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Nov 05 2012

Past Now Future

It’s no secret that I’ve been struggling for some time, trying to sort through everything the universe has thrown at me the last three years or so. While things are a bit calmer now, for awhile there it was one really big thing after another. I’m still reeling from a lot of it, and keep expecting that things will finally calm down: whew, made it through that, now things will get back to normal.

Only…well, you’d think by now I’d have learned that normal is just a setting on a washing machine and nothing more (and my washing machine doesn’t even have a normal setting). I’ve finally kinda sorta almost accepted that notion with A and his outlier ways, but I haven’t been able to apply that simple thought to me, to my own life. I just keep thinking that once things settle down, we can return to normal, better defined as “how life was in 2008, before we hit a slippery slope and descended into the fiery abyss that was 2009-2012.”

Ain’t gonna happen.

This morning, while perusing Facebook, I came across this little gem. It’s a bit Boulder Woo-Woo, but one particular segment really grabbed my attention:

It is time to seriously be committed to learning to let go of the past and focusing solely on the Now. Your Now is creating your Future, so stop thinking of your Past in your Now and trying to Recreate the same…

I’ve spent entirely too much time trying to return to life of four years ago. We’re never going to be in that place again, and dwelling on it is simply making me miserable. All I can see is what we no longer have, that much of it will never return, and how much I dislike the difference between Then and Now. In many ways, Now is better than Then: A is so much happier as a homeschooler, J is thriving, we get to see family much more often, Tom has a new job and is the happiest and most relaxed I’ve seen him in several years.

It’s time for me to change, to join them in the Now. This crazy, messy life is MY crazy, messy life. My Now (homeschooling, working several part time jobs, always feeling slightly out of control) won’t return me to the normal of past years, but will take me somewhere new and different and exciting. It’s not too unlike having children; you will never return to the normal before giving birth, you just accept the Now and move to the new normal in the Future.

This won’t be easy for me as I’ve fallen into the unfortunate habit of sulking deep thinking about the past, and it’s done nothing to propel me forward. But I’m going to try. I’m going to work on focusing on the Now so the Future is a new, better, and exciting one. The Past normal is never going to return, and I have to accept that and move on. I have to forgive myself for mistakes I’ve made in the Past, embrace the Now, and turn towards the Future.

I know I’m not the only one. Who’s with me?

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  1. Mona

    Oooh oooh, ME! ME! I’m with you!

  2. Lak

    Right there with you!!! 2009-2011 was cancer treatments for my daughter, and now separation from her dad… It never will be the same and I can’t make it Normal… Just need to make it good enough. And let go of perfection as well as staying in the present moment.

    1. Jen

      Ugh. That sounds terrible, and I’m sorry. 🙁 I don’t know what it is for me, but ignoring the past and concentrating on NOW is helping a lot. Maybe my new meds have finally kicked in. 😉

  3. Linda

    You need a “Now” tattoo. Everyone is doing it! 😉

    1. Jen

      I need someone to go with me! 😉

  4. BeckyG

    Yes! This is hard for me too as I tend to miss certain things about my past and wish for a do-over, but I agree that it’s finally time to adjust to the new Now. Great post.

    1. Jen

      I don’t always love the new Now, but it’s here and no amount of my whining for the past will change it.

  5. Lauren

    I am too, Jen. And what a great post. This message was perfectly timely for me, as i’m currently going through a hard time letting go of some past dreams and ways. Good luck to you in your new Now and Future 🙂

    1. Jen

      Good luck to you! It’s hard, I’m still struggling, but I’m confident it’ll be better if I let go.

  6. innreach

    You know I’m with you…

  7. Katie

    I could have written just about all of that. I miss my life of a few years ago and I keep hopingto go back to some golden made up time in my mind. It’s like a mish mash of the best parts of 2 years, so of course it looks so great! But really, it wasn’t. It’s just different. Now has more clean clothes, for one. I never remember the piles of dirty clothes in my reminicing. Now has a lot more sleep, happier job for the husband. But I keep wishing for something unattainable and I need to move on.

    1. Jen

      That’s it, a mishmash of the best parts! I remember telling Tom that “this is the hardest part right now, things will get easier as the boys get older.” I keep wanting to smack my younger self.

  8. the Iowa Expat

    I have really been struggling with this lately–thanks for putting it out there. Just read your book and really, really understand MORE. Sure wish it was more SLEEP though =)

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