I don't watch Desperate Housewives. I've seen it a few times, but I've never been an orthodox viewer. As I scrambled to compose yet another to-do list the other night, a preview for the show popped on, and I thought, "See, now there. That's what I want." I don't want to have to work or promote, to market, or to worry. I just want to do my little projects, to go to Target with a few mini boxes of raisins in my bag, and strap the tots in a shopping cart. I want to go to Mommy & Me events and developmental mornings, to make dates with other moms and talk about birth control, Sex & The City, and casseroles. I want to wear an apron and have coordinating potholders, to have time to capture more of my life with a camera, a pen, and some glue. Time to read magazines, or at least flip through them just to look at the coordinated outfits.
I think I want these things because they sound effortless right now. I know though, that if it came down to living that, I'd complain that it was too hard. That lugging around two kids all the time is taxing, that I need more stimulation, that I fucking hate baking, that I'm bored and want to go back to work, to an office, where women have office husbands, and people go out for happy hour. I think too many times I wish for "other" instead of being thankful for all that I have at the moment.
So as busy and stressed as I am, I need to give myself a good bitch-slapping into reality from time to time. Here it is:
As desperately as you think you want something else, realize that when you have it, you'll wish for this… at least sometimes. Don't be the idiot you refused to date, the guy who didn't know what he had until it was gone. Recognize all you have and hold it. Tight.
There is nothing wrong with want. It's good to want. It keeps you moving. Want is awesome. Want all you want, and don't feel guilty about it. Just also recognize all you have.
Celebrate the nights where you pull into the driveway knowing you have a beautiful family behind the doors of a home. That you can move freely, dance the funky chicken, and sing out loud. Yodel. Clap. Do the get down get down with those tater tots, and know that at the end you'll want more of these "now" moments.
I know you struggle with how to spend your time, how to prioritize, where to focus, so I'll make it easy on you: focus on your family and where you've been. Remember Grandma and all the questions she asked when she came over, how she wanted to hear about school and your friends and where you got your dress. Remember where you came from and let that ground you when you begin to compare, begin to compete, begin to doubt, and know there was a time in your life when you were loved and adored just as you are.
You are not your promotion, your graduate school, your marriage, or your blog. Open your eyes and realize you're where you should be, and that time in your past of which you think so fondly is actually still true today. Be thankful, and show it, to the people who do love you without the diplomas, awards, sales. Toast to them, drink with them. Call them. You'll feel better, and you'll brighten the day of someone else.