Monday, April 26, 2010

Turn Turn Turn

To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.

The babe and I have a recurring conversation about death - or life - depending on how you look at it.  The babe wants to die in her 80s, and I would like someone to come interview me when I'm 110 because I'm the oldest person around.  The babe's reasons make sense - she doesn't want to live long enough to see all of her loved ones die, and she doesn't want to be alive when she can't really live anymore.

It's not that I want those things to happen - it's just that I need the time.  I cling to stories of people who are bopping around, mowing the lawn and gardening when they're in their 90s. There are so many things that I want to do, and I need all those years if I'm going to get to them all.

There are days when I feel just desperate about the fact that I don't have a garden, not even some herb pots by the window.  I wonder how I can dream of having land and a vegetable garden, how I can delightedly buy myself a copy of The Backyard Homestead when I didn't even make it a priority to rent an apartment with a south-facing window.

I'm daily traumatized by the fact that I don't write regularly, that I haven't acted in years, that I'm not in a choir, that  I haven't started my own baking/crafting business spent more time crafting, that I'm not a mom yet, that I've never learned to speak Spanish.

But then I try to calm myself by remembering back to this post I read a couple of years ago.  I don't have to do everything right now - in fact, I can't.  Asking myself to start a backyard homestead while starting a job at a large law firm would be like asking the universe to make it snow while it's 95 degrees outside.  We can't ask for all four seasons at the same time, but just because it's spring now doesn't mean it will be spring forever.

This is my legal season and realizing that it will not go on forever will allow me to really appreciate it for what it is.  Believing that there will be many, many years and many seasons in the future for me to do all of those things that pull on my heart strings helps me in those moments where I feel panicked about the things I'm not doing.

So I'm holding on to all of my dreams and desires and counting on the fact that I'll be around here long enough for their seasons to come.


GW3L (for 44 more hours) said...

This seems very obvious and profound to me simultaneously. I think I personally constantly fall into the trap of trying to live outside my season, and lose to some extent the "no day but today" sense that I long embraced (long ago). This is particularly thought provoking to me today, however, due to the fact that I've now been a student for 21 straight years. That time is about to come to a very abrupt end, forcing me into a new season of a young attorney- a role I am not at all ready for or comfortable with.

Great post.

T said...

Kurt Vonnegut taught me this lesson (that I regularly forget and must relearn). He said that his Uncle Alex would always stop in a pleasant -- but possibly mundane -- moment and say "if this isn't nice, I don't know what is." I mimic this as often as possible because enjoying where you are when you're there seems so crucial to happiness... and to not wasting your life waiting for whatever is coming next.

This post seems especially powerful now, as the season figuratively turns. What is currently traumatizing to me is recognizing that the people I currently have around me won't be the same people around me in my next season.

GW3L (now for 43 more hours...not that we're counting.) said...

Personally, I am studiously ignoring the fact that the people currently around me won't be here in my next season. Thinking about that is too earth-shatteringly depressing.

(In)Sanity Gal said...

GW3L - I can't say that I've ever truly lived with the "no day but today" mentality. I hate to admit it, but I feel like I've been a "what comes next?" person for as long as I can remember - always feeling like I'm missing out on something else. I think this may be one of my life lessons - you know, the ones that it takes you the entirety of your life to figure out.

T - yes, I think that this particular post has been floating around in my head just because it is that figurative changing of the seasons. I think I made sort of a deal with myself when I went into law school that I would put a lot of things on hold, and now that we're finishing, my psyche is like "okay! now it's time to do all that stuff you put off!!" But I'm having to accept that it still can't all happen at once.

And as for people going away - I am struggling with that as well, in large part with not having appreciated people more when they were around. I feel very sad about it sometimes, particularly as I think back to all the friends that I've lost touch with from other seasons - and I hope that I don't do the same here.

Tree Hugging 2L said...

Thank you so much for this post. I have been chronically depressed over my seemingly never ending spring season - and I needed to hear that I wasn't alone in sometimes feeling overwhelmed by all that I have yet to accomplish. The timelines I set for myself always get dragged out. And I wake up wondering why I'm almost 30 and in law school instead of with my 2.5 kids and a lab. But yes, this is very temporary. And nothing about my decisions means that it won't all happen for me. It just won't happen right this very second. And that's ok.

(In)Sanity Gal said...

TH 2L - I know exactly what you mean. Sometimes I think about turning 30 (which will happen this August), and I actually tear up. I remember when I was younger, I thought it was so weird when people would get upset about birthdays - i thought "what's the big deal - you're another year older." But now I realize that it's really about another year "behind" in the things that you want to accomplish. You are certainly not alone, and I hope this post (and our reminders) will help both of us remember that it is ok if it doesn't all happen right now.

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