Instead of seizing the moment, why not cry about it?

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The other day while my iTunes was on random play I stopped dead in my tracks and melted into a pile of tears in the middle of the kitchen upon hearing the song Feels like Home by Chantal Kreviazuk.

I’m pretty easily moved to tears (what? You don’t cry watching random strangers embrace at the airport?), so this isn’t totally out of character for me. What was surprising was the reason for the tears. It was a longing, not a present ache. Let me explain…

This song plays during the film How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, but that isn’t why it made me cry. It made me cry because it made me long for the time when I first heard the song: seven years ago at my best friend’s wedding. Rachel and her husband Dave danced to this song for the first dance and while I had never heard it until that day, it instantly became a favorite. Keith and I were both in the wedding, and as is customary in many weddings, the bridal party joined the couple on the dance floor for the remainder of the song.

The lyrics washed over our own young marriage as we danced:

 If you knew how much this moment means to me
And how long I’ve waited for your touch
If you knew how happy you are making me
I never thought I’d love anyone so much

It feels like home to me
It feels like home to me
It feels like I’m all the way back where I come from
It feels like home to me
It feels like home to me
Feels like I’m all the way back where I belong

I was in complete bliss. I remember the humid South Carolina day and the pale blue bridesmaid dress I wore. I remember thinking “It doesn’t get any better than this. I am so happy.” And I was.

So back to the puddle of tears in my kitchen floor the other day. Why the longing for this moment so many years ago? In many ways I am happier now than I was then.  But these days it is a mature and sobered happy. It is a 7 years older happy. We are weeks away from celebrating our 10th anniversary and we have learned so much in this past decade. We love deeper and more intimately than we did when we had only been married for 3 years. Those are all very good things, so where did my tears come from while the song played?

I knew right away: they came from a place of longing for the simplicity of those first years of marriage. When we didn’t worry about anything and everything was new and fresh and it was just us. Those were the years before children, years before a mortgage, years before the untimely deaths of family members. Those were the years before a failed business and a season of unemployment. Those were the years of jumping on an airplane for a day trip to San Francisco and movie marathons until 2 o’clock in the morning. Those were the days of sleepy Saturday mornings and selfish time spent alone.

Those were easy years and sometimes I wish for them now. 

Motherhood today bombards us with a sea of messages to “enjoy the small things” and “cherish every moment.” Those are wonderful messages and as a therapist I communicate them myself, but sometimes you just need a good cry for the “good old days” without having to tell yourself the truth about your current state right away.  I needed someone to tell me that it was OK to wish for an easier time and to remember fondly the years when everything came the moment I asked. I just needed someone to allow me to be emotional, without a quick fix. So I gave it to myself. I cried hard messy tears and let myself wish for days of ease. It was a very therapeutic release.

As adults we have the ability to speak truth into our own lives but sometimes I think we fault ourselves but rushing too quickly to make it all better. It’s OK to just be in the moment, even if it is a memory. We know we can’t go back but isn’t it ultimately better to embrace the memory instead of suppressing it? That’s the twist I’m trying when everything tells me to seize this day, because frankly sometimes there is nothing worth seizing, except that I get to try again tomorrow.

When I find myself down or sad or wishing for an easier time, I often remember and reflect and then think about what I can learn from those longings, I can’t force myself to be joyful if I am not, let’s not kid ourselves, we just can’t put on a happy face all the time. It’s OK to be right where you are.

The longings remind us of something we currently need. We may not be able to reproduce the season, but is there something that can bridge the gap from memory to (current) moment?

For me, it was the power of new beginnings, friendship, and most of all the origin of our love story. When Keith got home from work that night, I told him that we needed to dance. I played the song and dance we did. Our circumstances might be harder than they were then but our hearts are not. If anything they are softer after having been through these challenging circumstances. Our hearts are tender and the dance is better. We dance with weathered shoes and sometimes weary hearts but what made me want to dance in the beginning begs me to continue dancing now. The hard parts only make for happier endings. When the song came to a close it felt like I was indeed “all the way back where I belonged.”

In fact, I never really left. 

Wedding photo credit: Flickr Creative Commons user cianc
Kieth & Tracy photo credit: Cortney Talbott Photography

2 COMMENTS

  1. Made me cry! Though, I’m also easily moved. My husband and I are approaching our 8th anniversary and having our 4th baby! And life is tiring, and it feels so good to remember the earlier years. Thank you for the permission!

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