Jun 7, 2010

Maybe a little gray

The mister and I have been talking a lot lately about how we look at the world. We were sitting at Panera the other night and between the freezing air conditioning and me trying to steal his bread without him noticing (objective failed), we had what I think of as an ephiphany-type conversation.

We were in the middle of discussing District 9 (he watched it the night before but I haven't seen it), when I burst out with, "you know, life is messy!" He eyed me for a minute (you know, one of those looks where you're trying to gauge if this is going to be a good conversation or a crazy rant), and he goes, "yeah...it is." I was like, "no, like it's messy and I talk about a lot of things in grey, but I feel like we've been seeing things in black and white."
I used to think that you have to have one thing, then the next, then the next. I don't mind my food touching on my plate, but I don't like to mix it together, and I've treated the big events in my life the same way. There can be more than one thing in the works, but only one thing happening at a time. (No blending allowed). For instance, I graduated from college, got engaged, and then married, but only after the mister was finished with his school as well.

Ben and I have been talking about eventually expanding our family but we always said we have to do this, this, and this, first. Granted, some of that is logical (i.e. we have no room for a little one in this apartment, and yes, having two steady incomes in the D.C. area is a necessity), but at the same time there have been so many instances over the past several months that made me realize there's so much we take for granted but shouldn't. I'll always be able to stress about money but I'm going to try and start choosing to not stress about it. My mom always said, "if lack of money is the biggest problem in your marriage, you're blessed indeed." Waiting for everything to fall into place before having kids seems really black and white. I'm going to start looking at the gray. (And no, this is not my way of telling you I'm pregnant).

The mister is an artist and wants to work in the comic book industry. He's currently working with a friend on something of their own. We (obviously) want it to get published and have it be a huge hit and for people to love it, but I think we've been looking at it as "this has to be accomplished by a certain time frame or else it's not going to happen." Too black and white. Not the case. His artwork is something that's only going to get better with time and he's going to have made a mark when he leaves this world, of that I have no doubt. But if we look at it as a long-term thing instead of just the next few years, isn't that more rewarding? (And maybe...a little more gray?)

I want to seize the day and live life to its fullest. I want to drop into bed at the end of each day exhausted because my day was full of activity and memories in the making. I'm aware that thinking about this all the time and expecting things can lead to frustration and disappointment so I'm trying to start slowly. (Maybe this will be what my summer of me is about).

Life is messy - and I kind of like that way.

What about you readers? Have you ever felt this way? Do you see things in black and white or more shades of gray? Happy Monday!

(Photo: naturally nina)


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Brittany said...

Great post :) I've been thinking a lot lately about how life is not all about finding the spot where everything is perfect and then not moving from it - it's more like, no matter what's going on, there will always be something to balance it out. Really great things with not-great (or even awful) things. It's frustrating waiting for the not-great things to go away so that everything can be perfect, so lately, when I find myself focusing on them, I try to turn my thoughts instead to what is going great and makes me happy - like, a baby on the way! I think that the sooner I accept that that's just how life is - the good with the bad - the more content I will be. So yes, I definitely look at things black and white - but, I'm working on it!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I agree - as much as the control freak in me prefers life to be black and white, the reality is that it's very gray. I take the same approach to life - I can only handle one 'big' thing at a time. Like last night, I was having dinner with a guy friend and we were talking about how in the world we are going to meet the people we going to marry. He suggested that I give online dating another try, and I said maybe, but my caveat was that I won't try until after the Portland marathon. He asked when that is, and when I said Oct 10th he was like - 'seriously, you are to put this on hold for 4 months?'

I tell myself it would be ideal to wait until after the marathon to meet someone as I don't really need another distraction, but the reality is that if the right person came along, I'd welcome him into my life.

Just like if you & Ben were to start a family earlier than you think you will, you will welcome that baby with open arms.

I think the whole decision to have a baby has changed so much over the years. My parents had very, very little when they had my oldest brother. My mom sewed all of his clothes for the first couple of years to help them make ends meet. My mom said she thinks it's interesting how people these days feel such a need to established when that so wasn't the case back in the 70s/80s when our parents were having us. My mom always tells us kids that if you waiting to be ready to have a child, you could wait forever because no one is ever truly 'ready'. The baby comes along, and you adjust and grow accordingly.

So here's embracing the messiness & gray nature of life and taking it all as it comes. The best part is that you have a wonderful husband to navigate the stress & choas with.

And holy moley this comment is a freaking novella.

Diana Mieczan said...

Balazs and I often talk about stuff like that...I think life is not really about black and white...I always try to see it in different colours and there is so much more to situations and events then the simple explanation!!! As much as I would like it to be black or white sometimes...It simply is not!!! And that is ok with me :)
This is such a great post my darling...Happy Monday :)

beckylbranch said...

I think everyone thinks those thoughts at some point in their life....I mean I waited almost 9 years for a baby, a house, and all that stuff because Terence was always in school! But you know what things have a way of happening at the perfect time when they are supposed to. I used to put so much pressure on myself to try and MAKE them happen that I forgot about everything else and didn't enjoy the little things in life. I don't want to be like that and yes-I too want to hit the pillow every night and feel satisfied and glad to be alive for one more day! ahhh! Hope you have a great week friend! Do you twitter? <3 Becky?

Jess said...

I painted my whole life in shades of grey.

I've done nothing as I planned. Not one thing. It's all been painted with shades of grey, smearing its non-definitive self all over my life.

There's never a right time. For anything, really. Because no matter how you plan things, they tend to morph into something unrecognizable, beyond our control and original intent. I'm pretty much the poster child for that one. :)

BFraze said...

HAHAHA! I bet I win $10 from Jimmy, based on this post.

Mandy said...

Great post, Becky! I live my life in the gray. I've never really made timelines for myself or told myself I had to this before I do that. Its just not my way. I think its more important to keep an open mind and an open heart, simply embrace things as they come, and wander a bit.

"I want to seize the day and live life to its fullest. I want to drop into bed at the end of each day exhausted because my day was full of activity and memories in the making." This? This is exactly what the Summer of Me is about.

Are there times I am frustrated and disappointed? Of course there are, but at the same time, I don't dwell on them long. There are more important things in life. =)

Brooke said...

I like this very optimistic post :) And I think your mother's advice is very wise.

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