It’s a word we use a lot, don’t we? We use that adverb as a goal for ourselves, telling ourselves that when a certain event transpires, it will lead us to another event.
“When I lose weight, I’ll treat myself to a makeover.”
“When the kids get a little older, we’ll take a family picture.”
“When things calm down at work, we’ll take a vacation.”
When always talks about what we will do in the future and it is always predicated on something else happening, first. Weight loss, grown children, a crazy work schedule…so many whens. I’m guilty of this, myself. I’m a checklist maker and I always have goals I want to accomplish prior to moving on to that next thing. I tend not to allow myself to move forward until X,Y, and Z are finished first. And while goals are good to have, they also come with an unexpected consequence; they can easily overshadow the NOW if we let them.
As a portrait photographer, I see this all the time. We tend to put off taking, say, that family picture until a time WHEN life is less busy. And, quite often, that time never comes. And the WHEN slips by when we aren’t looking. And then, the horrible byproduct of an unfulfilled WHEN kicks in; it’s called REGRET. I think REGRET is actually part of the word WHEN, it’s just silent and you don’t hear it until the WHEN is long gone.
All one has to do is look at our children, at how quickly they grow and change, to realize the importance of NOW. Ever look back at photographs of your children and think, “Wow, I thought they were SO big when we took this.” Yeah, I do it all the time.
So, if you’re waiting for that WHEN, maybe stop waiting, and embrace the NOW, instead. It’s easier than you think and the best part? It’s always served with a side of no-regrets.
NOW, I think I’m going to go have that other half of the peanut butter cup I was saving for WHEN lunch for over. 🙂