Wishing Our Lives Away

I never understood it fully until just recently. Who would wish their life away? Crazy, right?

This is a truism (an undoubted or self-evident truth), my dad used to say when I made statements like, “I wish I was 16.” “I can’t wait until I’m 18.” “Mary, you are wishing your life away,” he would say. Upon rounding the “teen-bend” and running smack dab into the 20 year mark, it seemed as if my life had nowhere to go but down. And down it did! Not because 24 hours was now more like 12, but because of my choices. Then my complaints became, “I wish it was Friday.” “I can’t wait until Spring.” Legitimate requests/complaints, wouldn’t you say?

If I can inspire even one (but I’m hoping for many), to understand the moments to be cherished and the moments to create life where there seems to be none, then life as we know it, becomes more than a fleeting thing and more than it’s substance. Yes, I understand that days seem to last forever when we’re wishing we didn’t have to live them. My question is…what can we do with the moments we’ve been given? Are we to waste them, become bored with them, wish they weren’t ours? In the reflection of my own life, I believe the reason we grumble about the days isn’t because we don’t enjoy our jobs or what we’ve been given in life, so much as it is that we are very self-centered, pleasure-seeking, people. We’ve bought the lie that if you’re not happy 24/7, then life isn’t worth much. Please understand I’m not saying it’s a bad thing to want the more pleasant things in life, it’s just not a great scenario for growth, which in turn, gives way to a mature state of mind. Without the friction we experience in day-to-day living with others, we would be very spoiled, unsatisfied individuals. In addition to that, in order to be equipped to do the things we love to do, we must first earn some money to do them with. Mostly. Some enjoyments are free…but we don’t know that. 😉 And…why not make the day you are resisting, a great one? Others will hate you for it…call you a “brown-noser” and other unlovely words. They will call you a fake, a people pleaser. And yet, you are the only one responsible for your actions or reactions, not those of others. Isn’t that great?!!! There will be miserable times…times of conflict, times of distress, times of uncertainty. Those are the times we must remember that, in time, everything changes. Maybe you are to be a part of that change. What we do in the moment is what will make our day a good one (even during chaos), or a not-so-good one.

I grew up on a farm where we had a lower, and an upper, pasture. In the lower pasture there was a ground fed spring that ran into a creek, that ran right through our property. We had placed stepping-stones, not quite large enough to balance oneself on, from one side of the creek to the other. There were places along the stream we could just wade across…other places needed stepping-stones that were more like large rocks than smooth stones. We just called them stones. They weren’t comfortable to step on, but then again, they weren’t meant to be places of leisure. They were there to get us to the other side. Much like our places of employment…

Ahhhh…the stories I could tell you of my childhood (AND adulthood). Some really great ones…some very disturbing ones. Not much different from any of you. We all have our stories to tell. And because of those stories, we should cherish our days…not wish they weren’t a part of our lives. Have you ever seen a beautiful tapestry? Many colors, many weaves, full of variety. That’s what our lives were meant to be. One flat color may have its own beauty…but as a hair stylist, I can assure you depth is much more attractive.

We really can turn the ugly into something beautiful, or at least weave it into the beautiful parts that will give our personalities depth that is full of knowing acceptance of others difficulties…giving them the space and desire to make their moments ones to be cherished.

As the years get further in my rear view mirror, I am coming into the understanding of what my dad said. Don’t wish your life away…make it all that it was intended to be. Make it great!