There's an article all over my FB news feed lately called Don't Carpe Diem. Seriously. Everyone and their mom is sharing this thing. Like it's the best thing ever written. Like every mother should read this and love it.
Well I couldn't even read it in its entirety until just now. I clicked on the link a few weeks ago when it was posted for the first of about a thousand times. I hated it.
Here's a little back story:
Every now and then I start thinking. My mind gets away from me and starts contemplating things I don't want to contemplate. Aging. Dying. Mortality.
It's happened before. Lying in bed with Nate asleep next to me I listen to the rhythm of his breath, and with my ear to his chest I hear the love song that is his heart beat, and I think: what a miracle it is to be alive. How amazing that something as fragile as a heart can be so vital to sustaining our very existence. How incredible that we rely on the pumping of this delicate organ to keep us here. And I get scared. My body goes numb and I have to hum some mindless tune, watch some brainless comedy, read something distracting. And then I fixate on those thoughts- which is worse, to outlive Nate or leave him alone? How could either of us survive without the other. Eventually these thoughts come less and less often and I can forget about the inevitability of it all.
On Christmas Nate was talking about a 92 year old woman he met while working and the amazing condition she is in. Works out every day...wouldn't even guess how old she is. I thought, wow...that certainly won't be me. I don't live healthy at all. How horrible is that? And eventually her body will give out on her even though she treated it so well...yes it will be at a very old age, and most likely without too much hardship, but it will happen. And with these thoughts I had to take myself out of the room to call my mother panicking. I sat on the floor in my bedroom and cried on the phone with my mom.
I'm going to die. I'm going to get old and I'm going to die.
And now that I'm a mother these thoughts revolve around my children. Leaving them. Them grieving. Them growing old and dying. I think: I didn't ask for this, I didn't agree to this. No one asked me if I would like to exist, if I wouldn't mind being created and born... to eventually die. And I look at my babies and I am almost sorry to do that to them too. At the height of my panicking (it's been weeks now) I felt overwhelming guilt. As if I was killing them. As if by bringing them into the world to begin with, their death is my fault. Even now, the sight of their beautiful smiles catches me off guard and for a second I'm choked by this guilt.
Is that not awful? It's disgusting right? And it was around the time that I was feeling the worst of this that I first read the above mentioned article. I couldn't even read the whole thing because it just made me sad. Yes it's true every mother (and father) has those moments that are just impossible. You just CAN'T enjoy every moment. But, my God, do I want to!
So I decided to disagree with this article. I WILL carpe diem. I will carpe and I will carpe tight! I will hold on to the diem with all I have in me. And honestly, I feel like I have been happier since. I feel like things have been going more smoothly.
Whether it's because I am keeping busier in order to escape my own thoughts (which in turn keeps Oliver active and entertained and thus better behaved), or because I am consciously soaking in every moment (each caress, sight, smell, and sound) that I spend with my boys, or maybe because I am now accepting how little things matter in the long run (so what if Oliver does this, or doesn't do that)... I just feel like life has been a little better around here lately. I perceive Oliver to be behaving better (Nate would disagree lately). I am just adoring my baby Owen. I'm so at peace lately (when I'm not thinking too much, that is). So I will carpe diem. And I'll never let go.
I read the article in its entirety tonight. I now have less of a problem with it because it does wrap up quite nicely (and because I have bombarded myself with considering mortality so much that I'm moving into the acceptance phase of my thought cycle). There are those moments in each day that take the cake. The "aha" moment that makes everyday enjoyable. I agree with that. But still, I choose to carpe.