I am slightly drunk, sitting alone at The Lakehouse in Daylesford having an extravagant dinner to celebrate Natalie’s birthday. She has gone home to breastfeed the baby.
It was better she leave and be able to come back rather than rush the meal and not be able to enjoy the desert – surely her favourite thing.
I have been thinking about the idea of forever. It is an abstract concept that disrupts our temporality. In the heat of joy, fear, sadness, or stress we fear that it will be like that forever. With two small children demanding 129% from Natalie and 101% from me, in some moments I fear that it has all been a mistake; children were a bad idea.
Natalie doesn’t feel this, she feels guilt, the natural state of a mother. Fathers don’t feel guilt until later – at least that is my sweeping generalisation right now.
The issue is that our response to stress needs perspective, the kind of perspective that says, “This is just what is happening now. I will deal with it because it is empty and meaningless. It is just what is happening now.”
Arguments and fights come from a misunderstanding of the rupture in temporality – forever.
Forever is a nightmare, a narcissistic response to stress, happiness, and hubris.
After all, we all die one day. That is a certainty. We also experience joy, love, laughter, anxiety, anger, wonderment, and the other gazillions of emotions our complex lives give rise to.
And what a great thing.
Forever sucks – variety is what gives life its sparkle.