When You’re Stuck in Neutral

So I’ve gotta confess something here; you know what one of my least favorite things is? Like I really really really can’t stand it…. wasting time. Yup, just ask my husband. Whether it’s taking the scenic route for a road trip, a lazy Saturday afternoon around the house, or re-cleaning a mess that was already done earlier… It. Drives. Me. Nuts.!!!  But lately what really gets my goat is when I have a short allotment of time to devote to writing and I sit and I stare at a blinking little cursor… And I go for a coffee and I come back and I stare… And I pace in a circle and still… Nothing!! And then before I know it my free time is over and as I look at my blank screen I begin to think of all the things that I could’ve accomplished in that time. Talk about frustrating!

Whenever I’m in one of those situations it’s like a little flip gets switched and all of a sudden I become Captain Efficiency.  Funny because in default everyday mode that very thing usually makes me late so it’s my poor husband doing the stressing…but in my free time it makes it difficult for me to relax and enjoy the journey because I’m always so worried that we’ll waste time taking a wrong turn, or just relaxing when we could be making memories somewhere doing something else instead (literally…that’s like exactly what I think…)

Can you relate?  Maybe it’s just a “mom thing” since most of our free time consists of hiding in the bathroom with little fingers poking under the door…so anything beyond that must be maximized to the hilt.  I don’t know…but I think the more I think about that feeling of wasting time, the more I realize that it’s not just in regards to getting somewhere or doing something.

How many times in life do we look at our situation and think “when will this season finally be over?”, or we begin to ask ourselves that question that every parent loves to hear, “are we there yet?”, (when will this season start, essentially)? Even in nature with the changing of the seasons…right now, we’re in the “in-between” time…winter’s not quite over yet (at least here in Canada)…but it’s not yet time for spring…I’d love to pack away all of the winter gear and switch over to spring coats and shoes, but making that change just isn’t possible in this time of waiting.

It can be so easy to look at where we’re at and to think that it’s a waste of time, especially when we compare our well-mapped out itinerary of plans and goals to the realities of our here and now, or to others around us.  (Side note: any time you compare yourself to anything or anyone, you’ll always end up disappointed…more on that here: My Slightly Jaded Valentine’s ).

But here’s what I’m learning about waiting; that with every opportunity for waste, is also the opportunity for growth, and in that, we can learn to enjoy the journey just as much as the destination.

Waiting presents us with the opportunity for waste, or for growth Click To Tweet

For me with writing, that means learning to embrace the times of waiting…waiting for the words…waiting for the ideas….and actually learning to love that part of the journey (which is actually necessary to get to the final product), just as much as when the last edit has been made and the publish button has been hit.  It means being flexible and learning that sometimes I need to shift some of my habits and routines (more on that here), and even introduce new skills to help me manoeuvre through the waiting period.

I think the same can be said of our situations; in order for us to transition smoothly, we need to learn to embrace the season that we’re in; to be flexible and learn to adapt new mindsets and attitudes; to be willing to change the way we’re doing things to make way for something better.  And while arriving at our destination is indeed gratifying; it wouldn’t be near so fulfilling without overcoming the many bumps and obstacles along the journey…and yes…even the waiting…though difficult, adds a value to the journey that could not be gained by any other means.

And here’s the really good news friends: God doesn’t waste a thing.  So regardless of how difficult your season may be today, you can take joy in knowing that those present difficulties are working something good in you now for your future – and that, is not a waste!

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