Monday, March 7, 2011

You say 'Future' like it's a good thing

I'm a worrier.  A black belt, Ninja-class, expert worrier.  So when it came to making a long-term career choice, motherhood seemed to be a perfect fit.  If we were pretending that motherhood is a corporate career just like Human Resources or Call Center Operative, we might say that mothering is a synergistic connection to my core worrying skills. 

Both mothering and worrying are extremely future oriented.  All about what might happen.  She might be an actress/comedian, she might be an "actress" complete with satin knickers and bunny ears.  He might be a rocket scientist, he might sit at home on my couch knocking back energy drinks called Rocket Fuel.  That one might fail the math test, thus proving the theory that she's being failed by the school OR, worse! she might ace the math test, thus proving to her teacher that your concerns are completely unfounded just like she'd said they were in such a patronizing sort of way.

You hear the phrase tossed around a lot around graduation season - you've got your whole future ahead of you! When Whitney Houston crooned "I believe the children are our future"she said it like it was a good thing. 

But here's the thing: when a worrier thinks about the future, it's not a healthy thing.  Nope.  The very best thing for a worrier is to forget the future is ever going to happen.  And, actually, my kind of people have to forget the past too, because worrying about what's happened, and what that means for - you got it! - the future, well...

It only leaves one place for people like us:  the right now.  Right now is when we see the magic of growth in our children, without wondering what the growth will lead to.  Right now is when we can treasure the smell of a toddler head, nuzzled under your chin and waking up from a nap.  Right now is when we can marvel at the grace with which your eldest carries herself, somehow conjuring a sense of self that your 'helpful corrections' and endless criticisms surely did not generate.  Right now is when we can openly, honestly and without [much] irony say thank you to our spouse for scrubbing the toilet when you know it's his least favorite job in the world.

The future.  Its promise is a heady thing, and the privilege of waking up to it daily is not something I take lightly.  But for someone like me, with a proud genetic heritage in the art of worrying, I will take my eyes off the future and live fully in the Right Now.

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This post is submitted as part of the One Word at a Time Carnival hosted by Peter Pollock.  I gather the other contributors are looking at the future like it is a good thing.  Which is a good thing.

9 comments:

jake said...

You sound like my mom. She still calls or texts me every time it snows to make sure I'm not dead in a snowdrift somewhere. She worries about everything and even fusses when I don't want her to. Now that she has a grandson, I don't get it as much but still.....

Anne Lang Bundy said...

Its promise is a heady thing, and the privilege of waking up to it daily is not something I take lightly.

Good words, worth waking up to.

katdish said...

Ah, worry. It's such a control issue, isn't it? And thinking the future is in our control can be downright overwhelming. I plan, yes. But try very much to live in the right now.

Ryan Tate said...

For as much as I hate scrubbing toilets, I make up for it in doing the dishes and folding laundry.

Great post about worrying and the right now. I'm reminded that living in the right now is rooted in faith and contentment within the Kingdom of God. Thanks!

A Joyful Noise said...

You have offered a good approach to leave worry and live in the now. However you make some very good comments about worry can't change either the past or the future. So why do we do it? Be anxious about nothing and simply trust in the Lord is our answer.

Janet Oberholtzer said...

Life happens in the present ... so living 'right now' is the best way to live. Enjoy it!

Cris Ferreira said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cris Ferreira said...

I am single with no kids, but I know for sure that I would be "a black belt, Ninja-class, expert worrier" too if I had any.
God has taught me to trust in Him with my future and not worry about it, but I would need many more lessons from Him if I were to be a mom...

Duane Scott said...

Now you've got ME all worried about the future. ;)

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