The treadmill in our basement is like that too. I can count on two hands how many times its been used in the past year… but it’s still there, just in case.
The false-dreams I perpetuate by keeping things like these are probably pretty commonplace. But, really, how likely is my eight-year-old to stuff herself into a jogger when she can be out on her bike alongside me instead? Do I really want her in there anyway? Isn’t my four-year-old more likely to figure out the workings of our treadmill than I am to run on it?
Truth be told, just in case, has been my motto for the past year. And it’s not been a good place. Living for the just in case has meant not living in the present. Instead, it’s meant worrying about the future, fretting over the past. It’s meant doing whatever I can to numb out those (normal) feelings of present-moment frustration I get as a mom and as a person. Living for the just in case translated into taking more naps than I needed, drinking more wine than I should have, and making more trips to the store than necessary. It’s meant me being someone who I don’t really identify with anymore.
I’ve been reading a couple of great books lately (Buddhist-based) that are getting me back on track. They’re lifting my just in case mentality and replacing it with a better understanding of self (When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron and Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn). Really, something we all can use.
I’ve kept up my fitness, but somehow forgotten to let it keep me in the present—the best place to parent. There are some wonderful things on the horizon. Each day, I’m trying to let go of that just in case attitude a little bit more because there is no question about this moment we’re living. It’s here.