Well, I’m back in Florida. This time I didn’t fly down for a visit. I drove down in a 16-foot Penske truck. Right off the bat, I have to give a major shout out to my friend and my co-pilot, Chris Cervellera, for flying up to DC and helping me pack the truck and then riding down with me and helping me unpack it. He also just accepted my best man position. He didn’t have a choice, really.
Driving that moving truck out of DC, I said to him, “This is the most like an adult I’ve ever felt in my life.” I said it jokingly, but I was also serious. Up until then, my most-adult moment was when I willingly watched Cocoon by myself. Something about driving a moving truck just made me feel older. True, it was so I could move into my mother’s house, but that’s not the focus here. (I’m only moving into my mom’s until I find a new apartment. Don’t judge me. Only God can judge me. And Tupac.)
It’s an exciting time for me with everything lately. Just got engaged. Just packed up everything I own and moved it 800 miles away from where I’d been living the past two and a half years. Pretty much making things up as I go. And to be honest, I don’t feel a lot of stress about it right now.
What’s funny, though, is that my lack of stress can sometimes stress me out. I don’t know if you can relate or if this even makes sense, but sometimes I get worried that I’m not worried about my life. I fear that if I don’t have an overarching feeling of stress then there must be something that I am not paying close enough attention to. Or that there’s something I’m being too lackadaisical about. Have you ever felt like that?
It’s stupid, but it happens. I think it’s that good, old-fashioned American Dream pressure mixed with church guilt. It’s good to be motivated, but if we cannot ever appreciate our peace of mind, then what are we even trying to do with our lives here? When will enough ever be enough?
The answer is that it will never be enough. The Bible says, “Godliness with contentment is great gain.” I think there’s something to be said for being content. It’s of greater worth than what we could earn by merely climbing a corporate ladder to the top. Contentment looks different to everyone, but the effects of it are similar.
Some people hate winging it. I have a love-hate relationship with it. I try to be a planner, but I’m getting used to the fact that most plans have to change. When the rubber meets the road, all your preparation matters, but if you are expecting things to go perfectly, you’re going to be quite annoyed. Maybe even angered.
I was thinking recently, what if when women got pregnant, they were given the option of delivering the baby whenever they chose to? What if a husband and wife could say they wanted to have it on a certain day and time, and also be given the option to post-pone the delivery as long as they needed. If this were possible, I think we’d see a lot less babies in delivery rooms. Why? Because having a kid is freaking scary.
There’s a reason that nine months is the only prep time you get. You can’t put it off after that. It’s go time, ready or not. And the truth is, you’re never really ready. You can read all the books you want, but when that baby comes, you are making things up as you go. It’s a sobering day for kids when they realize their parents were just making things up as they went along in raising us. It’s sobering, but also liberating. Because it means we don’t have to have everything figured out. People have been doing it for years.
I’m moving onto the next chapter in my life with my own plans, but I’m also planning on them changing. And I’m trying to be ok with that. Brittany and I keep telling each other that we only have to do one thing at a time. I think that’s where contentment starts—looking at what the next step is and just taking it one step at a time. We fall down because we try to jump up the steps instead of walking up them one by one.
What’s your next step? That’s the only one you have to take right now.