I can wait

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We say it all the time, we hear it on TV, our children repeat it because they’ve heard it, and it’s honestly one of the worst possible statements we can casually and carelessly make on a daily basis.

“I can’t wait!”

Our faces are beaming with excitement and anticipation as we plan our future travels, weekend outings, the arrival of a house guest, an upcoming birthday. We think of all we can do to make the next big thing in our lives incredible. We so intensely focus on our perceived future of awesomeness. Some other day, some other time, that supposedly promises to be better than right now, with little concern for today, this moment.

“I can’t wait!”

So we write on our calendar on Monday “Happy Hour this Friday” and we cross off each to-do list chore as we inch toward the end of the week, dreaming of a glass of wine, conversation with friends, a two-day break from that wake up – kids to school – run errands – go to work routine.

“I can’t wait!”

We say it to our children when we’re frustrated. I can’t wait for your father to get home. I can’t wait until you go to bed. I can’t wait until you’re old enough to do your own laundry {pack your own lunches, make your own bed}.

“I can’t wait!”

But what does that expression really mean? I’m not sure I understood until my father’s death last Halloween. It’s so easy to want to sail past the mundane, the ordinary, the boring, the robotic, ritualistic behaviors of every day life. Great memories generally aren’t made loading the dishwasher or walking the dogs or picking up the same toys off the floor for the fourth time that day. But every stressful, uninspiring, tedious moment is temporary. Every life is momentary.

So you know what?

I can wait.

I can wait until Friday afternoon when our friend comes to visit for the weekend. I can wait until our trip to Atlanta for the children’s birthdays in September. I can wait until fall begins and the weather is cooler and we can do all sorts of fun outdoor activities in our new town. We have so much to look forward to in our futures, but I can wait.

You know why? Because I have the privilege of being in good health. I have the privilege of having a family to love.  I have the privilege of shelter and food and clothing. I have the privilege of living and owning this moment right now. The good feeling I get just writing these words, sipping on cold water, looking out my office window. And I have the option to make each moment special, even if it’s just cooking a mid-week dinner or driving in my car alone or reading the kids books at bedtime. All of the moments I may miss one day when I look back. I can wait for all of the amazement and adventure ahead. It will come in time. But for right now, I want to enjoy this second.

Everything else?

I can wait.

About Carrie Wells, Ed.D.

Dr. Carrie Wells is a college instructor, blogger, wife, and work-at-home mother to two children, Lydia (age 7) and Bryce (age 5). Carrie earned her doctorate in Special Education in 2008. After becoming a mother in 2009, Carrie began blogging as Huppie Mama to share her passions for cooking, crafting, beautifying, and her family. In 2016, she rebranded as Our Potluck Family, and her husband Richard became a regular contributor.
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