No matter how much I try, I cannot live in the moment. I am at what should be an exciting time in my life. My daughters are growing up. One is living in Africa—how exciting I would have found that when she was a young child. To think that she would one day live in Africa for five months with a Cameroonian family and intern at a local school? How exotic. What a woman she would grow up to be, I would have thought at the time.
My middle daughter is a dancer and is now auditioning for a spot in the few northeast colleges with BFA programs in dance. I could never have imagined that when she was a baby. She never crawled and didn’t walk until she was 14 months old. If I knew then that that little ball of a child, would one day pirouette across the stage I would have been out of my mind with excitement. To have a real dancer in our family—imagine…
So here I am, living what 15 years ago I would never have guessed or hoped for. I have two daughters doing things I never had the opportunity, or even the courage, to do. But I am not enjoying it. I am not reveling in the experience. Instead I am worrying and fretting. Is my oldest all right? What is she doing right now in that oh-so-exotic location around the world? Will my other daughter be accepted into a dance program? Will it be the right fit for her? These apprehensions sneak into my thoughts and take hold whenever I am not busy doing the day’s work. And they are at the ready to find a comfortable spot front and center in my mind at three o’clock in the morning as I drift out of sleep.
I have found no camaraderie or sympathy from my husband on this issue. He tells me everything that I tell myself: Don’t worry. Things will work out. The girls will be fine. There is really nothing to worry about. I know, I know, I know! What I need is a chromosome change. There is something in that Y chromosome that helps you sleep through the night and cross that bridge when you get to it. Oh, how I want it!
So here is what I really believe. I will never live in the moment. I am just not wired that way, and neither are most of my middle-aged female friends. We try to look at the big picture, but we get mired in the minutia. In the middle of the night we analyze the day’s events and hone in on missteps that we made and how they might ruin our careers or cause irreparable damage to friendships.
My youngest daughter is now 10. She says she wants to be a writer. What a dream that would be! Oh, the worries that await my semi-conscious mind at three o’clock in the morning!
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