When I find a solution to a problem I’ve been chewing on, I’m like a kid in a candy store. I get all excited, grab my money bag and am ready to check out and get a tummy ache on gummy bears! How about those problems that can only be solved with patience and time. Ugh. I hate those kind. Don’t we all? We’d love a quick fix to everything, right? Call the doctor. Get a pill. Feel better. Have another … whiskey?
Some problems, however, are like a giant pimple on your face. They remind you that you are powerless against some things with anything short of time. Yep. You’ve just got to wait this one out, sister. Stare at it every day, reminding you of your weaknesses. Try to put medicine on it, balm, cover up, but nothing short of time is going to get rid of that bad boy. So, how do we deal with those pesky problems? We don’t. We wait.
In these situations, I like to make a goal, and start working towards it. Goals make me feel good. Give me the warm fuzzies. If I’m not careful, though, I become consumed by the goal and ignore what is happening now. I’m like a kid on a road trip repeating “are we there yet?” These thoughts hinder my joy because they ignore the blessings of right here and now. When I spend too much time staring at that pimple and wanting it to go away, I miss out on the sparkle of the sunlight through the window in the mirror. I miss my daughter’s laugh as she tickles her baby sister. I miss the dog standing there following me around and waiting for me to pet her.
We have to pay attention to what’s happening while we’re working on our goals. This view, this moment, will only come around one time. Once gone, it’s gone forever. Some days I catch myself thinking things like, “when we get out of debt, when the children are potty trained, when we sell our house, when we buy a house, when we get a bigger car, when we get a smaller car…” The list is never ending. There’s always something to do, to work towards, so it’s crucial to enjoy the right now. I don’t want my headstone to read, “Here lies a woman who had goals.” I want it to read, “Here lies a woman who lived.”
I was chewing on this thought earlier. If today were a vacation day, how would I feel about it? I’d feel good! Vacation is fun! Even while you do have “work” to do, how can you treat this day, and the next, like a vacation day? How would you look at it differently? Would you spend a few more minutes drinking your coffee in the morning? Be more engaged in greeting coworkers? Or stare at the sunrise/sunset a bit longer? Would you wear your favorite outfit and best perfume instead of waiting for a special night out? Maybe take a walk in some fresh air at lunch instead of eating at your desk again. Every day has the potential to feel like a vacation if we let it.
Maybe if we treated our in between days like vacation days, we would recognize and enjoy the blessings during the wait. Maybe we’d find what we’re supposed to learn along the way instead of just being anxious to arrive at our goal.
I’d love to hear from you. Share your thoughts about “Are We There Yet?” in the comments section of this post.
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