In order to encourage me when I am blue, people ask me to live in the Present, not dwell on the Past and not worry about the Future. What if I don’t want to live in the Present? Surely, I have made mistakes in the Past which are going to affect my Future. So, this present interim stage is actually becoming mundane.
Being a mother, I have days when my son is throwing tantrums or just generally acting like me; stubborn. He is almost 4 years old so I guess it’s valid. He sometimes gets confused with what he wants. Children are supposed to. But here I am, 33 years of age and I have these moments where I just want to make peace with major decisions I have made. I am constantly talking in my head about what- ifs and the various scenarios in which I could have done things differently. How my past decisions may affect my son’s future?
I am a fun-loving person; this means that I enjoy socializing with friends and catching up with old friends. But there are days when I just want to be an introvert. I just want to sit all day in front of the computer or TV and watch some mindless shows or movies. But being a mother I can’t do that. I can’t simply shut myself off into a different world anymore. Yesterday was one of those days when I just wanted to stay at home and since my son was home that day I didn’t want him to be glued to the idiot box for the full day. So I took him to the local mall where he pretended to ride bikes and cars in the game arcade and he was enjoying himself. Then I decided instead of me just moping around him, I could make good use of this day. So I decided to play with him at one of the games and I enjoyed it as well. In those few moments of playing with him and winning, I was being a kid again. My day was turning out to be a memory to cherish. I was living in the Present.
A memory of the Past also came to my mind where I had disappointed my mother. In school I used to travel by the school bus and used to be the first one to be dropped off amongst my friends. I remember the look she gave me when she found out that I hadn’t being using the school bus. I was travelling by public buses with my friends. It never occurred to me to just tell her that I was old enough to travel on my own and to not waste her hard earned money on the bus fees. Today, when I pay for my son’s education, his uniforms and his books, I know how difficult it was for her to manage two girls who had multiple needs and wants as well. When I got married, she used to say “Oh now you will know how much everything costs” When I was pregnant, she used to say “Oh now you will know what it’s like to have patience”. She used her past to predict my future, and how right she was.
While my husband and I were courting, he once bought me my favorite chocolate filled with nuts and caramel – Crackle. I gobbled up the entire chocolate not even giving a piece to him. We both had a good laugh, because he was waiting for me to offer him some and here I had finished it off. Today, every time I buy or even see Crackle, I go back to that day in the park. My future with my husband is based on these small memories that I hold on to.
I don’t know what my Future is going to be; obviously I am not a fortuneteller. But I hope my son doesn’t make the same mistakes that I have.
Every choice we make today, from the smallest (home budget, vacationing, weekend plans) to the biggest (son’s education, health insurance, retirement plans) is shaping our Future.
We can’t ignore our Past; it is what shapes our Future. The present is just time that is slipping away. The Past, Future and Present are all interconnected like a ring and we can’t escape the constant memories or the worries that we face. The only thing we can do is use them at the right time.
26th February 2014.