It was our intention to be away for definitely two years, but expecting ourselves to stay away longer. Like at least three, possibly four.
But two years, definitely, for sure.
Then, as you know, things turned pear-shaped, went arse-up, generally soured and I started to see things a little differently. I still wanted to make the two years, I didn’t want to run away again, I wanted to give things a chance.
I had to develop some good coping strategies. One of those strategies was to start taking things in smaller chunks. I’ll get to June, I said to the mister and see how I feel after my trip. Made that. I’ll stay til Christmas, I told the mister and see how it goes from there. Got there, still going okay. Came back from the Christmas trip, things had changed a little. Plus the weather was freaking glorious, and the lawn in our courtyard took root. Okay, I said to the mister, the March school break.
Then I got my job, and all of a sudden things were easier. I am going to be extraordinarily sad to say goodbye to my job when the time comes. In fact, if I were living anywhere else, I would probably never leave that job. It is my dream job, and not only that, the people I work with are wonderful.
Nonetheless, for me, this is not a city of permanent livability and the only reason I know I can stay is because I know that I will go. It is the future makes the now seem possible.
The problem with this state of mind is that my brain is constantly looking ahead. In my mind, I make calculations…how many months, how many weeks, even, one time, how many days. The future is a good place to think and to dream about, but it is not a place to live.
If I’m just going to spend my time dreaming of the time when this time will be the past, then I should just pack up now. Passing time by wishing it away is not time well spent.
So, I am trying very hard to do that whole living in the now. There is nothing more important than the thing you are doing now. The past is gone, the future is yet to come, only the now is here. And so on. I am trying to concentrate on getting my book written, enjoying my job, watching my children laugh. When I feel my heart race in anticipation of what might be, I close my eyes, take a deep breath and bring myself back to now.
Oh, dear…if we get to June and I start quoting Elizabeth Gilbert at you, you will tap me on the shoulder, take me into a quiet corner and have a word with me, won’t you?