Life truly is a journey. I’m not talking about the grand sweep of things from birth to death, or the lofty goals and plans we have, but the simplest of things like buying a pair of socks can end up being a grand adventure.
Happy outcomes (or not) are the result of many miles fraught with obstacles or surprises. Even in Star Trek with the ability to go from point A to point B in seconds with a simple “Beam me up Scotty”, can be quite the experience.
We love drama and get caught up in the negative details of our trip, forgetting the outcome. A great story is born from all the negative things that happened. I have learned however, that what you focus on, you get more of. Yes, some cliches are true!
Anything we attempt will be a process. The most mundane activities, cleaning the house, grocery shopping, or buying a new piece of furniture can become a melodrama of epic proportions worthy of Hollywood movies (and often become such) and enable some lengthy conversations, with each person trying to upstage the other.
Some of us have become intolerant, entitled, perfectionist spoiled brats where not only the outcome must be perfect, but all the steps to it as well. To expect your journey and destination to be flawless results in you having a screaming temper tantrum in McDonalds because they forgot to give you ketchup with your fries (with your meltdown on the internet with thousands of views – and comments).
Now some things truly are tragic – they go badly from the beginning and get worse from there. I can empathize. We all have stories! No matter how much we planned, researched and prepared, there can be the unexpected. And, sometimes life just knows better than us and blocks us savagely from certain directions. But we seem to have lost our ability to be accepting and flexible. More of us are making bigger deals out of lesser things. And ditto, I am afraid, of making lesser deals out of bigger things!
There is a lot we can learn from our little journeys and get satisfactory outcomes. We can avoid similar pitfalls in our next outing, though there will be new ones. We can help others along the same path. We can grow and learn and become a bit more patient and understanding. Or we can remain that bull in the china shop, demanding our way at the expense of everything and everyone else.
To paraphrase a Rolling Stones song “You can’t always get what you want . . . but you can get what you need”.
I recently bought a flute. Of course there were some obstacles and some interesting fine print details. So it was not the flute I expected to get but it is good enough. I got what I needed. The one I wanted I can now save longer for, instead of taking on financing and I can wait for a sale. All the while I still have a flute to play, which is the best outcome for now. If I had of held out for everything to be perfect I would have nothing. Which is kind of stupid, since what I want to do is play.
It is rare, but it does happen that I get exactly what I want easily. Once I wanted to purchase a leather coat. I hesitated for a long while as they can be quite expensive and yet, there the coat was, front row and center of the very first store I went to. It fit me perfectly and was on sale. This was so surprising that the clerk said she was obligated to try and sell it to me anyhow, which was the most comical transaction I have ever made.
Unfortunately, some of the bigger things in life have not been so easy. Like a career. Or a mate. Life kind of steered me in all directions on those ones.
I find now that if I don’t make a big story out of the negative things in my journey, I have less of them. I learn from them, but I don’t need to share them. I am sure most people like to hear all the good things that happen along the way. I know I do! I like to be amazed at synchronicity, it thrills me!
As I get older, I want my life to be more positive and interesting because of happy coincidences. I do read with envy those people who seem to have wondrous synchronicities happen to them with better than expected outcomes. I think it all comes from your attitude about your journey, whether it be buying a pair of socks, planning a wedding, all the way to designing your future. Keep looking for the silver lining and you’ll find a gold one instead.
I know. I am a dreamer. So be it.