For so much of my life I said “I can’t wait until…” or “I wish..” My Grandfather would say in response “Don’t wish your life away” I always scoffed at this, especially during my school days thinking, it’s alright for you, you’re not stuck in an endless loop of being told what to do, what to wear and how to behave.
Later when I started going out at weekends, even my mum called me out on it saying that I was “living for the weekend”. I don’t think I even gave her the respect of a reply other than perhaps a cursory eye roll.
Things deteriorated even further when I went away to university. On the rare occasion that I made the trip home for the weekend, for which I might add, my wonderful family made the 4 hour round trip to collect me; it was purely for me to recharge my batteries after a conscientious week in the Students Union, rather than to spend any time with them. Often I’d be asleep before we even made it to the motorway to remain so for much of the weekend. I was better acquainted with my eyelids than my family when I was leaving again.
Even when I got pregnant I still fell victim to a chronic case of “it’ll be better when ism” I hadn’t even allowed myself time to absorb the fact that my first little one had gone to live in the stars before I was asking the doctor how soon was it safe to “try again”. Gosh how cold that sounds when written down!
When Starfish was on the horizon I still hadn’t learned anything. I held my breath through the first 12 weeks desperately worried that something would go wrong, then tripped over myself to tell people our amazing news.
When Starfish was born everyone told me “The first 6 weeks are the hardest” and so became my reality. I loved him every minute of every day but I counted down the first 6 weeks in a blink as if somehow at the end I’d love him more or be a better mother.
A short time later I began meditation which opened me up to a whole new level of awareness. I constantly heard a voice in my head saying “there’s no time, do it now” At first and for a few weeks I was terrified because I thought it was a sign that I didn’t have long left to live and I needed to do and say everything without delay. I pushed it out of my mind as much as I could and got on with life.
During my last pregnancy things started clicking into place. I knew that when Chickpea arrived life for Starfish and our family would never be the same so I began to cherish every day, every feed, every story and every cuddle. Every moment when Starfish could have my undivided attention. Likewise I relished every day with Chickpea growing in my tummy, every kick, every hiccup, every twinge.
When she arrived I enjoyed every day, every moment for what it was rather than mentally skipping forward to the “easier” time.
Then suddenly the entire jigsaw sat complete before me in all it’s beauty. My Grandad was a mindful master! His cautionary tale that I was wishing my life away was not because he was a boring kill joy, exactly the opposite! He saw the treasure in every day and was encouraging me to open my eyes and my heart to it as well. He also used to say to us that he could not understand people who spent their time travelling abroad when we already lived in the most beautiful country in God’s kingdom. That is gratitude, mindfulness and presence in its purest form!
The message I was hearing from my higher self “There’s no time…” was not one of fear but rather a truth. All we ever have is now. There is no better time to say yes to your deepest desires, your true self, the voice of your soul.
I look back on the time I wished away with sadness but also with compassion to myself as I realise at the time I was doing the best I could, just as I am now. I catch myself in the moment when my monkey brain tries to drag me back to the past or shove me, panicking into the future and remind it that my life has no return tickets and I’ll get to the next stop when I’m done soaking up the glorious, eternal moment of NOW