I wonder if this sounds like any of you?
- Happily watching your friends sail off into their personal “happily ever afters.”
- The calendar is filled with wedding after wedding after wedding each weekend.
- Waking sleepily on a Tuesday morning, because the night before you rushed to the hospital in the middle of the night to hold your friend’s brand new smooshy baby.
- Wishing your people happy 5th year anniversaries…wondering how on Earth that much time has passed since you stood beside them on their special days.
- Watching from the outside as all of your friends join mommy clubs, that you aren’t allowed to attend. Or being purposefully left off the invite list to your friend’s “couple shower” because you aren’t married yet.
- Seeing 30, yes 30, pregnancy announcements from your friends on social media in one month’s time.
- Hearing constantly, “when is he going to propose?” and “why aren’t you married yet?” and “one day we will be doing this all for you,” from VERY well meaning people who love you dearly.
Feeling like your one step behind, is getting closer to two or three steps behind.
I spent about 4 months feeling constantly dissatisfied with my now fiancé around our year and a half mark of dating. He had already moved across the country for me and was telling me he would be proposing soon. But every day of waiting felt like social torture. I was comparing were I was in my life, to where everyone else appeared to be. I felt so sure that the permission to be happy lay at the end of a diamond ring. And that as soon as we got there I would fit in.
In all honesty, it was a very sad time in my life. As happy as I was for others, and I mean that sincerely, I was ready for my turn. And that angel faced boy taking his dear sweet time was to blame.
Then one day I asked myself why. Why was I dissatisfied?
Was our relationship bad? Was my life bad? Was there anything truly to be unhappy about?
In short, the answer was no.
I began thinking about my life in the present. Where was I that day? Not where did I think I should be that day.
And I found that I actually loved my life and where we were at right then. I loved our relationship. I loved just dating him. I loved how uncomplicated our life is. I loved being his girlfriend.
In fact, the only thing making me feel unhappy was the notion that I should be.
So I decided that day to take any expectation off of our relationship and just enjoy the now of it. I realized that every day I woke up as his girlfriend, might just be the last time I’d be called that.
I decided to savor the now instead of trying to live a step ahead of where I was.
The rest of dating was sweet. And though sometimes it took some reminding of this revelation, life really got so much easier. When well meaning friends asked why it was taking forever, or when he was going to propose – in my heart I had peace knowing it would come someday and then I could go about enjoying today.
And one morning I did wake up and realized I’d never be called his girlfriend again. I smiled knowing I had savored every second of that season.
So whatever season you are in today – be it married, single, waiting for a promotion, counting down the days to retirement, first baby, last baby, waiting for a baby, keeping up with the Jones’s, saving, spending, never ending – ANY season – I hope this little rambling helps you find peace. I hope it helps you stop comparing, and gives you permission to be happy exactly where you are – even if where you are doesn’t look like where anyone else around you is.
“Wherever you are, be all there.” – Jim Elliot