Sunday, August 23, 2015

Baby Steps

Life can be frustrating. Sometimes, even though we live in a fast-paced society of instant gratification, things don’t move along as quickly as we’d like. We’re so accustomed to pushing a button on our TVs, computers, etc. to immediately get the results we want that we’ve come to expect life to be the same way. Simple fact: it isn’t.

My mother is eighty-six years old and has decided it’s time to sell her house and move into an apartment. We’ve agreed to list the house no later than October 1st. As you can imagine, after living in the same house for many years, she’s accumulated a lot of stuff and there’s no way it will all fit into an apartment. So, we’re slowly attempting to sort through everything and to get rid of what she won’t be able to keep. Sounds simple enough, right? Wrong!

Why? Because, while I’m a planner and an organizer, she isn’t. (I take after my father in that regard.) I look around and see all that has to be done and I cringe, feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. Things are not moving along as quickly as I think they should and there’s no doubt that, if I were given free rein, we’d be a lot further along than we are. But, it’s her house, her stuff and the decisions are hers. I’ve often felt like I’m pushing a boulder up a steep hill, trying to urge her into action.

I was complaining about the situation to another author who has become a good friend. She reminded me that as long as we’re moving forward, no matter how slowly, at least we’re headed in the right direction. Baby steps! Of course, she’s right. I had to laugh at myself because, as the author of four novels working on the fifth, I should’ve made the comparison. I’ve never thought of myself as a patient person and yet I spend months plotting each book and many more months writing and editing it. Do things always go according to my plan and my timeline? No. But I persevere in spite of that. I guess it’s time to transfer some of that patience and perseverance to the situation with Mom.

Is there something in your life that’s causing you to become frustrated? If so, how are you handling it?