Everything is temporary and we still need to make the most of it
There is nothing glamorous in living from a suitcase. The temporariness of the temporary just makes it even lonelier.
Two days a week I am working from a different city, commuting three hours to get there and another three back. It means I need to spend one night in a city I don’t know, I don’t like and I don’t want to know or like anyway.
It sounded like a real catch when I started it six months ago, but it somehow lost its magic over the course of seemingly endless train rides, way too early mornings, impersonal hotel rooms and no privacy situations.
I am not doing it only for the money. I am doing it because it is the job I like, it is the job that opens possibilities for me, where I am appreciated and… anyway… it’s sort of temporary.
Ikeep telling myself that it’s okay, it’s temporary. And because it is temporary, I feel that trying to change it or make something better of it would be just a waste of time.
But then… it might not sound a lot, but two days a week means 104 days in a year — it’s over three months of being in limbo.
For three months I am giving up my comfort, the safety and security of my own flat and bed, the boring familiarity of the routine I crafted for myself so meticulously.
And I am giving more than thirty per cent of my life to something that makes me feel temporary. I don’t try to settle down, I don’t fix the minor discomfort, I ignore the nuisances, I don’t intend to make my stay more liveable. And I don’t look to enjoy it, as it is not real. I am half here and half nowhere. There are no decisions to make, just to go through the usual motions of another day.
I wonder how many times we do the same in our general lives. How many times do we convince ourselves that we just need to endure this, and it will be over, it’s not real, it is temporary?
How many times do we just tolerate our lives instead of enjoying it or changing it, just because we know the phase we are at is temporary.
Wedo this with our kids. When we forget to enjoy the small moments and we are expecting them to do something more, something better, something different. Having a newborn is a joy but it also is a tedious job and to tolerate it we keep telling ourselves how it will get easier, how they will sleep longer soon, how we will have more time for ourselves soon. We are putting off journeys, we are postponing dreams — to weather the temporary inconvenience of a routine that will be ever-changing and uncertain per se.
We do this with our jobs. We temporarily stay in jobs we don’t like. We spend our days there, telling ourselves that we will soon move on, we will find another job that we like better, where we get paid better, where we are appreciated more. We are putting off our dream to work on our passion — just temporarily.
We do it with bad relationships. We stay against our best instincts because we want to believe that the hurt is temporary, the conflict is temporary, the disrespect and abuse will go away. We put up with it because we underestimate the permanence of the temporariness.
We are perpetuating our feeling of temporariness by waiting for the weekend every week, waiting for payday every month, waiting for the time we are going on vacation every year.
We convince ourselves that we just need to do one more day, one more week, one more project — and it will be somewhat different.
We fail to understand that life is happening in the moments when we believe that it doesn’t count. We fail to see how we are wasting precious time procrastinating our lives minute by minute and day by day.
Ineed to look at my weekly commute differently, I need to recognise that it’s not temporary, it is happening, it is everything. I need to enjoy it even if it’s just two days, I can’t allow two days to pass without feeling good, without loving it, always wanting it to be over.
And on the same note, I need to adopt this to everything else.
I can’t live for the weekend, for the calm days that will never come, the holiday that I won’t be able to enjoy if I am dead tired to notice how beautiful it all is around me.
I can’t move the goalpost for myself continuously, making it impossible to reach a point where I would feel satisfied and happy. I can’t make myself miserable and blame it on the rest of the world, the circumstances, the bad timing.
This whole life is temporary, but I need to make myself comfortable in it and go with the flow — as it’s not going to change unless I do.