Yesterday was sunny, warm, and dry. The cherry blossoms and daffodils blared with color, and we opened the sunroof as we drove home from brunch. I think ahead to spring, when we'll take in our vitamin D the natural way, and shed layers of fleece and Gore-Tex for a few unreasonably perfect months. This is only a teaser and we still have chilly rains to endure, but I'm dreaming about those sunny days I'll spend in the backyard making jewelry and listening to podcasts while Lupita suns on her stoop.
As idyllic as that sounds, I want to break this habit of always looking ahead, always thinking about what's to come, rather than where I am. I'm learning the cost to the present when I continually focus on the future. I often feel I'm in a prelude, a preparation for the real fun and authentic experience that lies ahead. If we're headed to lunch, I'm thinking about what we might have for dinner. If I'm reading blogs, I'm thinking of the posts I'll write someday. If I'm laying around reading a book, I'm easily distracted by dreams of future travels and adventures that I'll take once I'm really living.
One crafty side effect of this habit is cleverly disguised as lifelong learning via a steady stream of 'how-to's'. Before doing something I've never done, I tend to plan and prepare so that I might eventually do X the RIGHT way. How to cook. How to blog. How to make a pincushion. How to patch that gaping hole in your heart that makes you hungry for some unknown invisible experience that will make everything else make sense.
During our sunny drive, Greg said "I like our life". Later that day, Robin, whose wisdom and empathy is second only to my mother's, reminded me to "cultivate joy and gratitude". As I look back on the weekend, I see my rich and filling life, not a ramp-up to the real thing, but the real thing itself. One evening, baby Sam slept, wriggled, and cooed in my arms for two whole hours while Greg and I enjoyed Ria's company, a great dinner, and a very nice glass of wine. The next afternoon, we lunched at a sports bar to watch basketball and indulge in a favorite treat, beer during daylight. That evening, I spent an evening with a wacky group of crafting librarians, noshing and sharing ideas and inspiration. By the end of the weekend, I was full, a little hungover, and kind of smelly, as if I'd just returned from a weekend of camping. I had dug around in a fragrant, mossy heap of companionship, love, food & beverage, and emerged rich, spent, and content, not at all concerned with what Monday might bring.