Do you find yourself saying this often?
“I can’t wait until…”
Why is it that we spend so much time waiting for a specific date, time, event, or circumstance to be happy? I kept telling myself that once my circumstances changed, I would be happy…
I’ll be happy when it’s summertime.
I’ll be happy when I graduate college.
I’ll be happy when I find a job.
I’ll be happy when it’s my day off.
I’ll be happy when I’m on vacation.
I’ll be happy when I have more money.
I’ll be happy when I don’t have to work.
I’ve been lucky to realize early in my life that by living this way, I was making myself miserable. The timing will never be perfect and with each new circumstance comes a whole new set of challenges or responsibilities.
How about we stop waiting until a specific date and time to be happy and be happy where we are right now.
How is it that you can be happy despite circumstances that are not ideal?
In the last two years my husband and I have taken on so many new responsibilities, including marriage, home ownership, and becoming new parents. Ever since my daughter was born, I would allow myself to be consumed by stress, feeling like the walls were caving in around me. I felt as though my to-do list was a mountain that no matter how hard I tried could never tackle. I convinced myself that it had the highest priority and I would push the activities that bring me joy to the bottom, telling myself that I can only enjoy myself once everything was done.
Living that way made me a very stressed and bitter person, always angry at my family for not making my laundry list of things that needed to be done a top priority. I was constantly feeling sorry for myself, thinking that only after my circumstances changed, can I enjoy my life.
But I recently learned two very important lessons:
1) I needed to put my trust in God
I always took pride in being able to live a relatively stress free life. When it came to major decisions in my life, I made the best choice that I could based on the information I had and left the outcome up to God, knowing deep down that everything would always work out in the end. It was something instilled in me since I was a child.
It wasn’t until becoming a wife and a mother that my desire to be in control was exposed. No longer was I able to keep myself from taking the burdens of decision making to heart. If things did not work out according to my plan, I allowed the responsibility to rest on my shoulders causing stress.
For the sake of living a peaceful, stress free life, I needed to remember who was ultimately in control and teach myself to once again do my best but leave the outcomes to God.
2) I needed to change my attitude
We will never be completely satisfied with our current circumstances because with each change in our lives comes more challenges and responsibilities. I was allowing the discontentment of my current circumstances overshadow my blessings making me unable to enjoy the present moment.
Once I really started to change my view on my circumstances, my life began to change in a dramatic way. I have allowed myself to let go of the burden, put my trust in God and experience a peace that I had not felt in a very long time.
I was able to stop and enjoy the little moments. I could play with my daughter and not feel guilty because I was not getting some task done. When my daughter was asleep, I did not have to feel guilty if I wanted to read a book or sit back and listen to music.
Once upon a time I wished for…
A college degree
A husband who loves me
A healthy child
A good job
A beautiful house
God has blessed me with the things that I once prayed for, so rather than spending all of my time and energy wishing for what I don’t have, I need to start appreciating what I do have. I hope you will do the same and it will bring you peace.