Monday, March 29, 2010

The I-Wants

I have the "I Wants."  You know.  I want a vacation.  I want diamond jewelry.  I want a cleaner house.  A trip to Hawaii.  A fabulous Easter dress. Strangely, my "I Wants"  always show up when I-don't-have.   Like today. Right now. I don't have the money for the diamond jewelry, vacation and Hawaii beach house.  I really need to spend my money on other things than new dresses and bracelets and trips.  Things like - brakes on two different cars, income taxes and property taxes. Really boring things.  Things that aren't sparkly or fun. Those kind of things. I don't like those things.  They may be necessary to my daily existence. But I still don't like them.  Sometimes I wish I were more irresponsible.  One of those people who just packs their stuff in a back pack and takes off for adventures across Europe.  Or one of those free spirits who seems to always have whatever they need including jet-setting friends that give them free rides to the Cayman's.  And they just pack their bikini and go.  (They also look really great in a bikini, too.)

The truth is I have NEVER been one of those people.  But today ... for just a few minutes I want to be like them. That's the problem with the I Wants. They make me unsatisfied with what I have.  And actually what I have is still pretty great.  I mean, I do have some nice jewelry and I have been to Hawaii a few times. And I do live in Southern California where the weather happens to be fantastic today and last I checked, there is an ocean - a really nice looking ocean less than an hour away from my house. And I do have cars to drive... even if they do need brakes. And I have my health and my family is healthy. We are also still paying our bills.  A big deal in this economy.  So I guess maybe I need to refocus from my Wants to my Haves.  Sigh.  I don't want to.  I want to complain instead.

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Balancing Act

A while back I was talking to a friend and told her I felt like I was one of those people in the circus who stands on a see saw and balances plates on poles and keeps all of them spinning. They start with one plate, then add two and soon they are balancing on one leg and spinning plates on both hands, the top of their head, and even on their nose. It feels like a perfect metaphor for my life.

My friend asked me why I didn't just let some of those plates drop.  A good question. But which plates do I let drop? Would it be the mother plate? The teacher plate? The wife plate? The friend plate?  The graduate student plate? And of course my real fear is if one of these plates drop then they are all going to start dropping!   Just writing about this makes me tired.  But it also reminds me that when I believe that I am the only one spinning the plates then eventually they are all going to drop. 

The problem with this viewpoint is that it puts me square in the center of the universe.  And I'm not. God is. When God is in the center of the universe (As He always is and should be) then He gets to spin the plates and I can step off the the balance beam. In truth the only thing I really need to keep in balance is my relationship with God.  And if you really think about it - God is so big and I am so little that there is no way to stay in balance with God except to allign myself with His will and let Him do the balancing act.   So how do I do this?  I start by letting go.  I let everyone in my life live their lives in the best way they can.  I let God direct my steps.  I pray and ask for guidance when I need it and then I let God take the rest. I stop worrying. Fretting. Spinning.  I trust.  I trust that God will give me the strength, knowledge, time or whatever else I need when I need it, and then I try to enjoy each day, each moment as it come.  Sounds simple but it's not so easy for a veteran plate spinner like me.  Oddly, I was never very good at spinning plates. Actually not good at all.  I would have never made it to Barnum and Bailey.  So, today or at least for the next few minutes I am going to let the Master do this work for me.   He is actually pretty good at it.