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Tuesday, November 19, 2013


Do you have one of those friends who is late all the time?  Someone you are tempted to lie to about the start time of events because you know this is the only way they will possibly be there when you want them to be there?  Does this make you CRAZY or what???  Do you hate sitting in restaurants tapping your fingers and sipping your water and looking at your watch (likely your smartphone) like an idiot?  Do you hate that pit in your stomach that makes you feel like a girl who has just been left at the altar? 

So why the hell are you still friends with this person?  Let me guess…probably because they always do show up (eventually) and they have many other, wonderful qualities that offset your moments of jilted-bride angst.  So let this be a lesson to you…actually, two lessons.  1)  Why get all worked up when you know they will be there eventually? and 2) Why do you think YOU have to be perfect in order for people to love you?
Life is full of inconveniences, many of them caused by the people we care about.  Our parents, our siblings, our spouses, our kids and our friends are all terribly inconvenient a lot of the time.  In fact, children (and pets) are pretty much the definition of inconvenient!  Look it up sometime, if that won’t inconvenience you.  The fact of the matter is, we think of the things we DON'T love in terms of the inconveniences they cause—jobs and nasty co-workers and bosses, traffic and chores and obligations—but we don’t really process the people and events we enjoy as “inconvenient”.  Even though they so totally are. 

Weddings?  Often inconvenient and always inconveniently expensive.  Ditto baby showers, family vacations and any kind of event that takes place in a stadium.  Seriously, what a complete and total hassle most things are, when you think about it!  But unless you are channeling J.D. Salinger, you probably get out of bed and make it all happen anyway.  And even occasionally have a good time!

The truth is, convenience has perhaps unfairly gotten a good rap.  Just because something is convenient doesn’t make it good, McDonald’s.  Acknowledging the fact that life and people can be tricky, time-consuming, resource wasting albatrosses may not sound like a step in the right direction, but believe me it is.  You have to laugh at yourself for all the chicken-with-head-cut-off running around you do to make sure you have color coordinated napkins for a friend’s party or that impossible-to-find item your mother loves. 

Virtually every job on the planet is rife with pulse pounding but ultimately fake deadlines.  All the cooking we do (it’s immediately eaten) all the cleaning we do (BAM!  A pigsty in seconds) all the errand running, gift buying, church contributing and school participating…exhausting, hamster in the wheel stuff.  Being a human and creating a life is really an endless cycle of build and destroy, deplete and restock, fail and try again, succeed and try to top that.  Ever watch ants building an anthill, a grain of sand at a time?  Smash that thing to the ground (you don’t want ants taking over the yard) and watch them begin again.
Whew, sounds sooooo depressing, I know.  But when you think about it, it is really a key to your freedom.  When you realize that pretty much everything is an inconvenience, it makes it okay for you to be one too.  If you are late, you will still experience love.  If you pester someone for help they don’t want to give, you may actually get the help you need.  If a wedding is missed, a baby shower is right around the corner.  If an attempt fails, tomorrow is a whole new day in which you can cook another meal, dry another tear, do another dance and yes, try again.  

You are living your life and life is inconvenient.  You are loving your people and people are so damned inconvenient.  You are giving it a try and trying is tiring and inconvenient too but if there is something you want, you need to go for it, no matter how much it inconveniences you or the people you care about.  Jump off the wheel now and then and do something totally for yourself and see if the world falls apart.  If you don’t carry your grain of sand to the anthill today, there will be plenty of chances in the future.  So go ahead and dare to be inconvenient today.  See if you can’t stir up a little happiness for yourself along the way, okay?

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