So I went to this Wake Up Sydney event and Clare Bowditch really struck a chord – if you will excuse the unintended pun. Actually – she struck two chords.
Clare talked about living your life as if you are the ‘before’ in a ‘before and after’ picture. Not just in terms of physicality – although I know I am not alone in having lived most of my life in perpetual preparation for the wonderful things that will happen if I am ever 5kgs lighter – but in terms of life generally. As if now is just the rubbish bit before all the really great stuff is going to happen.
And I realised that this is how I have lived the last nearly 5 years – since my marriage ended.
I’ve lived as if these years are something to be endured, to be passed through until I get to the ‘after’ in which I will be happy, and loved and everything will make sense again.
I’ve done this by constantly focusing on the future. Where shall I live? (A much more complex question than it might initially appear, but I’m sure we’ll get to that another day). What shall I do? Who will I be with? What will my life be like? How shall I plan for this life that I’m going to have – this life that isn’t this one?
Some of this has been both necessary and desirable. I’ve needed to plan for a financially secure future, for example.
But what if this is it? What if I found out tomorrow that I won’t make it till next Friday – let alone this mythical future life I’ve been waiting for? I would have to face the fact that I have not really been participating in my own, actual life that has been happening in the here and now – because I’ve been so busy getting ready for the new life that I’ve been hoping is around the corner.
And it occurs to me – this is the life in which my children are spending their last few years at home. These have been the years in which I’ve successfully made a career for myself in a new country, in which I’ve rebuilt a life that could be fun and exciting and enriching. And I’ve barely noticed. I’ve been way too busy getting myself all ready for the much better life that is surely just about to start. And when I haven’t been doing that, I’ve been ruminating about my former life.
I think I’ve been missing out. I’ve been missing out on my own life, because I haven’t been taking any notice. And the only person I’ve got to blame for that is me. My life is happening right here, right now and I’m going to start loving being ‘during’ my life.
And what was the second chord? Well Clare asked us to talk to the person sitting next to us about what we had wanted to be when we grew up. And for me it was a writer.
So – welcome to my blog.