Do you dream about doing something epic? Especially this time of year when people are going wild with goals and dreams? There’s the pipe dream or acceptance speech that you picture happening one day. Whatever it is, it’s amazing and you’ll be leaps and bounds from where you are now.
Some days though, the success is merely in making it through the day. There’s no award passed out or a congratulatory grin flashed your way. You get to go to sleep and do it all over again. All the little details and duties add up each day, and suddenly you’re out of time to do that epic thing or even have time to think about it.
In the movies they have a clever way of showing someone trudging through life. There’s a theme song and clips upon clips showing the main character go through the practicing and preparing. They pace through the hallway or run up and down the stairs–trying and failing–albeit showing small signs of improvement. Finally, the moment comes and it all amounts to something. Cue end credits.
Right now, all I’ve got to show is the movie montage, and it’s not even half finished. I keep working on fixing my mistakes, finding who I am, appreciating what I have, realizing my strengths and weaknesses, building better relationships and searching for my moment. That great big shining moment at the end of it all when it comes together and somehow makes sense. The tedium and the frustration of going through it all again and again is far less lighthearted without the song and the sped up highlight reel.
I look around and think how badly I want to check all of those things off my list, forever. Wouldn’t it be nice to say you’ve mastered all of your mistakes or finally formed perfect working relationships with everyone you know? Maybe you can say that, but I certainly can’t. Each day seems to bring both lost battles and small victories.
You know what? Sometimes I want the montage to be over already. Get me to the good part. But what I’ve been realizing lately is a need to appreciate the montage. It might be as close as we ever get to the “big moment” in this life. This wonderful thing called life is a nonstop montage of all the things we have to work through. It might not even be until the end that we get to look back and see all of the triumphs within it. We get to constantly grow and learn and do things, despite the hardships it might bring. Wouldn’t you rather have a life that is progressing instead of a stagnant life after that one big moment has passed?
So maybe living out the montage isn’t so terrible after all. (Having a theme song couldn’t hurt though…)
Today was one of those days. Those days when you can’t seem to get out of bed or figure out what to wear. You hair isn’t cooperating, and the only way you could fit in breakfast was by eating yogurt during the car ride to work. Then you get some coffee and hope it all turns around. I had a rare “early out” at work today due to a very late night of work last night, meaning I was ready to hit the road by 3 p.m. and check off my list of to-dos including a long overdue trip to the bank and scoping out a new gym.
About three blocks from work I found myself instead stalled in the middle of a busy street as my apartment “relocation specialist” continued to make sure I couldn’t feel any more unwelcome over the phone. I attempted to restart the car to no avail. Hazards went on, a frantic voicemail to the hubby was left and a long call with AAA began as cars drove around my sad little car. Even if I could push a car by myself, who would steer? I was in the middle of three-lane traffic in an area I hardly knew. Eventually though, someone went and parked at the nearby grocery store to come back and push me down the road, all the while flagging traffic. I am so grateful for that stranger.
An hour later, the tow truck showed up and lo and behold – same guy as last time. Considering it had been so recent since I last saw him with the same problem (albeit, in far less perilous of a location) I could ask about how his new daytime shift was going, hear his anger about the replacement refs and tell him about my lackluster visit at the previous shop. The repair shop that a month ago said nothing was wrong with the car after it was towed there and spent two days being “worked on.” Sigh. He towed me to a new place and actually walked in to talk to the owner to explain the problem with the car he’d become so well acquainted with.
As I hurriedly biked to the bank to accomplish something today, I passed a few kids walking to the park. They shouted “Hello!” and I couldn’t help but smile and say hello right back. I thought about how kids have it so easy. How they don’t have the stressors of life bogging them down… but they think they do. They have struggles at school and clinging to their favorite toy at all times might make or break their happiness. To us though, those issues are so little in the large scheme of things. And really, aren’t mine too? I am quite alright. I may not have the greatest car or own a house or be making much money, but my life is good. Being stalled in the middle of a busy road caused some stress and sweat, but I had help from a stranger. The bank lobby closed before I managed to arrive, but I got to enjoy a fine moment of awkwardness at the drive-thru window on my bike. Even though it wasn’t at a gym, I got a workout in today. So chalk it up to one of “those days” but I’m okay because I am sure to experience new mercies every morning.