So much of daily life seems to have relocated to the fast lane. “Express” this, “instant” that. We want it all and we want it now. This phenomenon doesn’t seem life-altering when we’re talking about online shopping deliveries or gourmet microwave meals, but when the implicit mind-set filters through to how we approach our hopes, dreams, relationships, careers and overall life journey, things get tricky.
I am a chronic dreamer. From the “ideal” career or relationship to home or trip – I’m all over it and usually I’m also crafting away at the 5 year plan it all needs to fit into. Whether consciously or unconsciously my heart hopes for the things I have set it on and thanks to my incessant planning its hoping on a deadline. When this hope is deferred through life’s inevitable delays, curveballs and surprises my heart becomes vulnerable to a bad case of disappointment which so easily turns into bitterness, affecting (and infecting) every area of my life.
I was chatting to a friend of mine about this a couple of days ago. He is a bit older than I am and a lot wiser. The key concept that I took away from our conversation was character. My mom taught me to dream and then do something to make those dreams a reality. Life has taught me that I need a character that can sustain the dreams I want to live. The kind of character I’m talking about is formed and solidified over time – no “express” routes or shortcuts here.
Do I want all my dreams to come true now? In principle that would be amazing (and totally overwhelming), but in reality there is a more important question that needs to be answered: Do I have the character to sustain those dreams? The answer is: not yet.
So today I am giving thanks for the delays and the gift of time inherent in each of them: Time to become a version of myself that can steward the good things that lie ahead.
What are you giving thanks for today?