It may sound cliché, but whatever happened to being in the moment? This was a topic of conversation the other night as I sat around with my girlfriends eating chips and salsa and wondering why the moment you say “I do,” people begin to ask when you are going to have children.
The fact of the matter is, we live in a country (or is it the world?) where everybody is always on to the next big thing. As soon as you graduate from high school everybody wants to know where you’ll be going to college and what you’ll be studying. You graduate from college, and before that last piece of graduation cake is eaten or the final picture of you and your friends in cap and gowns is taken, it’s on to the “real world.” Not a lot of time to celebrate or to hope for your future. The message is clear: It’s time to move on, and everybody wants to know exactly how you plan on doing just that.
The same goes for relationships. If you’re dating and not getting engaged, people want to know why. They feel, it seems, that a woman could not possibly be happy enjoying the companionship of the relationship without a ring on her finger. Of course for some women this is true: They can’t enjoy the relationship without that ring (no judgement, just sayin’), but for many others, they want to be in the moment and to enjoy falling in love, no?
Case in point: The second that SHL and I got engaged everybody wanted to know if we had set the date. We had only been dating for about a year and a half when we got engaged, not that long, so it was hard to understand the sense of urgency that others felt for us to get hitched. Sure we were thrilled to be planning our wedding and we couldn’t wait to marry each other, but it’s not as though it was the 1950’s, I was knocked up, and needed to run down that aisle! (And if it’s because we’re in our 30’s that will have to be a whole other post. Anyone interested in reading about the pros and cons of getting married in your 30’s instead of your 20’s?). The second we said our vows everybody wanted to know when we were going to have children. Can I have a piece of wedding cake first, please?! And go on my honeymoon and maybe enjoy going to the movies on Saturday nights and having a margarita because I can before I move on to babies? So in talking with my friends over that dinner we began to wonder why everybody is in such a rush to move on to the next great thing? Sure, having children and a house and all those other things that we’re told we’re supposed to want (and hey, a lot of us do, me included) are wonderful if we want them, but why are we so eager to turn the page when we just started the chapter?
I for one can’t wait for all of the wonderful things that I hope will happen for SHL and myself. There’s still so much to enjoy out of life, so many more surprises, so many more changes, so many more twists and turns and special occasions and day to day living and growing to do. But sometimes I have to remind myself not to forget about today; not to drown out the tender and quiet moments that we share now all in anticipation of what will be. I want to savor the anticipation. I want to enjoy the “now.” I want those surprises to be surprises and I want the truth of what my life is supposed to be to unravel at the pace it is supposed to unravel, and not a moment sooner.