Monday, July 29, 2013

It's all about the journey

A few weekends ago, I watched the 2007 movie, “P.S. I Love You,” again. At one point in the movie, Holly has an argument with her husband, Gerry. Holly is a "planner" and she and her husband aren’t where she envisioned them to be. Their apartment is too small, they can’t decide when to have a baby, etc. At one point Holly says something like, “I’m waiting for my life to begin…” Sometimes I feel like Holly.

When I was younger, I'd say, “When I finish college, I’ll fill in the blank.” Then it was “I don’t want to buy a house until I get married.” Lately, I’ve been thinking, “I won’t have time to do such-and-such until I retire.” It seems like there is always a stumbling block in the way of really living. Isn’t that absurd?

My fear tends to derail my dreams for the future. It’s like seeing that “Beware of ice on bridge” sign and veering off to go a different, safer way. I’m not talking about doing something dangerous like robbing a bank or learning to belly dance (dangerous for the audience, not necessarily me). I would like to finish my mystery novel or take a photography class or get my master’s degree in something. I don’t need a master’s degree – at my age I wouldn’t make more money or find a better job with an advanced degree. I’d like to get a master’s degree just to take (and enjoy) college classes.

When I got my undergraduate degree, I didn't have time to enjoy learning. I was worried about finances and car repairs and juggling three jobs and finishing college so I could get a real job to pay for school loans and car repairs … I think I’m seeing a trend.

I’d like to learn how to schedule things into my day that I really want to do. Part of my problem could be discipline. After work, it can be hard for me to “wind down.” When I do have free time, I de-stress by watching TV. And, I can’t just sit and watch a show. I have to be knitting or making jewelry or bopping around the Internet via my iPad.

I’ve had a job since I was 15. I said I was 16 on my application so I could work at Wyatt’s Cafeteria in the mall behind our house. I’ve never not had a job. My dad always had two or three jobs and I think that a strong work ethic has been ingrained in me. I’m lucky now because I work for a non-profit organization which I really enjoy. However, I’d like to set a few personal goals and work as hard to achieve them as I have for my career.

Joe and I as a married couple have achieved a few of our goals. We have a house that is a peaceful respite for us. It requires a lot of work and Joe spends painstaking time taking care of it. It’s a treat to just be at home, relaxing on the deck or taking pictures of the flora and fauna. We also have a beautiful rose garden which the Indiana bugs enjoy almost as much as we do. We’re not rich but we’re content with less and have our health and faith in God to sustain us.

Early into "P.S. I Love You," Gerry dies of a brain tumor. Holly never gets her future with Gerry and although the rest of the movie is good (no, I’m not going to ruin the ending for you), it’s a great reminder that all we really have is today. We don’t know if we’ll have tomorrow, or the next day, or even next year. It really is about making the most of the journey and not focusing so much on the destination.

My prayer today – “Dear Lord, help me to be content with where I am. Help me to stop striving for more and just be the right person that you want me to be. Help me to be fully present with those friends and family that I’m blessed to have in my life. Help me to keep my eyes on your Kingdom.”

1 comment:

mare ball said...

I can relate to this. I keep telling myself I'll get back to the writing project I'm working as soon as________ fill in the blank. I help my elderly folks, so I'm always interrupted, which frustrates me. I'm looking for days on end, with nothing else to do. Which will never come, I know. It's a vicious cycle! We need to just DO the thing we want to do NOW. Or at least try.