If you and your spouse have ever taken on a really big and time consuming task, you know the effects that it can have on your relationship and your life. It is overwhelming, stressful, exhausting, uncertain, and sometimes just plain scary. For us, that really big and time consuming task was Physical Therapy school. Although my husband is the actual student, from day one of this whole process I have felt like I might as well be a student too. My role is obviously different than his. Sometimes I’m the quizzer, sometimes I’m the practice patient (which is great until you hear the words “I think I’m doing this right…”), and sometimes I’m the one home by myself watching Boy Meets World reruns while he’s at the library.
The unfortunate thing about something like PT school is that it doesn’t leave room for much else, and we went into this knowing that we were essentially going to be putting our lives on hold for 3 years. No buying a house, no making babies, no having an actual human sized bathroom. We both know that this whole thing will be more than worth it in the end, but we’d be lying if we said we haven’t been counting down the days until he graduates since the day that he started.
Thankfully, the days have passed quickly. First there were 3 years left, then 2, then 1, and all of a sudden there’s six months. And now that I can see the end, I find myself in countdown mode like never before. Three more weeks until he’s done with class, 5 more weeks until he’s done with this clinical, and it goes on and on.
But what I’ve learned is that this way of thinking can be a trap. When I get in the mindset of “once we get through this then we can really start our lives”, I find that I don’t have a very grateful heart for anything happening right now. One of my co-workers shared something on Facebook the other day that I haven’t been able to get out of my thoughts. She said “The conclusion I have come to is that we are fools to think we are working to some goal. Every day is a beautiful precious gift.”
I have to admit that most days when I wake up, my first thought isn’t thankfulness for the gift of a new day, but rather eagerness that I’m one day closer to the next season of life. This current season has a lot of good things and good people in it, but it’s hard not to think ahead to the next season and that it will be so much better. But maybe instead of this exhausting pursuit of finding happiness in the future, what I really need to do is just stop counting down the days and be happy right now. Every single day. Graduation will be here before I know it, and I would hate to look back on these three years and not have anything to take with me into the rest of our lives.