Thursday, January 19, 2012
When I Was Happy (and how I've been ruining my life)
"there is no greater sorrow than to remember in misery the time when we were happy." - Dante
In truth, I find that the worst periods of my life have been those in which I was not just sad, but spending all my time trying to get back something from the past. An event, a feeling, a person... maybe even just an idea. A fleeting moment that was so perfect that it haunts me now...
And by allowing myself to go there, to wish for it, to refuse anything else because it could never be so good.... and to bemoan the fact that what my life is NOW is not exactly what my life was then? I'm turning the beautiful moments into something ugly. I'm destroying my life.
Most recently, I found myself beating not only mySELF but other people up about the lack of continuation of the feeling of ecstasy I experienced on my New Years trip to Vegas. First of all, I expected waaaay too much out of it, but surprisingly, it met expectations. In a way. I had fun. I was happy. I wasn't upset that I ... wasn't somewhere else, living out a past experience over again.
It was all new and all amazing and beautiful and fun and I ruined it the very next day.
And I ruined it every day after that, analyzing why the fun couldn't continue every day. Why the feeling couldn't remain.
Tonight (I say for my sake... but this morning), driving home from work, I was hit by the very sudden thought of how beautiful and funny my children are. I was struck by gratitude for the mere ability to drive a vehicle alone again, to sing along to the radio and think about things and look at the stars.
I thought for a minute about how much I have missed this year, being wrapped up in my own misery, not only ruining my life but that of many people around me. Ruining relationships and potentially damaging those that I love the most with my self-pity. With my... constant insistence on getting something back from the past.
I can't fucking HAVE THE PAST, I can't hold it. If moments didn't pass, why would they be precious? If we knew we could experience our children's babyhood over and over again, what reason would we have to cherish it?
My daughter is this beautiful, mature soul who can draw amazing pictures and concentrate on a project for hours at a time. She makes up songs every day and writes them down and plans to use them in future musicals she will write. She dances for no reason but to dance. She still believes in.. everything beautiful in life. Despite me.
My son is this crazy, enigmatic ball of light that I can't keep up with, but just when I think I'm going to collapse from exhaustion, he stops for a moment and puts his arms around my neck and says "snuggle mommy!" and lends me some of that light.
Sometimes I feel a little sad, when I look at their baby pictures, that they are growing up so fast. That I miss so much when I'm at work. That I've missed so much, being so self-absorbed. But even now I am wasting time, thinking about what I've missed.
I know that I can't be perfect every day, but I made myself a promise tonight to enjoy my moments with them more. To embrace the amazing ones and then let go and be excited for the next one. To accept the hard times because they bind us, and the darkness contrasts with the bright light of their joyful laughter, our perfect moments, and that is why they shine.
Beyond that... I'm going to put it out into the universe now that it's my intention to let go of some other things from the past. To stop trying to recreate them, and instead, just allow new moments to take place. Maybe if stop pushing so hard for something that doesn't exist, I can have something that does. I can have new perfect moments, but there's no room if I don't let go of the old ones. I can look at them like those baby pictures and think how wonderful they were, and then put them away and look at what's in front of me now, and make the best of that, because it's new, and it changes every day, and I can't have expectations. Only open my heart to hope.
Besides, hell, what am I going to do? Keep having babies until my ovaries shut down? NO FREAKING WAY. I'm going to enjoy watching my kids grow up instead of taking the focus off of them by trying to get back THEIR childhoods by having.. more babies..... cause that would be a different experience anyway (nothing wrong with having a lot of babies.. unless you're me... just a metaphor.)
I was going to blog tonight about why I'm awake and why I've always been an insomniac and how crappy it is to be going through xanax withdrawals and not be able to go to sleep even though my body is exhausted, but this is way better.
I'll just say, don't ever let yourself become dependent on a chemical to make you go to sleep or to be calm.
Drugs are bad, mmmkay?
Letting go is good. :)