Friday, July 1, 2011

waiting and living in the moment

Waiting is a term I am quite familiar with. (As seen in previous life experiences/blog posts.) I used to think that my life was defined by waiting, perhaps all of life is. As children we wait for the day when we'll be big teenagers. As teenagers we wait anxiously to graduate from high school and be treated like adults. As college students we wait to graduate from college so we can go live in the "real world" (and engage the culture and change the world). (You SPUers know what I'm talking about!) Then there is waiting to find the job, the spouse, the house and have the kids.

Sometimes life seems like one big waiting room. I once heard someone define patience as long-suffering; the truth in that makes me laugh. Sometimes being patient certainly can feel like that. So is life just about waiting with long-suffering? Some days I would completely agree, but not today. Today I have a new perspective.

I'm learning that in between those big moments, in the waiting time, that's when life happens. Those are the moments that count and too often we miss them because we are so busy waiting and wishing life away. I am the first one to admit my guilt. So often I am waiting for the next big thing to happen and change my life that I often miss the small and most important moments in life. The irony is that usually it's those small moments and choices that lead to the major life changes.

I want to learn to live in the moment. (Not the "rash-make-stupid-decisions" living in the moment.) We've all been told countless times, "It's the journey, not the destination." I need to work on enjoying my days instead of wishing life away or worrying about the future. This month of Play has helped to reinforce that. So what if most days I'm totally lost and feel like a complete mess? That doesn't have to stop me from living a wonderful life.

The road trip I took with Ashlee and Jenny was a great example of living this out. Did we have a destination in mind? Of course. Did we plan each day of our trip? Yes, we are quite excellent planners. When it came down to executing our plan things didn't always go how we imagined; there were roads closed because of flooding, as well as construction, excessive winds and rain. However, we made the most of our time and found fun stops along the way. We discovered a great restaurant in Wyoming because things didn't go how we planned. Sometimes going of the path yields great rewards. (In this case, delicious vegan food!) While it was a relief to get to our destination, (five days in a car is a long time!) all of the fun we had was along the way. The same is true of life.

Some of my favorite/happiest memories are not necessarily the BIG moments of my life, but rather the seemingly insignificant ones. Camping trips with my family. Lock-ins and trips with my youth group in middle school and high school. Nights with my girlfriends in college (Christmas parties and poop in the shower). Sitting next to my best friend at Concordia, drinking tea and watching The Office. Nightly walks around Claremont with Ashlee and Jenny. Trips to the beach with dear friends. Dinner at The Matador with my family. Laughing hysterically over youtube videos. It's those small things that make up your life and who you are. Have fun along the way. Be silly and don't take life too seriously. Enjoy yourself!

As I've been writing this post a quote has been floating around in my head, but I couldn't remember all of it or even who said it. Thank goodness for google search. The quote I've been thinking of is from Albus Dumbledore. In the first Harry Potter book, about the Mirror of Erised he said, "It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live." He is certainly not saying we should forget about our dreams, but that we need to enjoy our moments, the in between times and really live.

Be all there. Wherever you are. Be there.

Be sure to stop by my friend Amanda's blog and read her post about enjoying the moment.

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