Something strange has happened recently. Watching Cars for the hundredth time with Wilbur I found myself welling up at a bit in the middle where they look back to the past. Then, in the car I found myself feeling very comforted by the lyrics ‘other people wouldn’t like to hear you if you said that these are the best days of our lives’, which is from a song by Blur that I’ve listened to a lot but never really thought about. I remember being told that school days were the best days and thinking that I hoped they weren’t because it was mostly a confusing and bewildering time. Then at university a lot of people expected me to be ‘having the time of my life’, I was having a time in my life – that’s for sure – but the time? I remember hoping that it wasn’t actually the time of my life, because there was quite a lot of my life left. Now people tell me that I will look back on these days with my tiny people at home and miss them – which has actually only served one purpose only: making me feel guilty for sometimes not wanting to be with them 24/7 at home and actually pursue my career, play netball and see my friends.
I am not someone who has ever felt nostalgic – I feel excited for the here and now and excited for the future. The past is something that happened to me once, something that shaped me for sure but I don’t get that rose-tinted spectacles thing. Sure, I like to think of the times when I could wake up whenever I wanted and go to the loo on my own, without a toddler yelling ‘what are you doing in there Mummy?’ through the door. I am quick to remember though that actually I was yearning for children and thrilled to be pregnant straight after my wedding so the likelihood is that had I waited, in favour of those lie ins and solo toilet experiences, I would have just been longing for children of my own and so not exactly having ‘the time of my life’ either.
So why the tears at Cars (which, by the way, is an excellent film)? Well, I’ve thought about it and I’ve realised something. Perhaps these are the best days I’ve ever experienced and perhaps other people wouldn’t like to hear it. After all, the last thing you want to hear when you’re having a bad day is that actually you should appreciate how good your day is. Times are hard in so many ways for us at the moment. We have less money than we’ve ever, ever had (my husband hasn’t been on a diet, we just haven’t bought any meat or beer for months and months!), we do not sleep more than 5 or 6 hours broken sleep each night and some weeks we barely see each other as we both work long hours around looking after the children. Despite this though, I have this nagging feeling that this time in our life is, actually, brilliant. We have these two absolutely fantastic children, we are living where we want to live and slowly, surely and quietly (him, not me – i’m never quiet) pursuing our dreams and ambitions. It’s a cliche, but we have our health and struggling with money and lack of sleep among other stuff has begun to reveal to us what is important. I’ve learned that being mindful of the good times – those experiences of pure joy that I get when i’m with my family – and truly believing that we are doing the best for our children is improving our lives and making me feel content.
I’m still a firm believer that the best being yet to come – i’m determined for it not to be ‘all down hill from here’ but I think its ok to admit that, despite everything, this time in life is pretty brilliant. The days are long but the years are short, and here to be enjoyed.