Besides hearing that Singapore is “Asia-light,” the other most common thing people would comment about is the heat. Singapore is hot! All year long! Really hot! You don’t get a break! It’s the same – hot, hot, hot – all year long. Hot. “Do you think you will like that?”
Wait…are we moving to the surface of the sun? Because I don’t think I’d like that.
But I’m not ready to say I like or don’t like the lack of weather diversity in Singapore (which, as it turns out, is not on the surface of the sun). My internal thermometer still reads summer. I know, I know, all you Americans are in mourning because Labor Day has passed and you claim summer is gone. (Ok, not all of you. Some of you are rejoicing because at long last you’re favorite time of year, when apple picking with a pumpkin spice latte, is here.) But the first days of school always seemed “summery” to me despite the cooler mornings and shorter days.
Until we hit mid-October or November, when my internal thermometer will expect a shift, I won’t know if summer all year long is monotonous or glorious.
And so, here we are two weeks into the school year and I keep feeling like I should be having these big emotions. After all, I can’t get an apple cider donut, both my kids are now in preschool and it’s still HOT! Big changes mean emotional upheaval, right? But I’m feeling quite peaceful about the whole thing. I went running, 3 times last week. Three times! It’s been years since that happened. I went to the mall and just browsed – women’s clothing and shoes. I didn’t have to enter into tough negotiations involving lollipops and cookies. I had time to try things on! Like, really try an entire outfit on, properly, in a room, by myself. While my sad collection of shorts is getting a bit dreary, I’m not missing dressing in extra layers because the temperature will fluctuate twenty degrees in eight hours.
Friends, it kind of feels like I’m on vacation from my life.
I actually don’t even mind that I have to do my own cooking and cleaning! (I know, the horror!) I no longer have our trusty Ayi, Jiang, but it’s ok. There is a certain satisfaction in scrubbing your own floors (even when, I swear to you, 30 seconds after the angels come home, someone spills something sticky). At some point, I will realize this is not vacation. I will remember that scrubbing toilets isn’t really that satisfying and I actually really don’t like cooking. I’ll see my little babies asserting their big boy independence and my days of shopping at the mall will need to be filled by something more…fulfilling.
We mark change by seasons, by adjustments to schedules, by dates on a calendar. We are bombarded with messages urging us to look forward and to look back. Halloween costumes in August, Christmas decoration in October, Cadbury creme eggs in January, and pictures of days gone by, scream at us, “change is coming! Quick look back and remember the good old days!” We love our #tbts and countdowns to the Next Big Thing. It’s no wonder inspirational Oprah-types have made a killing preaching about living in the moment.
But today, I as I sit here at Starbucks, a little sweaty (from the aforementioned heat), a little sore (from the running after years of slugging out with babies), a little guilty (I just left my kid, crying for me to stay…what kind of monster am I?!), but I’m good. I’m doing it. I’m living in the moment. School has not called. The sun is shining. I’ll never have full days with little babies but I have the memories (and the pictures). I have the promise of sports teams, and vacations without naps. But more importantly, I have today. And today, right now, I am lucky.
We (the universal We — you, me, Oprah) are in the moment. I should be looking ahead to figuring out how to get my dream job. I should be looking back, filling in those unfinished baby books. But I’m taking my moment, enjoying my iced coffee and my “vacation”.
I know what you’re thinking, the lucky moments are easy to embrace. So if, unlike me, you are in an unlucky moment, take comfort in knowing that moments pass quickly.
…it’s about to starting pouring.