Resolved: To Wait for the Right Resolutions

This is a stop-in because today is Monday, and it’s turning out that Monday is blog day.  Also?  It’s 2016, we’re not on holiday anymore, and I feel the itch to return to routines, writerly and otherwise.

Which leads me to my next thought:  I’m not sure how to approach resolutions this year.  I do have things I’d like to accomplish in the next twelve months, disciplines I want to incorporate into the warp and woof of my life, but the idea of official resolution setting has fallen flat for me this go-around.

On the other hand, time is short and none of us is promised tomorrow, so I don’t want to waste it.  These days, I’m trying to think through how to set myself up for success in the things that matter, how to best use the time I have, while not being locked into a pass/fail mentality.

It’s January 4th, and I don’t really have a plan, yet.  But I’m mulling it over.  Something will turn up, eventually.  And if it doesn’t, well…

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The Fixer

Are you a fixer?  When faced with a problem, big or small, do you look for solutions, figuring there must be something in your life you can tweak to make it go away?images-1

Maybe it’s just me.

I find that I want to control my life, like, a lot.  This is never clearer than when some problem crops up in my life.  It might be a relationship issue, an educational conundrum with one or all of my kids, or scheduling thing, another bout of depression.  Doesn’t really matter.  When something messes up my daily rhythm I want to beat that thing into submission, posthaste.  I want it dead.  Ahem.

What I’m learning, extremely slowly, is that sometimes problems can’t be solved by brainstorming, list-making, worrying, kvetching, vision-casting, or binge-eating. images

Sometimes the best thing to do when confronted with an “issue” is to…wait.  As in, do nothing.  (As a person of faith, I assume that praying about stuff is not the same as trying to fix it, so I’m not suggesting that praying is unnecessary.  It’s very necessary).  Not everything has a solution, at least not one I can see.  And even if it does, I can’t always effect change.

So I am learning to be still, to wait, to sometimes go slow in the face of obstacles.  I am praying and watching.  I am seeing stones in my path and not reaching for the keys to my forklift.

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The thing is, life keeps going whether I strategize or not, and problems often work themselves out (rather, Someone works them out, without my helpful freakouts, thanks).  If all this seems like a call for passivity, for hanging back and hanging on a minute when things go wrong, it is.

Deep breath.

Sometimes in the midst of life’s craziness, it really is better not to try to fix things, but to simply be.

Static

Today my mother-in-law, the kids, and I went out to get the kids haircuts.  My boys, especially, have come away with haircuts a la Dumb and Dumber one too many times when Husband has taken them.  Besides he was helping his mom with yard work.  So it worked out perfectly that I be the one to supervise their new do’s.

Since it only took around 15 minutes to finish our errand, we thought we’d stop by Zaxby’s on the way home for a little treat.  We slid into a booth and enjoyed the funky memorabilia lining the restaurant walls.  We talked about everything and nothing and got free drink refills.  Before we left, my mother-in-law suggested that we order something for Husband since he didn’t get to join us.

I ordered a grilled chicken salad to go and proceeded to wait for our number to pop up.  We waited…and waited.  Then I watched as a shy Latino approached the counter and I listened to his order.  It went something like this:

Hostess:  What would you like today?

Latino:  Heh?

Hostess:  What would you like to order today, sir?

Latino (muttering):  Cheeken platter.

Hostess:  I’m sorry?

Latino:  Cheeken.

Hostess:  Grilled or fried?

Latino:  Heh?

Hostess:  Grilled or fried?  Your chicken.

Latino:  Greeled.

And he stepped back to wait for his number to come up.  He wore a vague smile and his eyes possessed the vacant look of a man who doesn’t fully speak the local language.  The same look I wore for three years in India.

Finally my number popped up.  But before I could claim my grilled chicken salad, the Latino grabbed the salad, muttered ‘thank-you’ and left.  I moved in slo-mo.  That was my salad

So I re-ordered, and it took another forever before we could leave with our food.  But I couldn’t be angry.  Because, the truth is, I know exactly how the Latino felt as he ordered his food.  I know how his mind was preparing an answer in English so that he forgot to pay attention to the next question.  I know how he was listening for key words and paying attention to the body-language cues of the hostess.  I know why, when he saw that some type of food order was ready, he jumped, sure it was his.  Because he was nervous and trying not to look stupid.

I would not have understood him or sighed sympathetically at his plight three years ago.  I would have been annoyed and antsy.  But three years later, thank the Lord, I got it.