Thursday, October 2, 2008

Has Anyone Ever Asked You This Question?

What is the disconnect between who you are and who you want to be?  Are you a dreamer who wants to be more grounded?  Are you confined by the restrictions of your world and the people around you?  Are you single and want to be married?  Do you want to be a better daughter, friend, or lover? 

The thought came to me as I reflected on how Brock and I have taken back the control of our financial future.  After five years of steady determination to be the masters of our own fate, we are near the promised land of of debt free living.  And I laugh because in Year 1, you would have never believed such different people would ever stay willingly on the same island.  But we have, and I think it's because we are fundamentally the same person.  And that counts in this world - the fundamentals. 

So, what are yours?  What drives you?  What irks you about yourself?  If you're married, you know the frustration of hearing your spouse harp on that same quality you have doggedly retained throughout your marriage.  After a time, you're irritated with yourself for not changing something that creates tension between you.  Who you are . . . . who you want to be. For whatever reason. 

So, what is it?  What's the kink in the hose?  I know personally how deeply such a struggle can affect your life.  How you can think so many times a year, "things could be better if only I . . . " If only I stopped arguing and started listening. If only I did not react defensively to what I perceive as criticism.  If only I worked out.  If only I made time for my parents.  If only. 

This fast-paced world revolves around the idea of convenience.  Everyone, everywhere is plotting to make you a consumer by making things more convenient for you.  Honestly.  Think about how pissy you get if you can't find the remote.   Think about times when McDonald's, the American bastion of superfast, irritates you for not feeding you directly as you drive past the windows on your way to work.  We no more know our fundamentals than our kids know who Gilligan is.  All we know is we are in a hurry.  And I don't know about you, but I tend to make mistakes when I'm in a hurry.  I think we all do.  

Taking the time to think about who we are and who we want to be is important.  No literary embellishment necessary.  Whether you recognize it or not - you are a leader.  In your life - no matter how big or small - your attitude and opinions count to someone.  You should not take it lightly.  

For me it's about roots for my daughter.  I want her to know what Brock and I stand for - who we are and we what we expect from ourselves.  My boss' stepson had a motorcycle accident in Bakersfield on April 10th.  He's in his early 30's and a successful young professional.  After four months in ICU and the amputation of his right leg, he has emerged from the experience with a startling sense of optimism.  He may face untold challenges,  but he faces them with a determination that only a survivor has.   As I talked to his mother just a day ago I mused that I'd never considered teaching Emma how to be a survivor.   How do you do that?  How do you show your child to conquer obstacles of a devastating degree?  Don't ask me yet.  I'm still thinking about it, and as I watch my own little braveheart make her way through each day, I look for signs that she has the inner fiber to navigate her way through life. 

Today, I want to be a better Christian tomorrow.  I don't think I spent enough time praying this week.  I haven't made it to church in two weeks, but at least I finally signed up to be a lector.  I did that because I want Emma to see that giving your time, talent, or treasure to your church is important.  I did it so I would finally stop feeling so inadequate in that area.  And I'm going to do it at my own pace.  I will not be made to speed through this life as I bridge the gap between the woman I and the woman I want to be.