Life will be better when . . .
I’m sure most of us are guilty of saying or thinking that phrase with any number of endings. Life will be better when I have more money. Life will be better when I have a bigger house. Life will be better when spring comes. Life will be better when I have children. Life will be better when my children can take care of themselves.
Usually, I try to avoid the “life will be better” trap, but lately I feel like I’m stuck in it. Perhaps it’s that we’re in limbo waiting for a phone call telling us there may be a baby coming to our family. Maybe it’s because this winter seems endless and I am chomping at the bit for a little sunshine and fresh air.
There will always be something out there in the distance that seems just out of reach, but that will undoubtedly make my life perfect. The only problem is that’s just not true. Life may be different in the future, but it will never be better unless I change my attitude. Life won’t instantly be better with that new season or new baby.
A friend of mine recently moved into a bigger house after spending years squished in a tiny home with three children. She just knew all of her problems would fade to memories once her children had their own bedrooms and their family room didn’t also function as a kitchen/playroom/dining room/entry.
So they moved. She got the bigger house and yard. And yes, her life was easier. But it wasn’t automatically better. The same problems were still there. The kids still fought over toys. The house still needed to be cleaned — and now there was so much more of it to clean! She loved her new house, but realized that it couldn’t make her happy. The only thing that could make her happy was herself.
So while I’m waiting for spring and a baby and all the things that I want for my future, I am trying to remember that happiness can only be found in the now. There will always be things that I think will make life better. But if I look around in the now, I can see the things that are quickly fleeting while I wait for tomorrow.
There is joy in playing Candyland for the 100th time while we are snowed in yet again. How many snow days with my kids will I get? Yes, spring will be a welcome sight, but how I will miss these mornings snuggled in bed with a warm little 3-year-old body on my right and a 6-year-old on my left as we watch the snow fall outside the window.
And yes, I will love the heck out of a new little baby that hopefully joins our family. But I know that also means my 3-year-old will instantly grow up. She will be the best big sister, but she won’t be the baby anymore. I will miss my days alone with her doing crafts and learning letters and building forts in the family room.
So while I am going to continue to think about and plan for tomorrow, I know life won’t wait for tomorrow — and neither should my happiness. I make my happiness now, taking in every moment while I look forward to the new joys tomorrow may bring. And if not . . . then I’ll be happy anyway.