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Having and Wanting, Then and Now

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What I had

  • My own home (a condo), furnished with stuff *I* bought.
  • A fascinating job as head of a school for adults.
  • Good grades in grad school.
  • A lot of time to myself to read, write, think. Too much, maybe.

What I longed for

  • A man to share my life with, if he even exists. Every morning I wake up wondering if this is the day I’ll meet him. It’s an obsession.


What I had

  • A handsome, funny, smart, hardworking man.
  • Our first home together, a 1890 Victorian that is filled with mementos of our adventures living and traveling overseas.
  • A politically charged job as an administrator at a university.
  • Time with my husband to see movies, attend concerts, and travel.

What I longed for

  • A child or two. Everyday I get more depressed about my fading chances to be a mom. It’s an obsession.


What I have

  • A handsome, funny, smart, hardworking man, who is also a fabulous Daddy.
  • A sassy daughter.
  • A sweet son.
  • A mostly happy home where we’ve been able to bring out our breakables again, and which is usually very cluttered with library books, Legos, tiaras and socks.
  • A patchwork of jobs.

What I long for

  • Time to myself to read, write, think. It’s an obsession.


You can see where this could go as the children grow and become independent. Should I be lucky enough to have continued health and safety for my family, I will once again have then what I want now, and yearn then for what I have now.

So my mantra for this summer is: Be. Here. Now. Enjoy.

This post was originally published in 2009 but we’re resharing because it’s still applicable!


Lori Holden's book, The Open-Hearted Way to Open AdoptionLori Holden blogs from metro-Denver at Her book, The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption: Helping Your Child Grow Up Whole (written with her daughter’s birth mom), is available through your favorite online bookseller and makes a thoughtful gift for the adoptive families in your life.

Lori is also available to deliver her open adoption workshop to adoption agencies and support groups.

Lori Holden
Author: Lori Holden

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  • comment avatar Catherine January 13, 2009

    Your mantra is mine as well. I’m trying to not only be more conscious but more conscientious.

    Although it really would be great to have more time to read, write and think as well!

  • comment avatar Amber Johnson January 13, 2009

    This post really resonated with me. I have everything I have ever aspired to have. Time to focus on THAT and enjoy the moment instead of looking back and thinking about what I lost.

  • comment avatar Kagey January 13, 2009

    I’ve finally figured out this life balance thing, at least in my head — you don’t get it all at once. You get seasons of things, and you get to be intensely in that season while you have it.
    Trying to enjoy the season of baby giggles, preschooler hugs, and potty messes these days. Actually not that hard to look on the bright side when I think of it that way!

  • comment avatar Lori January 13, 2009

    Kagey, that’s a great way to think of it, in terms of seasons. Beautiful.

  • comment avatar imaginary binky January 13, 2009

    Beautiful post. Each phase of your life was a great place to be.

    It’s really cathartic to look back and see what was so important at some time, the yearning, the desperation, and once you are there, it’s not quite enough. We really do need to stop sometimes and see the forest for the trees.

    I’ve learned that lesson in the last year, the hard way. Now I’m trying to appreciate each day with my husband and son, and move on to the opportunities that suddenly pop up. Letting go of baggage and moving on without letting go of the good things that surround me.

    Balance, or some such, I think they call it. It’s not a word I’m used to knowing.

    Thanks for the great post!

    – Sarah, Imaginary Binky

  • comment avatar Momma, The Casual Perfectionist January 13, 2009

    Lori, I love this post! It’s so true.

    I’ve tried to focus on the now and enjoy each stage’s good qualities, learn from the not-so-good stuff, and move on.

    In a way, this reminds me of something my grandmother always used to say, “Everyone brings joy to my life…some by coming and others by going.” 😉 I think that can be applied to many aspects of our lives. 🙂

    Momma, The Casual Perfectionist

  • comment avatar Lori January 14, 2009

    I-Binky: the looking back can be so enlightening sometimes. Almost makes getting older worth it!

    CP: your grandmother is very smart!

  • comment avatar Bonnie January 16, 2009

    I love this post. I’m going to copy you on the be here now enjoy. I love that! I think it is so important!

  • comment avatar Bonnie January 16, 2009

    I forgot to leave my blog address. It is

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  • comment avatar Nicole Emanuel-Cordova May 27, 2015

    So often we get wrapped up in what we want, rather than what we have, and enjoying it. What I really like about this post, is the illustration of life’s cycle. We often dream about what we want, later attaining it. Usually because we obsess about it. But I’ve learned after 3 kids, less than perfect home, less than perfect kids, and less than perfect marriage, I still get to enjoy my life. The small things bless me daily and I focus less on what is less than perfect in my life.