Why can’t we feel completely and absolutely in love all the time? I think that even water tastes better when I am head-over-heels in love with the man with whom I share my life. It is even better than the so-called butterflies that I felt at the beginning of our relationship, when even holding hands was electrifying. But if I like being hopelessly in love so much, why can’t I have a life of limitless bliss? Isn’t that what we are after in marriage after all? Then why do I let the smallest things stress me out and distract me from what lives in my heart?
I think that as we make life more complicated than what it needs to be by always wanting more, we forget to enjoy the view atop the mountain we just climbed because we are already thinking about what gear we may need to reach the apex of an even higher one. So when we are dating, we are thinking about moving in together; once that happens we think about getting married; once married we want to become parents; now that we are parents we want to provide, to teach, to be much more than what our own parents were to us.
For me, a stay-at-home-mom, that shared need to always reach a higher ground currently means that my husband is playing the game at Coporate America putting long (oh so very long) hours at his job while I place unrealistic expectations of what a good mother and wife is, which translates into never taking the time to just sit back, and enjoy the moment to the fullest. When I am not reading online about my children’s development, I’m trying to engage them in enriching activities like story times; when I’m not cleaning something or folding laundry, I am thinking about what needs to be organized at home; when I’m not managing our household, I’m cooking meals that I think my husband deserves for working so hard for us to live a “better”, “happier”, more “fulfilling” life than the ones we lived as children with our parents (as if we didn’t have wonderful, happy childhoods). I never give myself a break fearing that I may not be doing enough.
When do we put a break and stop wanting more, more, MORE? I think it is something so embedded in my pores that I would have to change skins to stop being an overachiever. And how could I if I, like all the kids in the 80’s, was raised with the mantras of “you can do it all if you set your mind to it” and “there is always room for improvement”. Mantras that were not coined to allow any room for just sit back and enjoy the ride for a little while.
I don’t know if that philosophy has brought me more good than stress to my life, but I know that right now, in this stage of my life, is placing a veil in front of my eyes that doesn’t let me see that the world really isn’t going to end if dinner is dry because my husband is late again; that my children will not miss out on better opportunities later in life if I don’t have every single minute of their lives occupied with planned activities; that the only thing that I gain out of the frustration that I feel for not meeting the expectations that not even Wonder Woman would have put on herself, is actually miss out on the most important thing of all: the love that I unconditionally get from my children and husband.
As I begin this week after spending a few wonderful, worry-free days focusing all my attention on being with my husband, celebrating being a couple. I am reminded that it is love and only love what I really I’m after in life. And so today that I feel totally and absolutely in love with my husband and with my children, I’m going to try to sit back and actually be in love with myself as well, for a change. I’m going to set up a chair at the top of my mountain and enjoy the view.