Imagine how sweet this journey would be if we quit second-guessing every one of our decisions. What if we reveled in the things that went well for longer than we stewed over the things that went wrong.
We’d more easily live in the moment, if we quit beating ourselves up over how we mishandled the last moment.
Potholes Along the Way
Festering, lingering, dwelling on the difficult does not help us learn the lesson better; it keeps us in a holding pattern and prevents the arrival of new lessons.
If we more readily accepted that the downs were necessary for the goodness of the ups – would we enjoy the ride more? Would we cease to take our funk out on our kids or the guy in the next cubicle or the clerk behind the counter? Would we lift each other up, shed light for another or take better notes on how not to screw up again, if we believed that the process was supposed to include ups and downs, and that the sooner we left the downs behind, we’d be available for more ups?
Or maybe more downs…
If you’ve ever driven through Eastern Montana, you know how boring the ride can be without the occasional dip or rise in the road. Don’t get me wrong. Eastern Montana is gorgeous in that vast, expansive – God, I hope I don’t run out of gas before the next town – kind of way. But, if you’ve ever spent a day driving on that two-lane highway – and it does take the better part of a day – you’ll be missing valleys and hills by sunset.
Accept that some days suck.
Know that it won’t last forever.
Realize that the downs give you the wisdom to help another and the opportunity to share what you’ve learned. The downs are where growth resides.
Stop Long Enough to Take in the View
Blossoms look lovely and smell heavenly so we’ll stop and take notice. They deliver a moment’s pause with their sweetness.
Blue skies are gorgeous so we’ll stand under them and ooo and ahhh at all that magnificence and wonder.
Books are enticing so we’ll want to while away the hours reading them. When we swim in words written by another, we know the true value of our own story.
Music draws us in so that we may be soothed or energized, depending on what we need at the moment.
Art expresses outwardly what we feel internally. Splash some paint, mix and match colors, use up the expensive markers, write that novel. Express what you are feeling and learn the lessons.
Children have tiny hands that fit inside ours for a reason. Hold them for as long as they’ll let you. Take the time to watch a kid navigate a kitchen, or mow a backyard or get her ski boots and skis on by herself. Those are reasons enough to keep teaching. This parenting gig isn’t for sissies, but it’s full of sweet, simple rewards when done right.
We are given many opportunities to stop – appreciate – be grateful. We can acknowledge those opportunities that make the ride enjoyable.
Tune Into Your Right Music
The critical voice in our head – the naysayer, the doubter – is a composite of all the voices we ought to tune out. They become the voice of a monster who spends its day comparing our choices to the choices of others. Each time our choices differ from the mainstream, the monster gets larger and louder. Its grin gets more sinister. Its green stubby finger points at us while it laughs at our decisions. It lurks in the corners, waiting to come at us in the middle of the night when we are most vulnerable.
Kick that monster to the curb.
Send it packing with a suitcase full of your insecurities and false assumptions.
Turn the dial to a new station.
Find the music that energizes you and drowns out the lingering memories of the monster’s voice.
Have faith in your choices and know they are right for you.
Will You Enjoy the Ride?
What will you do next? Will you X out of this tab, open a new one and continue reading blogs until lunchtime, hoping to hit on the one that lights the fire under your butt?
Will you stop “your car” on the side of the road, take in the view, appreciate all that’s going well for you, and put the crap aside long enough to enjoy the ride?
I’m going to close my laptop, sneak over and kiss my kids, and then step into the backyard to snip some lilacs.
I’ll be the one waving and smiling as I pass by.