. . . tomorrow we might not be together
I'm no prophet, I don't know nature's way
So I'll try to see into your eyes right now
And stay right here, 'cause these are the good old days. --Carly Simon
When I was young, what I heard was a song about anticipation. Specifically, I heard that anticipating good things was a pleasant experience. I completely missed the message. Completely.
Fast-forward 43 years.
I've been engaging in a fair amount of bitching lately about the rigors of maintaining a household while trying to work and care for two animals and a sick Mr. Simply, all while my own health steadily declines. It started one night when I crashed into my reading chair after dinner and forgot to clean up the kitchen until it was already late, I was tired, and. . .
Over the last couple of days I've been paying careful attention to what, each day, threatens to overwhelm me. The complicated pet-feeding ritual each morning, which includes preparing special drinking-water mixes for each. The dishes, of course. The trash. The laundry.
And then last night it hit me: These are the good old days! I wanted a husband, a house, a dog, a bird to care for. There are aspects of each experience that I did not exactly anticipate but on the whole, I like having a house, Diana, the bird. I like being married. I like what I do for a living, and I like the people I do it for. These are the good old days, when I have a house, a bird, a dog, and a husband to take care of, when I have a job to retire from, when my body is in better shape than it's ever likely to be again.
So I think I'll stay right here.
Back in '71, I thought that meant that if you were having a pleasant experience, you tried to hold on to it. I understand now that Simon meant something entirely different by this -- now is all we have, and it is good. I might as well stay in it.