Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Only For Now

There's this awesome Broadway show called Avenue Q, a twisted version of puppet-storytelling made just for the adults who grew up watching Sesame Street. While it's not something I'll be letting my kids watch (or hear) anytime soon, I really do love it.  I especially like the subtle wisdom it purports to fans... that growing up is sometimes disappointing, boring, and filled with things we don't really want to do.  But we do it anyway, sing a song about it, and move on.

As the finale song says, "Except for death and paying taxes, everything in life is only for now."

So yeah, I think about that when stuff isn't exactly the way I expected it to be.  When I go through rough patches, it helps me stay focused on how I'm going to change what I can in my situation.  It's a good motivator, and a catchy tune too.

When I had Ellie, things really sucked. She was sick, I was distracted... it happens. But it was only for "then," and now we're on to the next things.  When I had a tough time juggling work and a baby and my writing, I pushed through it and kept reminding myself it would pass, it would get easier.  It did, it always does.  And now, here I am. A brand new set of "only for nows" in my life, a whole new list of struggles. Honestly, I don't let it bog me down.

I really don't have the luxury of letting myself get bogged down. It takes up too much time.

Yeah, parenthood is tough... mostly because it's so vastly different from the way your life used to be.  Who doesn't wish they could just go get an ice cream late at night or see the latest movie with only a few minutes' notice?  Spontaneity isn't one of my life's accessories right now.  But it doesn't bother me at all.

One day, my kids won't live at home anymore and I'll be able to see all the movies and get all the ice cream cones I want, with no one to stop me. But I'll have my own struggles when that happens and I'll probably mourn my "empty nest."  My "only for nows" suit me just fine right now and I plan to enjoy them for all that their worth.

I'll trade all the ice cream cones in the world for the day-to-day life I have, even with all the limits and difficulties. I don't want to be rescued, I don't need to be freed.  I get the occasional night out and I enjoy it, but really, I belong here. And I like it here.

Even if it's only for now.

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