“I wish it were 11:00 o’clock!” She wailed, hunched over the counter with her face in her arms. Her co-worker seemed a little self-conscious as he looked at me. I greeted them both and pretended not to notice any drama unfolding.
Don’t wish your life away
We can hear our elders’ warning, practically in unison, “It goes by fast. Enjoy what you have now.” Many of us can see the truth in this wisdom and apply it to the bigger picture of our lives. We can evaluate the situation, align our priorities and decide accordingly. We live with the pros and cons of our choices and make changes when necessary.
Sands in the hourglass
How about when it comes to the minutes rather than the years of our lives? How about when we’re having a bad day at a job we don’t like? When we’re collectively wailing that we wish it were quitting time.
These minutes are the grains of sand in the hourglass. Wish a handful away, wish another handful away, and another; another hour, another day, another week. Next thing we know it’s the New Year! And, what have we done? We’ve wished that we were elsewhere.
Anywhere but here!
But you don’t understand — my job sucks! It’s all I can do to make it through the day.
Okay, this problem can be resolved in the bigger picture. That’s probably easier, conceptually. How about the more immediate issue?
How do we make it through the shift? How about a non-work obligation that we really don’t want to do?
Creating our own good day
We create our own good day, of course.
Yeah, that doesn’t really work for me….
It can. Start where you are. Start in the moment when your head is in your arms and you’re wailing to your co-worker that you wish it were quitting time.
Focus on a point on the horizon
Try this exercise: focus on something that brings you happiness; something you’ll do once your shift really is over. While that is wishing our lives away in a sense, it can also work wonders.
Finding beauty in the moment
Another exercise to try: find something in the midst of the wailing drama that brings you joy. Or contentedness. Or peace.
At least there are no locusts
No, there’s no joy or peace here. But there are no locusts either. I guess that’s something.
See? Now you’re getting the hang of things.
Hang on to your smirk
We know you’re funny. That locust crack was pretty good. But we can’t always find joy, contentedness or peace in the lack of a catastrophe.
You’re still smirking when the hairstylist from next door walks by. She waves and smiles. You can feel your smirk transforming to a smile.
Hold that smile for a moment longer and let it affect your mindset. It’s hard to wail while you’re smiling.
Don’t wish it all away
The day, the shift, the obligation, they are going to be there while you’re unable to change them. That sucks.
But, does it? Maybe its value as good or bad is in our perception. If we change how we evaluate and act on the situation, we are able to change its reality. Many occurrences are not inherently good or bad, black or white. They are there to be lived as we choose.
Smirk and the world smirks with us
Start where we are. Be where we are. Enjoy what we can from the grains of sand as they cascade through our fingers.
Live the moments, beautiful. Live all the moments of our lives and let the beauty astonish us.