the waiting game

IMG_4706There were three of us in high school who always seemed to be together. We lived in the same neighborhood, so we rode the same bus. When one of us got a car (not me), we all chipped in for gas and drove to school and marching band practice together. And when we graduated, all of our parents got our friends small gifts. I think my dad picked up scratch-off lottery tickets. One mom gave us each a copy of Oh, the Places You’ll Gowhich I suppose seems cliche, and while I’m sure I read it, I’m not certain I actually thought much of the message when I received it. But it survived the last fifteen years of packing and moving and unpacking and packing and moving again, and today I read it to Swee. I’m not sure what she understood, but she usually absorbs more than I think she will. It was a bit of a lightbulb experience reading the reminders that sometimes you will be on top, and it will be amazing and glorious. And sometimes you will crash and burn, and you will be very, very alone. Sometimes everything will work out perfectly for you, and sometimes it definitely will not. Love Seuss or hate him, the text strikes me now as scarily on point.

Our family has spent so much of the last year in a holding pattern. Waiting. Waiting for feedback from job interviews. Waiting for our house to sell. Waiting for a moving date. Living in limbo is mighty stressful, but then you think about it, and you realize that a year is really just a blip on the radar.

The funny thing about the end of the waiting period is that it’s not really an end at all. Hitting one goal is really only the beginning of a new plan, often kicking off more work, and yes, more waiting. Even when you are actively working to make things happen, you still have to wait for the rest of the world around you to catch up before you can take the next step.

Life happens, and it’s been happening a lot around here the past week or so. The brakes we replaced on the truck last weekend? They failed last night, leaving J to limp home leaking brake fluid all the way, and now we wait and see what the prognosis is. The propane tank that heats our house and water and food? Empty, and now we wait on the company to process our application to have more delivered (though they were super nice and brought a temporary mini tank over. Shout out to Mr. John who knocked on the door with it on his way home after his shift because he knew we had small kids). The list is long, and so we wait. We’re getting pretty good at it, even if we don’t enjoy it.

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Someone commented that we’ve been living a “charmed life” since moving here, and I suppose in a sense that’s accurate. I also know that there are people who just could not grasp the WHY behind this move, and thought we were completely nutty. Maybe we are, but if so, we’re nutty together. We’ve escaped an environment that while perfect for some and charming in its own way at times, had become toxic to our goals and our relationship.  We jumped into this new life with two feet and some vague semblance of a plan, and are trying to make the most of it. Is everything going according to that initial plan? Nah. But you know what? Life is a working document. When the plan changes, and changes again, and probably again after that, it doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a good plan at the start. There should be no shame in revision, both of the plan and of your definition of success. Life is not one size fits all, nor should it be. I think that’s a lesson that a lot of people miss. Maybe it’s not being taught. Or maybe we’re not reading the right books, because now I’m pretty sure Dr. Seuss knew what was up.

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