It gives me perspective on my life to think about how much changes in one year. I don't know everything that will happen to my family, but I do know that a year from now my tantrum-loving four year old will be in school. A year from now my baby will be done teething, and two of my older sisters will have graduated from college after years of slow and steady progress. My sister-in-law Charie, who left on a mission for our church a few days ago will be more than half way finished. A year from now we'll probably be out of my dad's house as temporary squatters and into a place of our own. I'll know my way around Chicago, and might not notice the local accent so much anymore.
This isn't one of those "savor the moment" blog posts, if that's what you're thinking. To be honest, I find the "don't wish away your life" speeches both tedious and untrue. There are parts of every phase of life that pretty much discourage me from ever wishing to rewind or go back. I would never want to be a teenager again. Despite the glory stories, do you remember that feeling of being self-conscious at a party? Who should I stand next to? Why did my closest friend become so heinously awful with no warning? And the skin problems? No thanks!
What about the hamster wheel homework pressures of college and everyone asking you all the time what you want to be when you grow up? Or the first few years of motherhood when you never sleep, your sister has to kindly suggest you stop shopping in the juniors department and upgrade your bra size, and you're learning how to be a grown up who showers and pays bills AND takes care of a baby who smells like spit up. Ughh. Those early years were so hard.
In my day to day life I'm fairly determined to chase what is good and to focus on what works. But I'm also of the practical mind that the less savory parts of my life are fleeting and I don't mind saying out loud that I'm looking forward to a year from now, when some of the harder parts of right now have flown past. New challenges will arise, but the benefit of keeping focused on the good changes around the corner are that you are always in a positive mindset that things can and will improve. The diaper years will end. Circumstantial ceilings will disappear and in that moment your gratitude for the break will fill your limbs like liquid concrete. On nights when my baby is sleeping soundly I climb into bed feeling like every part of my body is a dead weight that is going to crash into the earth with sleep. I feel drunk with happiness that I can lay down my weary head.
So instead of basking in the happiness that is my current life, today I'm choosing to say that I'm glad I'm not a teenager, college student, or brand new mother anymore. I'm glad that in a few years my kids will all be in school and we'll have some peace and quiet around here. I'm glad that life changes so quickly so that you never have to feel mired in one situation for too long, and that for all of us, for good and for bad, life will appear much different this time next year.