Clayden (our almost 3 year old) comes home from school with some classic one liners.
His most recent has been ‘you get what you get and you don’t get upset’. When Clay was going through a (painful) ‘I don’t want to’ phase, I asked his teacher what an appropriate response would be (as opposed to ‘I dont CARE’ which seemed slightly insensitive and un-role-model like), to which she suggested ‘well, sometimes we have to do things we don’t want to do’. It’s come back to bite us in the ass from time to time (from the mouth of our very own first-born himself) but it often jabs me with conviction when I speak those words to him, while inwardly having my own private kicking-and-screaming tantrums about my own life.
If I’m honest, our life is a bit of a mess at the moment. We’re in a fairly intense holding pattern. It’s like we’re sitting in the boarding lounge of an airport, checked in, ready to go, travellers angst building. We’ve waved goodbye to what’s behind us but have not yet boarded the plane we’re so anxious to board. It’s like we’re waiting, desperate for that announcement informing us that our gate is open for boarding.
Between moving continents after a (and I know I sound dramatic but significantly) life changing season, landing afresh in a city we haven’t lived in in 10 years, selling property, buying property, living with family, finding jobs (real, grown up jobs), creating some sense of security for the kids, being afraid of settling and being desperate to settle at the same time, longing for routine and denying the promptings of the next adventure. It’s a mess. Fights are real, stress is hard, the future is unknown and it’s a raw, struggle-filled, constantly-evaluating-everything, swimming-through-mud kinda slog. It’s ongoing. And it’s been almost 7 months.
But, ‘sometimes we have to do things we don’t want to do’. Sometimes we need to say hard goodbyes, close doors, make difficult phone calls, allow yourself to feel, or accept the tougher climb. We need to grind our teeth, push hard, sweat it out and embrace it. And, amazingly enough in the end, we’re so much better off for it. We might have some battle wounds, but wow, life is raw and beautiful on the other side. I sound as if we’re on the other side – we’re not.
What we are though, is stronger, braver, and more courageous. Don’t think I’m all heroine-like. I’m far from it. If you could see how quickly I can chew my way through a brick of fondant icing in a moment of weakness, you’d be horrified. Oh beautiful, beautiful sugar, my go-to. My soft spot.
And so I hold on, by my fingernails, because ‘the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything’. (James 1:3-4)
‘We know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope, does not disappoint’. (Romans 5:3-4)
And so sometimes you get what you get, and sometimes we have to do things we don’t want to do. Sometimes we need to dig into a tin of condensed milk and watch pitch perfect for the thousandth time or we may need a long hard run and a cry in the shower, either way, it’s okay. Let’s walk this journey together.
As my friend Claire says, all jobs (tasks, adventures, struggles, celebrations…) are better with a friend.
So cheers to you my friends. You’re rock stars.