Taking Pause: Love in a Time of Impatience

Wednesday, May 27, 2015 | 0 Comment(s)

Today is my wife and my 3rd anniversary, which is pretty amazing.  I can feel myself entering that chunk of life that older people constantly tell you flies by. Like college. Or childhood.

"Nowadays, I can hardly remember my 30's," my made up senior citizen says to no one and everyone. "Those days just flew by like the breeze across a meadow."

Poetic old man.

It's a metaphor
In true "us" fashion, my wife and I have a night together both planned and unplanned at the same time.  Wednesday is not a great date night.  We've already learned that often your anniversary doesn't get celebrated on time.  And that's ok. But regardless of tonights festivities, I am taking a chunk of today to just revel in the small but important accomplishment of our anniversary.

Tomorrow, another concept that both arrives to soon and seemingly never arrives, will be here in the morning, and E and I will never have another 3rd anniversary.  So I'm purposefully concentrating on being in the specialness of the moment.

And that's hard for me.  I am debilitatingly future oriented. Like a chess champion with no board, I attempt work out problems four moves ahead of time -- inevitably perseverating about each potential negative outcome with any percentage chance of being realized. If Frankie did cheat on Tommy down in the islands . . . and Tommy finds out . . . and then he flips his shit and breaks up with Frankie, who will cover the rent for the month of April?  That kinda stuff.  Death, the ultimate checkmate, looms ever-present in my rear view.  On the good days I can manage to put it in my blind spot, but inevitably it will try to pass.

Finding value in the smaller moments doesn't come naturally to me.  My instinct is to look past them, towards the next bigger thing.  Thankfully, my wife is such an fundamental piece of my happiness that she is unavoidably celebrateable.   And recently we bought a house together, another moment literally so large that it was impossible to ignore its importance in our present.  This past year together has come with a ton of multi-sized moments, equal parts good and bad, all which have made me thankful to have the partner I chose -- and who chose me.

What I'm trying to say here is that I'm getting better at appreciating the now.  Just ordinary everyday good times like playing softball at sunset or successfully meeting up with friends.  The more I recognize the micro-level goodness in my everyday life, the more attuned I am to its ubiquity. When I feel joyful, I can trace the joy to these tangible touch-points I appreciated along the way. The pathway of my positivity.  And while it is less pleasant to speak of, marking the down moments, the negatives, has also helped get to the root of problems, without snowballing the issues into something much more volatile than they are.

I'm not going to turn this into an advice column where I preach the positive outcomes of taking pause in your own lives.  I think Dr. Phil has covered that ground on an episode of his poor excuse for a TV show. I will say that the more I stay present, the better I get at sorting out my needs.  I can evaluate myself more honestly in the moment without sentencing myself to a lifetime of needing more exercise or a lack of productivity.

I'm still going to look toward the future (Hello 10 year anniversary . . . I see you coming!), so I don't have to worry about this new orientation leaving me with an enlarged blind spot for death to hide inside of.  But it's already past noon on my 3rd anniversary, and my wife and I have some firm unplanned plans to take care of, so tomorrow is gonna have to wait awhile.

Hope you appreciate how cute this puppy is.

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