I spent a lot of time at our community pool this past weekend. For some people that means dread and frustration, but I had a great time. I think it’s all about who you’re with, and I was with some of the best. The four adults were all sitting together, chairs in a circle, listening to some 80’s tunes, and enjoying watching the action on the diving board. We joked how we should have numbers to judge the dives and jumps. We laughed and we were all feeling great.
At one point a brand new dad went off the board. His young wife and infant child were under an umbrella in the grass watching him with excitement. He was fit and full of joy and did some sort of twisting flip and perfect dive without a splash. We happily applauded and we’re very excited for him. He may have been embarrassed or self conscious, but he didn’t seem to happy about our attention. One of our group said quietly to us in our group, “Take a look, man, because this is your life in ten years.”
I’ve heard things like that on sitcoms and the like a lot of times. Normally, the person saying it is using it half as a threat, half as a joke about how horrible their own life is. I was incredibly relieved to feel neither of those things when it was said. I had this incredible feeling of happiness in me in that moment. I felt like it was saying, “Don’t worry, man, because you won’t have to work quite so hard forever. This is your life in ten years. Your kids will be playing with friends, you’ll be with your relaxed wife and some parent friends and just hanging out, enjoying your day.”
Ten years ago I was about to become a mother. I had two weeks left before starting the most challenging job of my life. I had no idea what my days would look like in ten years, and if I had known it was going to be this way, I wouldn’t have spent a single second worrying.