Thursday, July 9, 2009

Impatience is a Waste of Time

We are on the verge of moving closer into town. You may have heard about it. I may have said something. We are obsessed. I can't think of anything else. It's a month away and we've already started packing. We've already picked out our paint colors - we want to be prepared, you know!

But there's only so much that can be done ahead of time. After a while, planning and preparation turn into academic exercises and, no matter how excited and motivated I may be, I really just have to wait. And that has become a bit of a problem, because it has left me feeling empty, impotent and frustrated. That, in turn, has caused a little bit of angst and a little bit of depression.

What I realized, however, is that I am living in the future. I spend every day fantasizing about how great the new living situation is going to be. Sometimes I find myself holding unrealistically rosy views of things and I am reminded of a song from An American Tail, "There are no Cats in America." But the new house will be great - I don't even think that I'm being unrealistic about it.

The problem is that my life isn't terrible now. It's pretty great, actually, and when I focus on the future, I am missing - completely missing - what's happening right now! I don't want to miss the entire month of July just because I live in Wake Forest instead of Raleigh. And that's what I aim to do now. Forget the future. Forget the new house. Forget packing. Forget how much shorter my drive to work will be (2 miles down from 15!) and how much closer we will be to the things we love to do (our friends, Lilly's Pizza, Remedy Diner, the Rialto, the Farmer's Market, Whole Foods, Trader Joe's - coming soon!) and how great the house is going to be (fenced yard for the dogs, neighborhood dog park, screened front porch with a swing, a basement for me to brew beer). Instead I should focus on the things that are slipping by me.

Time is precious. I hope to live to the age of 60 - if I'm lucky I'll live to 75. Any way you cut it, I'm almost halfway done. This is by no means a mid-life crisis happening, but I am aware that my hours are limited. They are ticking down even now, each hour lost forever. And to spend even a minute waiting for the next one is to waste a very precious and limited resource.

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