When I was younger, I sometimes felt that I was waiting for my life to begin. There would be a particular moment when all the stars aligned, everything would fall into place and my life proper, the life I saw myself living, would truly commence.
Recently, I saw a question asking “Do you feel like you’re waiting for your real life to begin?” I thought about this and realised that I’m not; I’m living my real life now with all its challenges and idiosyncrasies, moments of despair, and times of joy and laughter.
One of the benefits of getting older is that I seem to be more realistic and accepting of what life slings at me. Rather than restlessly yearning for a future ideal, I accept the imperfect present and get on with it.
I accept that, at the moment, I have neither the time nor indeed the inclination to listen to serious radio, follow a housework schedule that effortlessly results in a spotless house, land the perfect, fantastically paid and immensely rewarding job, and so on.
I am, however, pursuing whatever captures my imagination, opening myself up to new experiences and opportunities, finding pleasure in the simple things. I no longer crave the perfect future when I can live the ideal life that I used to picture for myself but I enjoy living in the messy present.
And I feel a lot better for it.
This is my real life – the one that is taking place right this minute and I’m determined not to waste it either dwelling on the past or imagining a future.
Life is for living – now.