Many years ago, when my daughter (who is now at least six inches taller than me) was little, she had a problem with long car rides. “How much longer?” she’d always ask. The answer was never satisfying. “I want to be there now!” she’d cry. “Daddy, stop the car! I want to be there now!”
No matter how we tried to explain that we couldn’t be there before we got there, she would remain upset. “I don’t want it to take any longer,” she’d tell us. “I want to be there now!”
As I remember those moments – now that she’s often the one who’s driving – I smile. And I realize that many of us go through life with the same attitude. At least I do. I want what I want, and I want it now!
I forget that life is a journey. I forget that I’m on a path. And when I don’t see results – when I don’t actively see what I’m waiting for getting closer, if not materializing – I’m like my daughter in her booster seat all those years ago. “I want to be there now!” I cry.
I’m smart enough to realize that results usually aren’t instantaneous, so I’m willing to hold on a bit. Finding an agent for my book and taking the next step towards getting it published, for example, has been years in the making. Years and years and years. And at times I’m a smidgen patient. But there’s also a part of me stamping my foot and demanding that the car stop and I be let out…at my desired destination…now. I don’t need immediate results, I declare. I’m mature enough to wait a while. But I’ve waited, surely, long enough. Certainly, unquestionably, I’ve paid my dues, put in my time, and taken the appropriate steps. And now I want to be there now.
When I can remember that life is a process, when I can believe I’m on a path and all I need to do is take the next step in front of me and have faith that I’m moving in the right direction (or check my inner GPS and change direction), I’m less frustrated. When I can remember that life is about the journey more than the destination, and that when I get to my end point I’ll only come up with another end point to aim for, I have more hope and ease and joy in the moment.
But, at times, I still want to be there now.
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