By Laura Max Rose
I’m 29 years old with only a week until my 30th birthday. The upcoming milestone has brought on an onslaught of revelations, but none so powerful as the following:
I’ve spent the past 20 or so years trying to figure out as much as can. I strive too much and too often. I know what I want and when I get a piece of it, I move on to the next piece. I am putting a puzzle together but often forget to enjoy the game while I’m playing it. Once the puzzle is finished, that’s it. It’s finished.
As much as I treasure my life, I live it as though I’m trying to finish it. I want to get to the part where everything clicks, where it all makes sense, where the questions have all been answered. But life is in the questions. When I’ve figured everything out, when I have all of my answers, when I’m finally finished, I’ll be dead.
My husband and I have both had our heads in our cell phone calendars lately, each of us waiting impatiently for certain dates to arrive. Ben is trying to make November 6th get here as fast as possible as the anticipation of election day is killing him/all of us. I’m six months pregnant and counting the minutes until our baby girl arrives, each day trying to find new ways to make the amount of time between now and my due date sound shorter to anyone who asks. But as we were talking to each other the other day about how these future unknowns excite us beyond our capacity to handle, I interjected with something I’ve learned in my 30 years on planet earth: eventually, the days we are counting down to will arrive, but we will never, ever get these moments back.
I’m more than halfway through my pregnancy with our second daughter and Ben is in politics, so as you can imagine, he’s currently in the thick of it. As hard as it is for him to believe, I know that one day a year from now, Ben will look back on these days he’s spent working on the campaign trail with such nostalgia. I know he’ll wish he could come back to visit, even if only for an hour, and be back in these precious moments when so much of what awaits us is a mystery. I know that even though I have marks around my ankles from my socks because my ankles are starting to swell, I will miss this swollen, easy time. I will miss these precious moments with my daughter when it’s just us. No matter how much I’ll miss them, I’ll never be able to come back here. This is the only day when today will be just like it is.
Our problems will not last forever. Our joys will grow and change. When I would tell him about my worries and fears about the future, my friend Rob used to say to me “Laura, remember to always be excited.” We don’t even know how much we have to look forward to. And when worry overwhelms me, I do what I can to remember I’m not exactly in charge. This quote from Victor Hugo helps:
Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.
I am Jewish, and in the Jewish tradition, we are prompted to offer blessings to our friends and family (and anyone who needs one) when our birthdays arrive. Although my 30th is still a few weeks away, I hope you’ll still accept my wish for you if you’re reading this:
May you find strength, peace and joy in this day, and in knowing that it will only come once. May each day and year be better than the last.
Laura Max Rose
Laura Max Rose is a writer, blogger, web designer, marketing maven, TV contributor, wife and mother. She lives in the Heights in Houston, Texas with her husband, Ben, their daughter, Selma Baines, and their son – nay, Golden Doodle, Hampton. Rose is currently pregnant and expecting their second daughter in February of 2019. After several years working for larger companies and a non-profit, Rose pursued her own web design and consulting business, Laura Max Rose LLC, where she now proudly works with small and large businesses, best-selling authors, artists, musicians and highly visible non-profits to bring their missions to life. Connect with her on LinkedIn and on Instagram @LauraMaxRose.