Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Live in the Present, not the Forever

None of us knows how we'll feel or what we'll want to do in the future.  We may think we know, but that assumption is based on our present feelings, our present circumstances, and our past experiences.  Any number of factors can change or shift, causing us to wants things in the future that we never thought we'd want, or do things we never thought we'd do. 

When I bought my first house after college, it was exactly what I wanted.  An updated house, fairly new, in a fairly new neighborhood, with a decent-sized backyard.  It wasn't too far from my family, but not in the same exact town as them.  Instead, it was across the street from the neighborhood where my best friend lived.  I had visions of us meeting once a week for walks and talking.  In short, the house was everything I wanted at the time and couldn't think of anything I'd rather have or anywhere I'd want to live more. 


As the days and weeks and months went by, it turned out that my best friend and I only met for walks a handful of times.  And a couple years later, she ended up moving with her husband to the other side of town to be closer to his work.

The drive to where my sister attended school, while not far, was getting annoying (I went to all her sporting events).  As was the drive to my grandma's house on the days I would help take care of her.  And to top it off, the neighbors that lived behind me were complaining more and more about my dogs (despite having dogs themselves). 

All of a sudden my "perfect" house was no longer perfect for me.  I didn't have anyone close by that I hung out with.  It wasn't particularly close to the places I went or the things I did anymore.  And I wasn't crazy about my neighbors.  I also rarely used the fireplace, a feature that I loved at the beginning.  Plus, the house in general just no longer felt like "me."  It was time to move on. 

Within a matter of two and a half months, I got my house fixed up to go on the market, listed it, sold it, bought a new house, and moved.  What can I say?  Once I know what I want to do, and the time feels right, I do it.

I've been in my current house four and a half years now.  And I love it.  Right now, I could honestly see myself living here the rest of my life.  I'm creating "my space."  Creating "my perfect home."  Last fall I had two new trees planted that I'm looking forward to watching grow.  I also have new landscaping projects planned for this summer.  Along with a list of house projects that will happen when the right time presents itself (mostly due to money and necessity). 

I have no intention to move.  Right now.  But then I remembered that that's how I felt when I bought my first house.  And that things change.  Circumstances change.  Desires change.  Needs change.

                              (I know the grammar in that quote is off, but I liked the quote anyway.)

The thing is this:  I can't worry about whether or not I'll be in this house for the rest of my life.  If I worry about that, then I wouldn't do any landscaping projects or house updates.  What's the point, if I'll be moving? 

All I can do is live in the present.  Right now I love my home.  I love the town where I live (which happens to be where my grandma, who I still help take care of, and sisters live) and the street I live on. 

I have to think that I'll live here forever, so that I can relax and enjoy right now.  I think that's the paradox.  I have to assume I'll be here forever, in order for me to enjoy the present. 


Sure, things might change.  No, things definitely will change, somehow, in the years to come.  I actually have no idea if I'll want to live here the rest of my life.  Any number of factors could change that.  But all of that is unknown.  So what's the point in worrying about it now? 

I saw a quote recently that said it perfectly.  Unfortunately, I couldn't find it again to post it here, but it was something like this:
You can't change the past, so don't worry about it.  You can't predict the future, so don't worry about it either.


What the future holds for me, I have no idea.  All I know is right now, I am very happy.

So I ask you, are you very happy right now?  If not, what can you change, or shift slightly, to become more happy with your current circumstances? 

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