Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Worth the Wait

I met a friend—my old art director partner—for dinner last night. Well, I had dinner. She had eaten beforehand and was supposed to just have a drink. A glass of Chardonnay, I thought. But when she walked into the restaurant and sat down, she ordered water with lemon.

“Were you boozing at your work party this afternoon?” I teased.

“No, I’m not drinking.”


My friend and her husband were never on the fast track. They dated for 10 years before getting married in 2005, and have been volleying the kids idea around since then. Being the pain-in-the-butt friend I am, I ask her—every time I see her—whether they’ve made a decision. I thought the closest they’d gotten to entertaining the idea was buying a dog last year.

“I’m five months along,” she said.

I couldn’t believe it. I started to cry. I was so pleasantly shocked and overjoyed that she and her hubby had reached their point of readiness. Had they gotten pregnant right away, I don’t think I would’ve been as overwhelmed by emotion.

I’ve been realizing this a lot lately: That good things are even better
when you wait.

Ever the late bloomer, and always the last to do everything (get my period, get a boyfriend, lose my virginity, ah yes and now, get married) I’ve gotten accustomed to waiting for things. But up until recently I’ve always felt impatient. It was as though life was a To Do list and I was just trying to hustle my way through it and check everything off.

But I see now, that things seem to mean more when I slow down and allow myself to get ready for them; enjoy everything leading up to them; savor them when they arrive. It’s not about the end product, it’s about the process. Seems like a complete no-brainer but I don’t think I used to understand this.

Before Mr. W and I said the L-word, I remember thinking that I should embrace the time without it. Even though I wanted to hear it so badly, I knew that someday we would say it as though it meant nothing (okay, not nothing, but you know what I mean). So I tried to enjoy that anticipation and the physical ways it showed up before it was actually said.

People are now starting to ask me about the M-word, and as much as I want to indulge the fantasy and start looking online for ring settings and gown designs, I know that if I just relax and relish the moments we have, an engagement, a wedding, and a family will be so much sweeter.

The present moment is a great place to be. And if I can be patient, I know beyond a doubt, that everything ahead of it will be worth the wait.

Congratulations to my friend J on the impending birth of her
little baby girl!


Anita said...

I can relate to this post on all levels and I couldn't have said it any better myself. Thanks for reminding me that there is no better moment than now.

Dingo said...

Can we get back to the boozing at work party? Can I get a job there?

I completely understand about waiting. Sometimes it' not even really "waiting" it's just that it's not time yet. The anxiety that comes from constantly expecting something to happen can completely destroy enjoying now. I know, I know, that's just what you said. I just wanted to say it again.

Amy Turpin said...

I am totally with you on the waiting thing. Living in Utah, it is even more difficult for people -- believe me. I waited to get married until I was 26, and was 29 when we had our first little one, and a lot of people here made me think I was old. But, then I just had to look outside of this crazy state and realize that it's not the age you get married at that is important, it is that you marry who you really want to marry and that you are who you want to be when you marry!! I have LOTS of friends here who married young and got right into having kids, and now they are divorced, single mothers wondering where their youth went. They never had time to experience life. There will be time, and it will be perfect when that time comes. Rushing it only ruins the process!!

Wow, that was awkward said...

What a nice pleasant blog compared to the nonsense going around elsewhere!

brookem said...

aw, it's so true. and this is coming from a girl who isn't always too patient. though, i really think it's so important to live in the moment and enjoy the present and the here and now. you must be so happy for your friend! and you seem so happy where you are RIGHT NOW. enjoy every minute of it my friend, you deserve it!

Michael C said...

Congratulations to J too!! It is so cool to be expecting. I'd say pregnant, but I really don't know much about that point...

I was in a hurry to grow up too and I think at times it had the same effect as driving too fast: you don't tend to have the time to notice things, really see them or enjoy them. I'm much slower now. Seriously, I am. It took me 15 minutes longer the other day to walk 4 miles!!

Anonymous said...

I personally never understood the whole goals/waiting thing. I don't see any problem with someone taking three years to decide that they're sure before bringing a kid into this world, especially given the number of children who are brought in too soon to households that later break apart.

But maybe it's just me. My goals in terms of careers or relationships or whatever have always been in comparison to what I wanted, not what my friends and acquaintances were doing. Actually, let me correct that a bit: I did go through a period where I realized I wasn't at the same place in my life now as my father was at this point, but I got through that.

I'm glad to see that you've slowed down, that you're living in the moment. Remember too not to set your goals based on what others are doing; just do what makes you happy.

And congrats to your friend!

JustRun said...

Couldn't agree more. I have to remind myself a lot to enjoy a moment because even if life just keeps getting better, it's also never going to be just like this again.

Anonymous said...

You have to teach a class in patience because I've gots none. I want it now! I am a little brown Veruca Salt.

Why did she wait so long to tell you she's preggers??

Mel Heth said...

Anita - Yes, you are in my same boat. :) Let's just throw the oars overboard and sit in the middle of the lake.

Dingo - Haha yes, I will find a position for you here (my friend works for my company but in a different location). You're right about the expectations thing. Times 2.

Amy - I can't imagine the pressure girls go through in Utah. So crazy. Glad you waited it out and ended up with such a happy life!

Wow TWA - Somebody's gotta uphold the integrity of the Internet... :P

Brookem - I'm not always patient either. I have to constantly remind myself. But being in the moment IS so much better than projecting into the future in your head. I AM so happy for my friend! She's 38, so this was in the works for awhile. :)

Michael - You seem like you pay attention to all sorts of little life details! Maybe you have some super speed sense and were able to go fast and still see everything. Can you see through walls?

GeekHiker - I think boys generally have a much easier time with this stuff. Especially the kids thing - sadly women's biological clocks are real things (this is why my friend knew she needed to decide about kids - she's 38). So we tend to jump forward in our thought processes more often than men. And although I'm not really affected by where my friends are now, as a teen and a twenty-something, I definitely struggled with it. Good for you for being more in tune with time and your own desires.

JustRun - I know - it makes me think of the phrase "this too shall pass" - which applies not only to the negative times but the positive ones too! We have to savor them!

Coconut - I'm SO not qualified to teach a class! I'm a work in progress, myself. My friend waited because she's 38 and wanted to get all the various tests done they make you have over 35. She also wanted to tell me in person, which I'm so glad she did. :)

Michael C said...

I find open heart surgery really helps in the 'noticing life's little, but oh so important, deatails. I highly recommend it. If it worked for me, it can work for you!

Anonymous said...

This is so, so true. Things happen in time, sometimes it doesn't always fit into everyone else's timeline - but when they happen it makes it all the more sweeter! Congrats to your friends and their soon to be baby girl!

Hannah said...

That is such a sweet post. I used to be the same way about things in my life. Like it was some to-do list. We just have to trust that all of those life things will happen. (Even if we want them "Now damn it! Now Now Now!!")

jen tarara said...

What a great entry, Mel. It has totally been worth the wait to be at the right time in life to start a family (I have no doubts about becoming a mom) AND to tell you our news in person! It's all so true - life is what you make it, live in the moment, it's the journey not the end... And it's so great to see you are enjoying the "movie" moments you guys are having. Am so happy for you too. :)