What do you do when everything you’ve been planning and dreaming of suddenly comes true? That’s the question I’ve been asking myself lately. I took some time off writing to focus on some major life changes: closing on a house, getting married, moving. These are things I’ve wanted my whole life and been planning for many, many months. And now, here they are.
We spend so much of our lives striving for things. Striving for a better job. Striving for a fulfilling relationship. Striving for the right living situation and the right body and the right self-esteem. It feels like we’re always reaching and preparing for something more. At least, that’s been my experience these past 26 years.
But now, for the first time ever, I feel a sense of completeness. I don’t mean feeling complete in myself; I’ve always felt complete no matter my situation. But a feeling that the goals I’ve been working towards all of this time are now completed. Top-notch education: check. Dream job: check. Buying a house: check. Finding and marrying the right person: check. These are the things I always thought of “somedays” that I was working towards. Now, someday is today, and it’s all so very real.
I’m not saying all of this to brag. I recognize that I don’t deserve to be where I am. I put in a lot of hard work to get here, but all of the work in the world couldn’t earn the happiness and contentment that I feel. I’m blessed beyond measure, because only the grace of God and a lot of other wonderful, loving people could have gotten me where I find myself now. No, I’m not boastful, but thankful.
In the midst of that thanks, though, is a temptation. A temptation to go back to my old ways of striving. Because there’s so much left to do: become a parent, save for retirement, leave a legacy, and more. If I’m not careful, my tendency is to jump right back into the mindset of setting and working towards more goals rather than enjoying my current situation.
So what am I supposed to do now that I have the things I’ve wanted for so long? I’m supposed to stop, to breathe, and to savor every last bit of it. To resist the urge to strive. To live completely in the present and not worry about the future too much. It’ll come, surely enough. It always does. But now—right now—all I want to do is enjoy the best season of my life thus far. To hold my wife close, spend quality time with family (new and old), and grow deep roots in my new home.
I understand that this is a short, rare time of life, and that’s why I’m doing everything I can to protect it and cherish it for as long as possible. If you’re ever fortunate enough to find yourself in a similar place, I hope you’ll do the same. Striving is honorable for a time, but once you get what you’ve been striving for, maybe you should consider stopping for a bit. That’s what I’m doing now, and I couldn’t possibly enjoy it more.