Granted, the 12-year old me, when imagining that glorious future self, wouldn’t have thought to be more specific about whether we rented or owned, where our money went each month, or whether the 3-year old was potty trained. In her hazy vision, she likely didn’t look too closely at how dirty the floor was.
But if she were to see me now (and I were to wear tight jeans and suck in really hard) she would probably think I’d done it.
I am married, I have had all my children, with a tidy two boys and two girls. I have a calling in the church, now actually do my visiting teaching each month and have FHE each week and my husband is in the Elder’s Quorum presidency (so apparently our family’s many sins are either forgiven or well hidden).
I now can pass as almost a stay-at-home mother (except for the part where I leave for five hours every morning), my corn is almost 10’ tall (to distract from the tangle of weeds below), I put up tomato sauce last week and one of my hens hatched 12 chicks. In essence, the dream of 1984 has been realized.
This is it. The jobs we have and the house we rent and the ward we live in now are all likely to be the same jobs, house, and ward we have five years from now. This is my life.
Acceptance is a painful relief. To want nothing more than one has—to see mainly the blessings and give little thought to what is lacking—it is such a gift. For me, it’s sometimes a gift that must be forcibly pulled down from the heavens sometimes.
In my heart (not my head) I secretly thought life would start when specific job, financial or health burdens were lifted, and that as long as they were not lifted, I was sure it really wouldn’t be living at all.
But it is.
This past summer, I pridefully prayed that the Lord solve the problem, not just make me feel better about the problems. Apparently, he thought my attitude about my problems was the problem that most needed solving, and that’s the prayer He answered.
The other day I read, “Adversity is like a strong wind. I don’t mean just that it holds us back from places we might otherwise go. It also tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that afterward we see ourselves as we really are, and not merely as we might like to be.” (Memoirs of a Geisha, p. 348)
For those of us who are inclined to live in the future, and have spent most of life anticipating the moment when a certain struggle or crisis would pass, it’s a big step to be able to say—complete with the burdens and crises—this is my life.
So, I’ve arrived!