Dan and I watched a movie the other night called Passengers. It was about a guy on a spaceship that was travelling to an outpost to start a new life. He and all the other 5,000 passengers were placed in suspended animation in these special pods for the 90 year journey. Something went wrong with his pod, and he woke up on the ship with 89 years still left in the journey, rather than waking up 4 months before arriving at their destination as planned.
It was a very thought provoking movie, because I think we all go through periods where we struggle and rail against how things are versus how we thought they would be. As a child you think that adulthood will be this wonderful thing because you can do whatever you want, rather than just what your parents and teachers tell you to do. And it is a wonderful thing, but you have to deal with your responsibilities, so it’s not as easy as your childhood fantasy envisions.
As a young couple you imagine having children, and how awesome it will be to become parents. And it is awesome! But you cannot fathom just how overwhelming it can be until you’re living the reality. The complete and utter exhaustion you feel when your infant is waking up every two hours to nurse and you can only daydream about ever actually sleeping again. The unbelievably large number of times that you will have to clean pee, poo, and “spit up” off your baby, yourself, (and any and every) nearby surrounding. The utter defiance of your strong willed nearly two year old who no longer wants to wear what you picked out, but insists upon choosing her own outfits as she learns to assert her independence. Thankfully, these moments are balanced out by hearing your child excitedly exclaim “Mama!” or “Dada!” as soon as they see you. And the peace of feeling them contentedly snuggled into your arms or sitting on your lap. And the sheer delight of hearing them laugh or giggle, truly one of my favorite sounds in the world! And the overwhelming joy that fills your heart when they hug you, or give you wet, slobbery “smooches”, or say, “I love you”.
Don’t even get me started on how completely wonderful it is to experience these things as a grandparent. My heart nearly burst the first time Lila said “I love you” back to me! And the aching joy I felt when I had her giggling and laughing uproariously when we played “This little piggy” during a car ride, sustains me when we have to go months without flying up to visit.
Life can be very challenging. We all go through tough times where we worry about our family, our friends, our finances, our health, and every other situation that tests us. But constantly thinking that life would be better if only we lived, worked, had, or did something or somewhere else, robs us of the joy of loving where we are at.
Do you ever stop to consider that the trials you are going through are moments of learning? They are teaching you something, and preparing you for the next moment in life. Are you learning patience, compassion, forgiveness, and love? Are you gaining wisdom and experience so that you can deal with the next challenge in your life?
Instead of yearning for the next thing, the next place, the next person, appreciate the wonder of this moment in life. In other words, bloom where you’re planted! Don’t worry, life will keep on happening. And soon enough you’ll grow, leaves reaching toward the sun, growing stronger, and branching out.