Enjoying the Moment

2 May

One of the perks of working in a school is seeing what my life will iy”H look like in 10-15 years. Most of the teachers I work with are married ladies with three or so kids, so naturally, when we kibitz, the conversations revolve around issues I cannot quite relate to such as the best pediatricians, Shabbos meal menus and if its better to do one’s shopping in Brooklyn or Monsey.

Generally, I don’t have much to contribute, so I end up pushing swings and ensuring that children at the top of the jungle gym do not pelt children below them with stray chunks of concrete. Still, I try to participate. I do find the topics interesting, I just don’t have much to contribute being that I am a single maidel.

Recently however, one of our conversations took a turn into a topic I have become fairly familiar with,  dating.  I’m not sure how it got to that point (airborne concrete demands unadulterated attention) but this is how I remember the conversation going:

Married Lady 1: As all-encompassing as it is to run a household, I’m so glad I’m out of the dating world.

Married Lady 2: Tell me about it. Baruch Hashem that part of my life is over.

ML 1: I mean, I didn’t have to stay in the dating world for long Baruch Hashem, but the pressure of it all was so distressing.

ML 2: (laughs) It was such a hassle; looking into the boy, dressing up like I  hadn’t done this countless times before, not getting my hopes too high but not being too pessimistic. (Turns to me). Oh, poor Coral.

Coral: (smiles awkward smile) Yeah…

(All three women laugh, then go back to the topic of Shabbos meals).

I have to say, I really get a kick out of these conversations. I guess it’s because I hope to be in their position one day; so involved in raising a family and being part of a community that my dating experience becomes just another little tidbit of my young life, like the way I look at being part of my high school play or going to Universal Studios over winter break. Seeing how insanely busy these women are helps me appreciate where I am in my life. I only get to be young a 20-something once, so why not enjoy it? With G-d’s help, I will find the right person at the right time, and then I will experience the brachot of being a busy married lady and mother.  But for now, even while in the awkward waters of the shidduch pool, I should live with appreciation for exactly where I am on this day. B’ezrat Hashem, I’ll have my time to decide whether I prefer to do my shopping in Brooklyn or Monsey, but for now, I’ll live in the moment; pushing other people’s kids and saving them from chunks of concrete.

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2 Responses to “Enjoying the Moment”

  1. Shades of Grey May 2, 2010 at 7:13 pm #

    It is quite true that being single, and enjoying the benefits of this age shouldn’t be looked down upon. I don’t think any particular stage in life, lease of all dating, can be dimissed so flippantly. It is a period of real self discovery and growth – the kind you better become accomplished in BEFORE you get married. Dating can certainly be difficult, but it is also fulfilling in many ways, despite the frustations that appear along the way.

    The attitude you express here is definitely a part of maintaining a healthy, non-defeatist, non-depressed mentality that seems to be very hard to achieve and sustain these days. Daters (both guys and girls) seem to be too focused on the “what’s next” rather than living in the moment and reaping all the benefits that exist at this stage in life.

    These women you work with are actually 2 “levels” beyond where we are now. They’re not just newlyweds discovering themselves, but more developed and established married mothers, and I think that may color their memories a bit.

    I admire your upbeat perspective! Stay strong, and everything will happen B’ezras HaShem – B’ito.

  2. SternGrad May 2, 2010 at 8:20 pm #

    Great post! Reminds me of similar conversations with coworkers, relatives and others. I’m glad you get a kick out of those conversations, because whenever someone says the equivalent of “Oh, poor ___” all I can think is, “Please stop pitying me. Baruch Hashem, my life is good and I’m happy and enjoying my life, even if dating (which, like you said, is only one aspect of my life) is awful.” Your perspective is much better- that hopefully we’ll be those people one day, recalling our dating experiences and being glad that we’ve moved on. I agree- we have to appreciate all the great things about our lives now.

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