Mindful with Irene (29)

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve experienced a few events which have led me to believe that there is a common thread running through my life. First, there was my own blog last week about the longing for longing. Then, I had an awful weekend with New Love where, after an hour-and-a-half’s drive (yes he lives that far away), I sat on the sofa downstairs in a sulk while he sat upstairs in a mood—a scene that was caused by the “perfect picture” in my head of what our weekend should have been. Then there was the Editorial foreword Astrid had written for a forthcoming issue, about expectations. And that’s when I thought: There’s something about all these promises, desires and images in my head.

I’m actually very happy when I think of all those things. The promise of what is to come, the life that could be, how nice it all feels. Those “When thing’s will be calmer,” “when the weather will be better,” “when the kids will be older,” “when there will be more hours in the day for me”…

I enjoy all those “What-ifs” and “Whens”. At the first ray of spring sunshine, I see an endless summer before me. In the middle of a hectic work week, I see a wonderful romantic weekend on the horizon. On those back-to-back busy days when I don’t know how I manage to fit it all in, I believe that there will come a time when I will take a sabbatical and write a book in a house in France. When I hear a beautiful piano concerto, I am confident that I will soon, at some point, have time to take lessons and be able to play like that too.

All those dreams and hopes and promises really enrich my life. And sometimes the promise is good enough (see my blog from last week about the beach hut). But, then again, sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes real life gets in way of all those dreams. Causing me to feel miserable. And I know there’s a lesson in mindfulness there. Something about living in the now, accepting what is. That’s all well and good, but I shouldn’t dwell on it. I should just allow myself to, every now and then, feel disappointed and let down by all those unrealistic expectations and images in my head. I’ll continue to dream, cause a huge row with New Love if he doesn’t play along with the picture I have in my head of how our weekend should be, make things up with him and dream about how the next weekend we have together will be a success. And I’ll dream about that endless summer that is coming. And those piano lessons. And maybe I can already start mapping out my sabbatical…

Irene, together with Astrid, is the founder and creative director of Flow Magazine. She lives with her children (10 and 13, co-parenting) in Haarlem, the Netherlands. Each Friday, she writes about how various Mindfulness lessons apply in her daily life.