Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

The Excitement Of It All December 19, 2014

Table cloths. Holiday decorations. And food smells. Lots of food smells. I’ve been around long enough to know what’s coming. I don’t need to have a crystal ball to know there will be some kind of fabulous shindig at my forever home tomorrow. Mom spent the majority of today running around like the headless chicken she often does before such events. There is cleaning and cooking and baking and decorating to be done, after all!

The funny thing is so many people tell her to slow down. Take it easy. Don’t stress. Yet she follows none of these pieces of (very sound) advice. It’s puzzled me for some time why she feels the need to uphold this reputation of hers as a “super hostess.” She could as easily not go to the detail she does with things. She could skip an appetizer (or three). There don’t have to be dessert options. One is probably just fine. Flangipropping

I think I finally got my answer today. It happened somewhere in between ironing her third table cloth and setting up the dessert table. She sat down, for honestly the first time since she woke up with dear baby Carter around 7 a.m. and sighed. To a stranger, it sounded like fatigue. And maybe there was a bit of fatigue mixed in, but I know better. I know better because I could see her face when it happened. Joy. From the ground up, it resonated in her smile and the twinkle in her eye as she surveyed the work that had been done so far.

Table cloths and decorations and food smells were the way of the day around here today. It was a lot of work, most of which mom made for herself. But she loves it. Thrives on it even. Has she been breathing a bit heavy since this afternoon as she runs around dusting and cleaning bathrooms? Sure. Will she be sore tomorrow? Probably.

But there is something about the excitement of it all that brings joy to life. And I can’t wait to see what happens tomorrow.

 

Those Who Wait November 16, 2014

Waiting drives me crazy. I don’t care whether it’s good news or bad, just give it to me straight and give it to me now. I don’t like waiting for my people to get back from that place called work or practicing my least favorite tricks (which involve waiting and staying). Waiting is not for the dogs.

Winter has arrived around here, complete with our first measurable snowfall. I love everything about the snow and the joy it seems to surround this time of year. Excitement abounds as people start putting together plans for holiday festivities and parties and all things involving delicious food and time with loved ones. How High?

But I find this thing happens all to frequently as far as the seasons are concerned. Just as a new one starts, we find ourselves anxiously anticipating, waiting, for the next. I find this happens even more so with winter, since there are the obvious drawbacks to snow-covered roads when attempting to travel safely to one of the aforementioned festivities. People wait for spring and when spring comes they wait for summer. And so on.

While I do have an (albeit learned and carefully practiced) appreciation for patience, waiting drives me crazy. I think it’s to do with the passive nature of it almost as much as the implication that today isn’t good enough. I know the great and infamous “they” say good things come to those who wait, but I disagree. For the most part, good things come just as frequently to those who live in the moment. Who don’t wait. Who decide that today is a day to embrace rather than wish to be over just so we can be one step closer to tomorrow.

I know my mom is guilty of this all to often. She puts so much emotional energy in planning for something that when it comes it is almost a let down as it happens. Mostly because she wants it to be just so. She wants it to be perfect. And she gets so tied up in that she misses the joy in the moment.

That’s why I believe in the practice of patience, which Christian author Joyce Meyer describes well when she suggests “patience is not simply the ability to wait – it’s how we behave while we’re waiting.” I figured out today why waiting drives me so crazy. It’s because I’d rather be living.