I have noticed in my life that my expectations are never the reality that comes to fruition. I don’t know if that’s because every one of my expectations involves me with a six pack of abs or if its because they are just too lofty. I guess by the nature of them having me with a six pack of anything but Killian’s Irish Red makes them too lofty.
Speaking of which I haven’t had a Killian’s in the month of February, that needs to change ASAP.
I have often noticed that these high expectations are the defining motivation for most of my decisions. I truly did believe that I would be able to pay off my student loans in 3 years of working IT, so I kept pushing off going into ministry. I truly did expect and believe that the brand-new gadget or computer I bought last year would bring me happiness, so I bought it. I also believed that if I just gave up drinking soda I would get that six pack of abs I was after. In every one of these scenarios I always left feeling disappointed.
I spent the last 30 years of my life dreaming of a certain kind of life instead of living the life in front of me.
Today our dishwasher broke for the 31st time since we have moved in. Instead of buying a new dishwasher I went on Amazon bought another replacement part and “fixed” it. I use quotations there because with our Samsung DMT300RFS Dishwasher its never really fixed just less broken.
I never enjoy fixing this dishwasher because it is the most painful experience pulling it out from under the cabinet and it never goes back in correctly. Every time I pull the dishwasher I out I dream of owning a new home that has a perfectly working dishwasher. This dreaming phenomena isn’t just limited to my frustrating dishwasher but rather anywhere things aren’t how I expected them to be. Every time I feel like my desk is too small or the office is not the right size I dream of a new home with a better or bigger office. No matter what my response to annoying situations is to dream of a better life without these struggles.
This has been especially true lately as Conner and I have been working through what comes next for us. We have been having conversations about where we want to live, what jobs we want to work, when we will start having kids and even if there is a place for us in our denomination. In all the conversations there is an element of high expectations. Truthfully its usually me, but someone will inevitably offer a place for us to move to, like Saint Augustine. Then we begin the process of dreaming about how amazing our lives will be in that new location. “We will have a pool, be 10 minutes from the beach and most importantly have a working dishwasher!”. I am not saying that those things can’t be true. In all reality, homes with pools in Saint Augustine that are 10 minutes from beach aren’t that hard to come by and I am sure one of them must have a working dishwasher.
The trouble comes when we spend so much time dreaming about a perfect life that we forget to live the one in front of us.
Conner once read me this passage from her favorite book. In it the author talks about how she has spent most of her life dreaming about how different things will be when the next phase of her life starts. For instance, when she was in college she dreamed about graduating and then about getting married and then about having kids. You get the idea. The author says she spent so much of her life wishing for the next phase that she forgot to enjoy the phase she was in.
In here lies the great dilemma. How do we dream about a better life while still enjoying the life we are living?
Let me say this definitively. I want to move.
Nothing against Akron, OH, but I want to move. I like Lebron and I enjoy the weather for like 120 days a year but overall, I just sit here thinking about how much more there is to the world outside of Akron.
I also want a different job. I don’t like working for someone else and constantly feeling like there is no way to get ahead. I want a job that I have more control over and the ability to write my own destiny. I don’t want to be a cog in a wheel for the rest of my life.
You know what else I want? A Jeep Wrangler 75th Year Anniversary edition.
The hard part for me is that in all these dreams, desires and wants, to not forget all that I have been blessed with.
I have an amazing wife that supports me in everything I want to do. I have a great house that fits all of our needs even if it is a little small. I have a brilliant dog that knows when I fake shoot him to play dead. Finally, I have a working dishwasher!
I am in no way saying that I need to stop dreaming about the change I want to see in my life. I think those dreams are what will propel us forward against mounting momentum to not change. I do however think that in the midst of those dreams I need to do two things.
- Be the change. This is cheesy, but it is true. If Conner and I want to move, then we have to complete the actions necessary for us to move.
- Continue to enjoy the life I am living. Take stock of the great blessings God has given you and thank him daily for them.
I think the most practical way to enjoy the life I am living is to live it. Just for the record this is usually done from any where that not in front of a screen. I say usually here because sometimes Conner likes to play (beat me) at Mario Kart 8 for Switch and I fully believe that is living life to the fullest.
So, to whoever reads this post take this advice if you will.
Never stop dreaming! Never stop living to the fullest! Make the most of every opportunity!
As for me I am going to take my great wife to a concert in Cleveland and then come home, grab a Killian’s and watch my dishwasher complete a cycle.