Last night I took the two big boys down to the college campus that is near our house. I had learned there was a nice pathway along a stream to walk on and wanted to go check it out. This is the college that I graduated from and even though it is only about 2 miles from my house, I rarely go on campus anymore. Being there and seeing all of the students made me think back to my college days and I was glad that I wasn’t in that stage of life anymore.
As I continued to think about it I realized that although I sometimes long for the future, I rarely, if ever, wish I was in the past. I have enjoyed each stage of life for what it was but I don’t long to go back. Sure it was fun to be in college and have so much free time. I would love to be able to go out on a hike or bike ride everyday like I could back then. Or to be back in high school when there was so much fun to be had with so little to worry about. Then there is always the carefree summers of our youth when nothing mattered but being home by dinner time.
Each of these stages has helped shape me into what I am today, who I have become. Back then I wasn’t the complete me that I am today. I didn’t have the fullness of life that comes from being a wife and a mother and all of the other experiences that I have had since then.
My husband likes to talk about happiness in a similar way. You can think that you are happy but then when you experience a greater happiness your previous happiness feels lacking. The more happiness and joy you experience the more you realize how limited your happiness was in the beginning. Not that you weren’t happy in the early days, you were, you just weren’t as happy as you are now. You couldn’t be because you didn’t know how much more happiness existed.
That is why I don’t long to live in the past. I don’t have “glory days.” Each stage of life has brought a richer, more joyful life. Now that I’m here and I know what my life can be, the past just doesn’t compare. I was missing out on so much back then. So much of the fullness that life has to offer was lacking.
Which may be one of the reasons why I find it hard to not long for the future. To long for that life that is even more full than it is today. To be an even more complete version of myself.
I think my “glory days” are yet to come.