Sunday, October 4, 2015

Then and Now

Nathan as a preschooler
Nathan at Graduation
I've been pondering time this weekend. I had some time on Friday night (it was rainy and cold and I was happy to be stuck in the house). I took out my old song notebook and sat down on the piano bench with my guitar.

Just the act of taking out my notebook (from 1988), my guitar (built in 1963 and purchased by us in 1995ish) and sitting at my piano (built 1950s or 60s, bought by my parents in 1978) is a study in time.

What really got me thinking was looking through my notebook. In there are songs I had written, was trying to write or had been written by other artists of the 1980's and 1990's. It was clear from my lyrics (cringe) that I was longing to find a soulmate; someone to spend my life with. It was also pretty clear that I didn't think I was soulmate material. 

I paged through the book and played through songs I haven't thought about for a long time. The songs that I remember best speak of a longing for family, for children. All the things I've had for more than 20 years now.

I'm getting to the point of looking back instead of looking forward.

Today I went to see my parents. It is my mom's 76th birthday. My dad is 79. We talked about our children (my brothers and I are their children and my children and nieces and nephews are their grandchildren - obviously). My mom said, "People don't think they need children when they're young. When you really need them is when you are old."

Nolan as a preschooler
Nolan as a Senior
Singing all those old songs and thinking about all those longings I had for a partner and then all the conversations Mike and I had (once I had him as a partner) about our future and our family made me somewhat nostalgic. We are past all of that. Our children are young men embarking on their own futures. 

It made me wonder about my now. Is my now the future I had envisioned? Of course we can never envision exactly how life will turn out. There are always bumps (or mountains) in our paths that make us steer in directions we could never envision.

But all in all, I'm happy with the choices we've made. We don't have a large house, a large income, new cars or fancy furniture. What we do have is well adjusted children (young men, really), careers we adore and a place to live that we love.

If I was still writing songs (which I am not), I do wonder what I would write about.
Mike and I when we were first dating
Mike and I a few years ago at his sister's wedding
I still have ambitions and dreams. I am still working to fulfill them. I remember my friend, my priest, Fr. Leo telling me a long time ago, "There is a time in life for everything." How true that is. 

I find myself in a time of life of change again. But now I know that change is slow. I enjoy each day in a way I didn't when I was young. I enjoy each moment with my boys. These moments don't come around in the same way they did when they were children. But they still come. My aim is to make sure I embrace them all.

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