Enjoying the moment. Sounds so easy to do when you're actually IN the moment, but sometimes when you don't WANT to be in the moment, it's not so easy after all.
I'm a planner. I like to know what's coming; I like to know that everything is coordinated and under control. I'm always thinking one hour, day, week ahead. I really don't think there is anything wrong with planning ahead and being prepared. It's only a problem when that planning hours, days, and weeks in advance takes over from being able to focus on and enjoy the current moment.
Yesterday was a great example. Twice...
Nick and I spent the holiday weekend at a friend's river house enjoying water sports and spending time with family and friends. We had been looking forward to this weekend pretty much since last year (we've spent the last few 4th of July weekends with our friends). It's a great time of fun and relaxing. Although with my family it also consisted of 8 miles of run/walking, 4 miles of kayaking, some biking and probably other workouts that I've forgotten about. =P
Side note: 4 miles of kayaking is WAY farther than it sounds...running 4 miles vs. kayaking 4 miles, COMPLETELY different, especially considering it uses those small muscles that we often forget actually exist.
Anyway, we had a great time jet skiing, tubing, wakeboarding, fireworking, etc. Here's where enjoying the moment comes into play. While it's a ton of fun, our friend's house is about 6.5 hours from Ohio. It was a long drive there Friday morning. We were so glad to finally arrive, and were definitely NOT looking forward to the return trip. I was able to not think about the upcoming drive all day Saturday and just have fun, but Sunday morning I woke up antsy.
I didn't want the weekend to come to an end, but I was also mentally checking out. I knew we were leaving around noon, and I knew we had a super long drive ahead of us. It would have been very easy for me to give in to the antsy-ness. Like I said, I'm a planner so I like to move from one task to the next. That morning I was starting to mentally check out from our fun weekend.
One thing that God has been teaching me through being sick and also through my husband is to slow down and enjoy each moment as it comes. It's completely against my nature, but I'm learning. Yesterday was a great chance for me to practice! Nick had been really wanting to wakeboard the whole weekend but either the water conditions weren't right or the boat wasn't working. Sunday morning, things finally fell into place. Had I been rushing around trying to get packed up to go home, I would have missed out on one last ride on the boat and watching Nick learn to wakeboard. Plus I probably would have taken some of the fun away from Nick as my antsy-ness would have irritated him and made him annoyed or frustrated. I put all thoughts of leaving out of my head and was able to just focus on taking videos of Nick working on standing up on the wakeboard.
As we were getting ready to leave, I realized that I had really enjoyed the morning despite knowing we were going to have to leave. On previous trips, I might have been consumed with preparing to leave and missed the fun of the morning. Instead, I was able to actually enjoy the last few hours we had with our friends. Yay! Honestly, I was feeling a bit like I had made a huge step in this area of my life.
But apparently God thought I still needed some practice...
About 2 hours into our drive back to Ohio, our car started overheating. This has been an ongoing problem since the first time it overheated about a year ago. Despite replacing pretty much everything under the hood (except, as we found out, the head gasket), the problem had persisted. It was fine on our drive TO Maryland, but on the way home, not so much.
After slowly limping along I-70 W, we finally made it to Breezewood, PA. Yay! Oh wait, it was now about 5 pm on Sunday on a holiday weekend...yeah...don't these things always happen at the most convenient times? =P My fantastic in-laws were so gracious in coming to pick us up in PA and are loaning us a car until we can figure out what we are going to do with ours. In the meantime, we had about 3.5 hours to kill in Breezewood while we waiting for them to get to us.
I'll be honest, (mostly because my husband reads this blog and he'll probably call me out if I'm not =P Love you, Nick!) I started to get anxious and have a freak out moment. We were having to leave our car 3.5 hours from home, had no idea where to get it fixed or how to get it there, plus we found out the head gasket can be one of the most expensive parts to replace...add that on top of being tired of traveling, frustrated with the situation, and just being wiped out from a fun weekend...it was a perfect recipe for me getting a bit (or a lot) cranky.
But, like I said, I'm learning! I did have my moments of anxiety and freaking out a bit, but after I took a step back to look at the big picture and only focus on the things that we could control, I was able to let go of my worry and relax. Nick and I stopped at Sheetz for a slurpee, then walked down the road to a sports bar. The Women's World Cup Finals were on TV (USA USA USA!!!) so we had a leisurely dinner while we watched the game and waited for his parents.
It was a great evening. The game was super exciting (USA won 5-2 over Japan), and Nick and I were able to have dinner together in a restaurant which we haven't done in months. Once I reminded myself there was nothing I could do about our situation and being frustrated or anxious would not accomplish anything, I was able to just enjoy the moment.
Had I stayed anxious and worried and kept stressing over what we are going to do with the car, I would not have been able to just enjoy those few hours watching the game and enjoying time with Nick. That doesn't mean I'm not doing what I can to figure out what options we have for the car, but it means that I recognized that last night there was nothing I could do and worrying would have only kept us from having a good time instead of accomplishing anything productive.
I'm thankful for a good weekend of fun, friends, family, faith, and freak-outs (or lack there of, I couldn't come up with another f-word that was blog appropriate =P). I DID enjoy each moment during the weekend and was able to let go of my worry and anxiety about our car situation.
I wish I could learn some of these lessons without actually having to be in these situations, but I know God's got it under control. Plus, there is always something to be thankful for. I had a great weekend physically (with a minor exception of a "date night" Thursday night), and was able to eat a little fruit and baked potato. No issues at all, which is huge. God is good! Actually He is always good, but it's nice to FEEL His goodness sometimes as a reminder.
On that, I'll end this long post with a quick question:
Anyone know a reputable mechanic in Breezewood, PA?