cherish and commemorate. Perhaps, this is as good as it’s going to get. You know what? I’ll take it, because in more ways than one, I’m living my dreams.

And that’s something I don’t want to forget.

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