I want it to be midnight so I can get off work and go to bed.
I want it to be Wednesday so that my hellish week of working two jobs, two fifteen+ hour days, presenting in class, abstracts due and other assignments due, can begin to lighten up.
I want it to be fall so I can drink hot cider, eat pumpkin soup, go on long hikes, knit like crazy.
I want it to be next fall so I actually have the time to do those things.
I want it to be next spring so that I can put another degree on my resume, walk across the stage and be (for the time being!) finally finished with academia.
I want it to be sometime in the next nine-ten months when we will know where we are living, what we are doing, where we are working.
I want it to be a few years from now when we move out of cramped apartments and into a house with walls we can paint and gardens we can plant.
I want to be sometime in the God-only-knows future when we have little ones running/walking/crawling/crying around.
If you were to hear me talk, you would think my life is terrible now the way I wish for the future. As if I was Anne Frank trapped in the attic, endlessly dreaming about the day I would see sunshine again.
But I’m not. I have a good life. A job, an education-in-the-works, a husband, a place to live. I forget that these are the times that I waited for years ago. When I couldn’t wait to move out of my over-crowded over-emotional JVC houses. When I couldn’t wait to be married. And before then I couldn’t wait to move across the country for a new adventure and I couldn’t wait to be single. All my days I spend waiting, wishing, pining.
Ambition is not a bad thing. Hope is not a dirty word. Daydreaming is a perfectly respectable pastime. But my preoccupation with the future makes me forget about the present. I know these are the days we will tell our children about. How we could only afford a small apartment and popped popcorn and watched movies instead of going out. How chicken was a treat and steak was for Valentine’s day only. How we spent a day and a night huddled under our blankets after opening our windows to the 50 degree whether outside because our carbon monoxide detector wouldn’t stop going off. How we cooked big fancy breakfasts for dinner because we slept in too late on Sunday mornings to do it then. How we bought donuts every Saturday morning at the market. How on the rare days we find ourselves both home for lunch we turn on CNN and make fun of Wolf Blitzer.
I know these are good days. The hard parts will one day be funny (most of them anyway). In a way, it’s odd that I spend so much time waiting for things I know will most likely be coming my way. I don’t dream of the day that I am cured from IC, because I don’t know if that will ever happen. But the things that will, you would think that I could be content with simply knowing they will happen. Instead, I sit like a puppy at the door waiting for her owner’s to come home, never exploring what is around me now.
I want to enjoy this year. This year with its 50 hour work weeks and still below the poverty line pay. With its term papers and theses and bars and deadlines. It may not be the year I look back on most fondly in my life. But I need to stop waiting by the calendar with a sharpie in hand, ready to cross it off. I need to just be.