There is a moral to this story:
Sometimes when I am waiting for something to happen, I will latch onto something I want and then tell myself that when X happens, I can have Y treat. It will be a way of celebrating the occasion or accomplishment.
It is a practice that has NOT served me well.
For instance, I have a book that I was really looking forward to reading, and I told myself that I could read it when I got pregnant again. I wasn’t silly enough to set the bar at “deliver a live baby” or even “get past the first 8 weeks.” Just get pregnant.
I still haven’t read the book.
See, doesn’t serve me well. Doesn’t keep me to task or motivate me. Because 95% of the time, I’m applying it to something outside my control. I am putting my future enjoyment into the hands of the universe. And those hands are often not pushing me toward my goal but rather keeping me from it.
A few months ago, I downloaded a solitaire app on my phone. I wanted to upgrade to the paid version to get rid of the ads, but I told myself that I should wait until X happened. Upgrading the app would be my Y reward to mark the occasion.
I kept playing the free, ad-heavy version of the app, and every time I had to sit through an ad, it would remind me that X hadn’t happened. I asked myself to reconsider.
But I think you all know what happens when you try to reconsider:
I suddenly became superstitious and convinced myself that if I bought myself the app — if I celebrated before the moment — that the moment would never arrive.
So I kept playing the ad-heavy app. “It’s temporary,” I told myself whenever I got crotchety due to the ads. “When X happens, you’ll have Y.”
After four months, it became clear that X wasn’t going to happen. Or if it was, it was going to happen on an unsatisfying timeline. And one night, in a particularly foul mood, I decided to buy the app. I bought it angrily, punching in my password with quick jabs to show the universe just how pissed I was that X hadn’t happened yet.
And you know what? The app makes me happy. It’s a smaller file and runs much faster than the ad-heavy version. I like not having to see the ads. But it also makes me feel like I’ve wasted time by waiting. I could have been playing this better version months ago if I just hadn’t tied these two unrelated things together. If I hadn’t been superstitious, or thought that things related to luck should be celebrated rather than just acknowledged for what they are: a game of chance.
So much of life is out of my hands; it’s waiting for another person to accept something or find me or connect with me or for the universe to work its completely random magic and cause something to happen… so why should I ever give it more fuel, more power, to change the way I think about myself or the situation.
I’m not waiting anymore.