My daughter is engaged…seeking an internship…and at the cusp of making big and major plans for her future. Kinda crazy. We had this sweet, sentimental conversation a few weekends back about the emotional tug of wanting more, wanting new and exciting…and yet longing for safe and familiar. Do you take the risk and follow your heart? Do you keep things the same, because you know your limits? How can you have it all? Is that even possible?
And the reality that I shared with her is that those questions always linger…even at my age…probably even at my mama’s age…and I bet my grandma had similar thoughts. We are human. We will always have longings. We will always wonder about our decisions. I believe that TRUE and COMPLETE contentment may not even be possible on this side of heaven.
Those living with tragedy, grief, trauma and sadness TRULY know this to be true.
But even those of us with lives that appear “put together” have incredible holes in our hearts. There may always be wonderings about our choices, our plans, our circumstances.
…as teenagers, we could not wait to turn 16…18…21….to be done with high school…to complete college. There were plans to find a fulfilling career or marry or travel or start a family. Always, looking for the next best thing. And then the mamas of the littles cannot WAIT for those babes to be independent…and then the longing for them to be sweet, cuddly and little again once the awkward, emotional teen years arrived! What about those parents sending their young adults off to college-mixed emotions of excitement for their independence and yet such sadness about the empty seat at dinner? Pretty sure my sis is feeling the angst of sending her oldest off to the land of the unknown in the fall…kinda wants to make her curl up in the fetal position and sob at times! And I am guessing that my mom and dad are thrilled to have their two daughters off and on their own, happily married, employed and independent…yet I do believe they have a bit of emptiness with our busy lives and hold a secret wish for us to share dinner times at their table.
…and then there is the random, whiny discontent that seeps into daily life. In the winter, we are too cold. In the summer, too hot. Living up north with family is the choice my husband and I made, but the desire to return to southern California is always in the back of mind. Yet when I lived there in the glorious sunshine, I ached to be with family…oh such discontent.
…I hear colleagues (and often myself) wondering if a new job would bring more happiness, less stress, greater fulfillment. Stay-at-home moms wish they had more adult interaction, working moms crave less structured days to be home with their kiddos.
Oh the longing. The wishing. The questioning.
And so, we make the wisest decisions we can…and do our best to embrace the moment. Need a change? Then make one. Facing a transition or change beyond your control? Face it with real feelings-share those feelings-and then search for the positives. It may not be possible to feel TRUE contentment here on earth…but we can always search for the little silver lining…and live with the hope of heaven.