2012

2012.  A new year.  2011 defined a new sense of low for me and I haven’t been this eager for a year to end since The Mistah was deployed.   As I thought about this sense of longing for time to move, it struck me how often I wish time away.  It goes back as far as I can remember, like when I was told I couldn’t go with my brother to an Orioles game because I was too young.  Well, I didn’t want to be too young.  I wanted to be old enough to do what the “big kids” were doing.  I guess that’s the curse of being a younger sibling…having to watch from the sidelines as life goes on without you.  So it started early.

And it kept going.  I remember being 8 or 9 and wishing I was 10 already because 10 is double digits and nobody mistakes a 10 year old for a little kid.  Wanting to be 10 became wanting to be 13, because nobody tells you how hard it actually is to be a teenager.  Then that wasn’t good enough and I couldn’t wait for the day I was 16 and could drive.  I would have gladly forfeited the next two years so that I could be 18 and leave for college.   The last big “I wish it would just get here already birthday” was 21….no explanation needed.

After that, wishing away time was not about being older.  It actually became about not being.  Not being stuck in a miserable day at work.  Not being torn apart by a relationship that ended.  Not being tormented by my doubts.  And definitely not being helpless to watch a course of events unfold before me.

If I could even roughly approximate how many times I thought “I can’t wait until this {fill in the blank} is over” I bet I have wished away entire years.  What 2011 taught me is that time doesn’t work that way.  You don’t get a few extra years tacked on at the end because you wished them away earlier.  What’s more, all that time I spent fixated on not being wherever or whatever I was, I basically had my eyes closed to what actually was wherever or whatever I was.

How many opportunities did I miss?  How many shards did I ignore that could have made the most beautiful mosaic? How long will it take for me to stop wishing my time away?

I’ve never been one to make New Year’s resolutions and I never really gave much thought to why that was so.  If you would have asked me that question twenty years ago, my response would have been something like “I dunno”.  But thinking about it now, with whatever wisdom I’ve managed to accumulate, I think it’s partly because a resolution is an acknowledgment that I am responsible for making the changes I want to see in my life.  I can’t pawn that job off on anyone else.  And it’s also partly because a resolution made one day a year seems to have a pretty quick expiration date.

So what’s the alternative?  For me, it’s this: be present even when it’s uncomfortable, wish to get through the experience instead of wishing away the time, and make these affirmations to myself every day.

That’s my hope for 2012.

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17 Responses to 2012

  1. omawarisan says:

    That is so well expressed, I hope writing it down helps you make it happen. I’m two years from retiring and this is just what i needed to read.

    • Wendi says:

      I should probably print this post out and plaster all over the spaces of my life in order to avoid falling back into the trap of wishing my time away. It’s a hard habit to break. But I guess if it were easy I would have done it long before now.

      ________________________________

      • Well written! This does not surprise me at all. Please, seriously, consider writing a book. You have the good English, insight and the gift. Please, really consider this.

        I understand what 2011 and the series that unfolded and that difficult time it was. Unflippin’ believable…………too much to happen in a short 12 months….one year!

        I pray all the time for you & Jeff for I know how difficult it had to be.

        My being a widow has been very tough. Just yesterday I received a bank statement from one of my banks in FL. The balance in this account is your Dad’s badge number!! The irony of that is what I call a “moment” that happens out of the blue and shocks me and I stop and think again about 2009 when he was diagionised on Dec. 23rd and all through 2010 and then the “Black year of 2011.”

        I try to concentrate on the present till a “moment” hits me. I start the sadness, then good memories and then the final. I get through them and in time they will disapeer. As you Dad said…..It Is What It Is.

        I love your New Years resolution and I love you for you are you! xoxo

  2. Jenna says:

    I love this, Wendi. I wish away time too (“I can’t wait until this boring day in the office is over,” etc.), and it’s the mark of a good day when I can say “it went by fast.” What does that say about me??? Yikes. I don’t want to wish away ANY time, but really take every moment as it comes with its challenges, sorrows, joys, and opportunities. Thanks for this awesome post.

    • Wendi says:

      Jenna, I think this is a trap that we all fall into. For me especially, it happens when I’m stuck in a place that makes me uncomfortable. I hope I can put the idea of taking each moment individually into action.

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  3. Lan says:

    oh dearest Wendi,
    can i just tell you wonderful this piece is? it’s perfect in every way ~ it expresses exactly how time can be a friend or a foe. it highlights our human struggle over it.
    don’t be hard on yourself over it tho, be gentle and be in the Now, because eventually it’ll be over.

    • Wendi says:

      Lan, I never gave the “friend or foe” concept much thought. But now that you put it that way, that’s a perfect analogy. So yes, I want to reframe my thinking so that I see time as my friend and make an effort to be in the Now…and not just have that be my goal for this year but for all the rest of them too.

      Thank you for giving me a little something more to think about.

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  4. JenniferA says:

    You have hit on something here I think most of us struggle with. I know I do. I wish you a year of being comfortable in the moment.

    • Wendi says:

      Being comfortable in the moment is a goal beyond my reach. I think I would be happy with just being present in them.

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  5. The Craving Chronicles says:

    I love your resolution. It’s HARD to be present. I’ve been trying to get better at it myself. The past year was such a blur, I hate to think the rest of them will be like that. I hope 2012 brings you more moments you can enjoy being present in 🙂

  6. Gorgeously written and so much truth here.

    • Wendi says:

      Thank you Kitch. Sometimes is takes a ridiculous amount of time to decide to change. It only took me 40 years ; )

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  7. Tracy says:

    Your posts make me think. Actually, make me pause to think. I’ve become more authentic and self aware because of you and your words.

  8. What a lovely way to capture the ongoing human stuggle with time. I think we all wish is away, and then end up wishing it back again. I try to remind myself that there is only so much sand in my hourglass so I better live it up before mine runs out!

    • Wendi says:

      Beth, the hourglass analogy is spot on. We never know when it’s going to run out and we can never get any of those moments back…no matter how hard we try.

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