Picture it: It's Tuesday evening, I'm making dinner (saffron rice, asparagus, baked fish, and spinach salad), listening to Pandora--the "In the Summertime" station we've created, because, after all, it was 71 degrees that day, in February (!). Mixed in with Bobby Day and the Isley Brothers, the Beach Boys' "Wouldn't It Be Nice" came on and I found myself singing along... as I had to all of the previous songs. Once the lyrics were flowing from my lips, I took a moment to listen to the words I've known for so many years.
The opening lines are:
Wouldn't it be nice if we were older
Then we wouldn't have to wait so long
The rest of the song, as you may know, is about how this beach boy can't wait to live with and marry his love. At first glance, it's a pretty romantic notion. Who doesn't want to be in love like that? And have someone feel like that about them?
BUT, then I got to thinking: What about right now? What about being happy where and how you are, Beach Boys? What about allowing yourself to enjoy courting this lovely person while it's all fun, and light, and new? You know, before shared bills, whose turn it is to vacuum, and what's for dinner are actual conversations.
The fantasy of how life will be--SOMEDAY--when things are going as planned, is just that--a fantasy. Life does not proceed exactly as planned, even for expert planners. Your life will not start when you've graduated, purchased a house, gotten married, retired, or tried sky diving. Your life is in motion now. This is your life. Also, marriage is not simply a pile of rose petals and foot massages. Like most aspects of adult life, marriage is hard. Just like your job can be difficult. And parenthood, likewise, (I'm sure) is a challenge.
Adult life is not what the Beach Boys are portraying, I felt like shouting to my former self.
To be honest, I suppose it's natural to want what you can't have and to look forward to "the time when..." You know, the grass is always greener mentality. There is always going to be some milestone you could potentially anticipate. It just seems like a waste to wish away your time and life right now in anticipation of this future life that you may (or may not) have at some later time.
Without totally losing you, it also got me to thinking about why we allow ourselves to fall into the grass is always greener mentality. Why suffer needlessly for what we don't/ can't have, particularly when we've got plenty of good in our own grass? This reminds me of a line from another song. I apologize for writing about both the Beach Boys and Justin Bieber in one post, but the lyrics work here. (Stay with me!)
According to AZLyrics, in "As Long As You Love Me," Big Sean, the featured rapper, says:
But the grass ain't always greener on the other side,
It's green where you water it
Image Source: freegreatpicture.com
Although I don't advocate the use of "ain't," this is a profound statement--especially in a pop song. It's sad to think about how many days I've rushed through, just to get to the next thing or next step. It's sad to contemplate how many times I've wished for what other people had, meanwhile looking right past all of the blessings in my own life--time ill-spent focused on other people's lives, rather than time cultivating my own.
Today, try: Isn't it nice? (And maybe even smile, because it IS.)
What "isn't it nice" things can you think of in your life today?
Labels: Go Ahead--Try It!, Mind & Body