Without Wonder

I’ve mentioned before that I wonder.  All the time.  I always have.  It goes along with the part of me that likes to romanticize.  The side of me that is constantly curious about things and about people.  I remember when I was little, I used to ask my mom if she wondered what I’d be like when I grew up.  If she wondered what I’d look like, what I was going to “be” when I grew up, who I’d marry, if I’d have kids.  I recall her saying, “No.  I don’t think about the future of you very often.”  Maybe she was better at living in the moment than I am.  I think the fact that I wonder so much is part of the problem when it comes to “being present”.

I wonder about the future of Luke and Hannah.  I wonder what it will be like when they don’t nap anymore.  I wonder who I will “be” when they are off at school every day.  I wonder how they’ll be together.  I just wonder.

I always assumed that everyone wonders.  But I recently found out, that’s not the case.  I was speaking with someone who I’m very close to and found out that he in fact, doesn’t really wonder.  He doesn’t think about the things I think about in the future.  He “hopes for the best” but doesn’t spend time curious about it.  He enjoys his kids Today. He likes to “anticipate” based on how they are today what they may be like, but he doesn’t wonder about it in a “dreamy” way.   Am I the only one who thinks that’s interesting?   I don’t want to describe it as strange, just interesting.

I kick myself often when I catch myself not being present with my kids.  And with the topic so hot on so many of the blogs that I read, I try to note what it is I’m thinking about when I’m not Present.  I have found that I AM thinking about my kids but I’m dreaming about Later.  I’m spacing out about sitting with my arm around Luke on the couch while he talks to me (about ANYTHING since he doesn’t speak today). I’m imagining sitting on the cold bleachers at the highschool and watching Hannah whip around the field kicking a soccer ball or, (more realistically) sitting in a chilly auditorium watching her on stage in a show.  I think about their school experiences, visiting them at sleep away camp, their weddings.  I wonder about all of these things while they are playing right there in front of me.  I’m missing out on little puppet shows and stick figure drawing as I forge ahead to their older lives.  Part of me knows it’s sad, but another part of me has fun with it.  And it makes me smile.

So are the people who are NOT wondering, who are not curious and dreaming ahead missing out in a different way?  What does it say about my friend who ONLY lives in today?  Is he closed minded?  Maybe it’s a control thing… the fact that he can’t control the future worries him and he doesn’t like to anticipate disappointment?   Maybe it’s a male/female difference.  (Here I go again, wondering).

Since there isn’t much left to get all “dreamy” about with myself as I’m already happily married, figured out my “career” (whether I go back to it or not), have my kids, and looks wise, the future changes probably won’t be for the better… I now dream about my kids.  It’s a happy place for me.  Just as I love pulling out old photo albums to look at my babies when they were really babies, I also love to imagine the pictures that will fill up the empty pages.  I like to pencil in what the captions will be on those pictures so later I can see how right (or wrong) I was.

I’m wondering… am I the only one?

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33 Comments

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33 responses to “Without Wonder

  1. I actually blogged about this very topic last Friday.

    http://tendollarthoughts.com/2010/01/15/on-the-horizon/

    So no, you’re certainly not alone. I too wonder about my son’s future and what it will bring. And with kids, whose lives are largely blank slates, I think it’s difficult not to wonder. There are so many choices in front of them and I can’t help but wonder what path they’ll take.

  2. Not the only one. At all! Often, though, I wish I could shut off the wonder part of my brain and just be. But the fretting about not being able to do that makes me more wonder-y & distracted … And so on and so forth!

    • I’m glad I’m not alone Lindsey. But honestly, I don’t wish I could shut it off. It brings me joy to imagine the future of all of us, where we’ll be, what our relationships will be like, etc. It’s part of who I am and as long as I can find time to ALSO be in the moment… I think I’ll keep wondering!

  3. What a great post. It got me thinking. I am a wonderer too, maybe just not as big of one as you. This year I am trying be more present. My word for the year is Pause. If you get a chance you can head to my blog and read the post on Words.
    I’m here from SITS. Have a great rest of the week!

    • Thanks for coming by Jenny and as I’m sticking with my word… Enjoy. I’ve been thinking about it since I wrote that to you and it’s brought a smile to my face a few times since yesterday!

  4. Definitely not the only one. I find myself thinking of certain events in their lives: where they’ll go to college, who they’ll marry, what it will be like when they have kids of their own.

  5. I am in the same boat as you and at times I feel the same way…I wish I could quiet my mind and live in the moment. I have been really working hard on this as my girls are already 8, 5, and 1 and it won’t be too much longer that they will allow me to sit there with my arms wrapped around them while we do nothing. My husband is the polar opposite and is constantly living in the moment. 😉

    • I think there must be a happy medium where we can both wonder and live in the moment. I think this perfect balance might be in the sharing of our wonders with our kids (if they are old enough) or with our husbands. If I tell my daughter what I’m wondering based on what I’m seeing her do, that is capturing the present while also picturing her future. I’m going to try to do that more often because there’s just no shutting off my wonders!

  6. I certainly wonder more than my husband does…but I also worry a lot more. Like you, I sort of enjoy tossing around the possibilities of selves they might become.

  7. I think that pondering the future is not a bad thing. It can often help me form goals and adjust my behavior. My ruminations tend to dwell on how my children will see me in the future. Will they look back with shame? Anger? Hurt? Or will they remember me as a teacher? Someone they could trust? Someone that loved them unconditionally?

    Yes, I cogitate about their futures. I make predictions about their high school years, their college years, who they will date, who they will marry, and if they will have kids. I usually talk about this with my husband. It is more of a game.

    Isn’t this all about moderation? If you dwell too much in the future, you miss the present. Yet, if you dwell too much in the present, you may not plan well for the future. That is how I see it, at least.

    • I think you’ve made some great points here Ambrosia. As I mentioned above, there must be a happy balance between wondering and dwelling and living in the moment. I don’t usually equate my wondering to planning for the future, it’s mostly hypothetical to me but maybe I should make my wondering more productive by planning more!

  8. Stopped by from SITS. What a great post! I don’t know if this is a male/female thing but I definetly am with you with wondering. In addition to wondering, I find myself planning too. I’m a crazy planner, and although I don’t have kids to plan/wonder for yet, I plan and wonder with my husband and I. I wonder if we’ll move like we say we want to to where we want to, I wonder if we’ll have kids like we want to, I wonder (and hope) we’ll be healthy and happy. Maybe it is a woman thing now that I think about it, my hubs doesn’t seem to ponder/wonder stuff as much! Meditation has helped me alot to be more in the moment, have you tried that? Love your blog!!

    • Thanks for coming by Nikki! I have tried meditation a few times but I find my mind drifting when I’m supposed to be in the moment! I found it frustration that I couldn’t shut “off”. I get a lot of enjoyment out of wondering and dreaming, I just need to partner it with some planning and “focus”. But for now… I’ll just keep on wondering!

  9. Liz

    I wonder, oh boy do I wonder! Constantly! When I went to my nephew’s basketball game last week, I wondered about my boys playing high school sports. When I see mothers with college-age children, I wonder. Most of all, I wonder if when they grow up they will “leave” me as everyone says they will…because they are boys. I wonder if I will “lose” them to girlfriends, wives, lives. I wonder if they will want to be with me. Okay..I’m thinking I have a future post here. I think you struck a nerve! 😉 P.S. I DO wonder about ME too…yes, my life is “set,” but I have many, many dreams for my near and far future…biggest? I wonder if Hubby and I will move to Hawaii after retirement, as planned and hoped!

    • Yeah, I wonder about some of the sad stuff too like you mentioned… Luke leaving me… NEVER! I will have my claws in that boy forever! 🙂 And I also wonder where Tim and I will end up. Hopefully in a house on the beach somewhere!

  10. crnnoel

    You are not the only one. I wonder about everything. And I overthink everything. I think those two go hand in hand at times.
    Most of the time when I wonder about life, it’s when there’s nothing else going on. I try to stay present when the kids are around (honestly, how can you not? You know? or rather, how is there time to wonder about things when you have to catch children falling off couches or intercept soccer balls flying around the house…) but when they’re not up and moving a mile a minute, I like to slow down and wonder about life. It makes for good writing 🙂

    • I’m totally with you here. I agree overthinking and wondering go hand in hand. But there’s a lot of good that comes out of wondering too. Somehow I do find the time to wonder when the kids are in front of me… maybe that’s how Luke fell off the kitchen chair this morning. sigh. It’s in the moments when they are sitting happily together that I wonder about the two of them in the future. I smile as Hannah rubs Luke’s back and wonder if this bond will always be there. Here I go… wondering again.

  11. For all of my anxieties and neuroses, I actually don’t think I do all that much wondering. I don’t really spend all that much time thinking about the future and – for whatever reason – manage to assume that things will be okay. I guess my worrying is usually about the smaller, in-the-moment things rather than the big, existential ones. So does that mean my worrying makes me present?

    Now you’ve got me thinking…and, apparently, rambling in your comments box!

    • It seems like you’re equating wondering with worrying Kristen? I worry a lot about everything which drives me nuts but the wondering part of it I enjoy. It’s like the dreamy side of worrying.

      And you’re always welcome to ramble on my blog. I love your rambling!

  12. I used to wonder a lot as a kid and all the way through my teen years – when would I fall in love? That was a big one.

    But I wouldn’t say I wonder about my kids, I’d say I try to plan and pin them down. Of course, my son is 14 and we’re trying to pick high school classes.

    I love this post and I have to say that it did make me wonder about where I lost my sense of wonder.

    • I find it interesting that you don’t wonder what your kids will do for careers? You don’t wonder who they’ll marry? You don’t wonder where they’ll live? Maybe you’re so involved in the present that you don’t have time to wonder? Maybe it’s just when they’re tiny that we wonder so much? Thanks for your thoughts… I love reading what it’s like as the kids get older!

  13. Nicki

    I wonder but not too much or too often. I like to let the kids – as mine are much older than yours – wonder about themselves now. That is hard to do as it is a letting go of sorts.

    • So interesting Nicki. Maybe my wondering is my way of feeling attached to my kids and some wonder disappears as you start to let go? I’ll have to put some thought into that one!

  14. For the first 14 years or so of parenting, I was too busy for any “wondering” during the day. But at night, when I couldn’t sleep, there was a bit of wondering. Especially as I saw – even through the blur – the little personalities emerging.

    Some of us are wonderers, yes. And balanced with getting the job done, we make time for some of that, when we can.

    Lovely post.

    • I just need to make sure I am in fact getting the job done when I’m wondering. Sometimes I worry I’m more “spacing out” than wondering and that’s when the topples off of the chairs and shoving of the siblings happens!
      Thanks for coming by BLW!

  15. great post! thinking about it now I really don’t wonder that much.I wonder why?

    • Thanks for coming by monica! Maybe you’re too involved in life to wonder! Maybe you’re great at living in the moment so there’s no need to wonder!

  16. I think this makes you someone who has a very creative mind. Creative ppl are different than other ppl. It means you are special. If it weren’t for ppl like you, the world would be a dull place with no color.

    • thanks soccer mom! I know my wondering makes my OWN life colorful, that’s for sure! I’ll take what you say to heart and just believe I’m special… and I’ll continue to wonder!

  17. Loved this. As you can tell from these comments, you most certainly are not alone 🙂

  18. Interesting. This topic of wondering. When you put it out there like this, I guess I realize I don’t spend a lot of time wondering. I do have a real curiosity about who my kids will be in the future but I don’t dream about their weddings and such. It does pass through my mind but not frequently.

    We all have trouble being present as mamas. Most of the moms I know at least. And we all have our different reasons for it. But in general I think most people in general have trouble being present in their life. This is what I try to focus on….the present. Because it’s really all I have. I have found breathing to be a great simple tool. It brings me back to where I am. If my mind is wandering (usually to my to-do list), I remind myself to take deep breaths and it helps bring me back. To the laughter in the room.

    Very interesting post.

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