We’re cleaning out the garage and moving boxes up to the attic so I’ve been tasked with sorting through them. I get sidetracked with a box of photo albums from the old days when we actually got pictures developed and took the time to paste the best ones in books instead of just scrolling through Instagram.
I sit for a long while thumbing through the pages, remembering.
It’s difficult to live in the present. I’m often nostalgic for the past. I’ll think back to the times when life seemed more full of possibilities and less full of lived experiences. I’ll remember what used to be, before kids or marriage or the mundane weariness of days where I am neither a world changer nor crisscrossing the globe as I had once hoped. I didn’t accomplish half of the things I dreamed when I was a girl in the picture, tanned and smiling into the sunshine, unaware of what the next 20 years would hold.
Instead, I am a wife and a mother, someone who defrosts chicken for dinner and pays the mortgage. Someone who lathers on sunscreen because instead of that tanned girl in the picture, she now has wrinkles and age spots and skin cancer to consider. Someone who adds toothpaste and paper towels to the grocery list and wakes up everyday to do pretty much the same things. It’s hard not to long for other days.
Or I am a woman who pines for the future. Everything will be different once I lose ten pounds, once school is out for summer and I can rest, once I finish this to do list, once we have more money or time or health, or that new couch at Costco. Everything will be better eventually.
Somedays I have nothing but sorrow for what used to be or what might have been or what could be if only…