patience is (not) my virtue

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“And sure enough even waiting will end… if you can just wait long enough.” –William Faulkner

They say good things come to those who wait. Too bad I’ve never been a patient person. Exhibit A: I was born 5 weeks early. (Life sounded fun, okay?)

All my life I’ve heard it: Slow down, hang on. Wait a second. Let’s save that for tomorrow. Maybe next time.

Being stuck in traffic by myself makes me completely crazy. Long lines are torture. Slow walkers are my pet peeve. The world is big, there’s a lot to see, and technology has made instant gratification that much more accessible.

Long story short, patience has never been my virtue. The thing is, it’s going to have to become one of my virtues, and quickly.

My due date is in four days, and my daughter does not seem to share my sense of urgency. She’s still hanging out and kicking me in the lungs where I would’ve been wearing those onesies weeks ago. (She already has a nicer wardrobe than me, you would think she’d want to hurry up and wear it. People really like buying baby clothes, by the way.)

Every day she has yet to arrive is a new lesson- in patience, in humility, in love- and I’m assuming that will only continue, most likely for the rest of my life.

I can only hope that patience skips a generation and that I by some miracle acquire some more along the way.

I keep reminding myself to stop wishing the time away. To enjoy what’s right in front of me, every single second of every single day. I tell myself things happen when they’re meant to.

Tomorrow, someone else will be here and someone else might be gone. Tomorrow could be your big break or your rock bottom. Tomorrow could be a first or a last. All there really is, is today.

I should’ve learned this lesson by now, considering all of the goodbyes I’ve had to say and all of the unexpected bits of life that have fallen into my lap. It surprises me that I have to keep learning it, yet here we are. (Did I mention I’m also stubborn?)

“All we have is today” should be my new mantra. I can’t tell if that sounds morbid or hopeful. Maybe it’s a little of both, but I think it is, at the very least, true.

All I have is today, so here goes my attempt to slow down a tad, to be a little more patient and a little more appreciative of the quiet moments, and of the waiting game. There’s nothing wrong with excitement, anticipation, and spontaneity; but there’s a lot wrong with neglecting to enjoy right now.

As our friend Ferris taught us, life moves pretty fast (I never thought I’d be a mom at 23). I’ve got to stop and look around, because I don’t intend on missing anything.

I do believe that good things come to those who wait. Exhibit A: I’ve been waiting for this little lady, and she’s going to be extraordinary.

rise to your occasion

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“To love on occasion is not love.” -Dejan Stojanovic

Last week I had a thought I haven’t been able to shake- one that has sparked a whole web of thoughts in my mind. I don’t know how true it is, but then again I don’t know how true a lot of things are.

The thought is this: at any given time, every person in our life represents either an obligation or an occasion.

Obligations are avoided until they can’t be any longer, dealt with because they must be, accepted out of comfort and convenience. Easier succumbed to than run from, but never really wanted.

Occasions are chased, loved, rejoiced over. They’re thought about and sought after because they bring joy and light. They’re run to and desired, and they make life fuller.

The invitation to hang out coming from an obligation is an annoyance. The invitation to hang out coming from an occasion is a gift.

I think people fluctuate between these two categories at any given time, and as the nature of our relationships with people change they drift back and forth over this hazy line in definition.

Real heartbreak happens when we become obligations to each other, when we begin to treat each other as if we are something to be dealt with rather than rejoiced over. Real friendship and love happen when we become occasions to each other, when we treat each other like something to look forward to.

It’s the difference between wanting to support someone and feeling like you have to support them. The line between being an obligation or an occasion is indistinct and potentially devastating.

If someone matters to you, treat them like an occasion. Everyone drifts into obligation territory sometimes, but the people who fill you with happiness deserve the best of you. They deserve to know that they are the equivalent of something to be anticipated and enjoyed, something to be loved.

Occasions deserve to be risen to.