Thursday, January 3, 2013

Dreaming of the Right Now

I have this problem. I didn't realize it was a problem until it was pointed out to me as such. My problem is, I'm a dreamer. I've always been this way. I like to dream about the future. In small ways, as in, next semester of college, things will be better than they are now. Or in larger ways, as in dreaming about living abroad. I like to entwine myself in the dream, spinning it around me until it feels real and until it cushions me from the dullness of the current moment.

Having a dream inspires me and gives me comfort. For example, if I am unhappy with something in my life, I can imagine how it will be different in 6 months, 6 years, etc. Or, if I am feeling down that day, I can dream about my next trip abroad and plan out the details of the trip. For example, my job was stressful today, so I plan the places I want to eat dinner while on our trip to Peru. I always saw it as a way to cope and a way to enjoy things long before they happen.

As I said, it wasn't until recently that I saw this as a problem. It was my husband who pointed it out to me. He said, "You're always talking about mindfulness - being in the moment, but you are always looking forward to the future instead of enjoying the right now. He explained that when i talk so much about our future, it makes him feel like I am not happy with what we have right now.

We have spent a lot of time talking about this, until I think we've reached an understanding. He no longer feels that my dreaming is a direct comment on my happiness in my current life (or worse, my happiness with him) and in fact, he has learned how to join in my dreaming. For example, on our drive home from on holiday break we played the "What will our dream home be like?" game; where we pretend we are architects and design our dream home, all the way down to the stables that will house my horses.

But even though I've learned how to integrate it into my marriage and my husband understands me better, I still believe that his counter-argument holds true. If I am always dreaming of the future, what about being content with right now? Because frankly, my Right Now is pretty damn good. I love my house, I love my career, I love living where I'm living, and I have never been happier in my marriage. It sounds cheesy, doesn't it? Almost gag-me cheesy. But it's true. We are happy. I am happy. And yet, I keep dreaming.

I suppose it always comes back to balance. I can dream all I want, as long as I keep two feet on the floor. I don't want to spend so much time dreaming about my dream home, that I don't look around at where I am right now.

I suppose the more concrete example here has to do with trying to have a baby. I told my husband last night that I was discouraged that I hadn't ovulated yet, because I want my body to hurry up and get back to normal after having been on birth control. We were laying in bed after a particularly amazing, um, experience, and he looked at me like I was crazy and said "But why?" I gave him a bunch of calculated reasons why I want to ovulate on a regular schedule, all having to do with future planning and inevitably ending in (of course) getting pregnant). And he kept looking at me and said, "But right now we are closer than we've ever been. We are enjoying the journey to get pregnant and we will never have this moment again in just this way. So just...enjoy."

Wow. Since when am I married to such a wise, wise man?


  1. Oh I totally get you... I think I might be getting better at being in the moment, in a way, it is the reason why I started blogging. I was not in a super good place (career wise + the baby is not coming yet stuff) and I wanted to document the ways in which I am happy right now. There are hard days, weeks even, but noticing the joy in the little things of every day ,looking around and counting our blessings has made me focus in the today.
    On the other hand I think it is inevitable, human even, to dream and wish and strive for other stuff, in a way it is what keeps us going. So, as long as your dreams make you take action today and move closer to where you want to be, I guess you are doing ok.

  2. I am a dreamer too. I can't help it, and I don't think I want to stop longing for a child. It seems like such a natural wish to have. You do have a wise man there though.


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