Hello there, and welcome to a brand new week! I hope your weekend was extremely restful.
So, Bag End has now been vacated and Ash and I have both returned to our parents’ houses. We are very lucky that our families are so understanding (and that they’ve kept bed space for us), but I think it’s safe to say that we both feel a bit deflated. We’ve just had a year of living independently and building up our own home. This next bit of our lives is going to be a bit tricky.
I wouldn’t mind so much if I had something concrete to focus on: a new job or a new flat would be great right now. Anyone who has experienced job or flat hunting in London will know that both are extremely demanding, difficult and headache-inducing. I’ve done both of them before and I’m sure I can do them again now. The only thing is that I really, really don’t want to.
I have some very wise and sympathetic friends who have experienced similar situations, and the advice from all of them has been not to get bogged down in my current circumstances, because they won’t be forever. Living at home and being unemployed can be demoralising, but they are temporary states. Being less mature and more prone to whining than my sensible friends, my instinctive response to their sagacity is basically “but I want to have a new flat/job now. Why can’t I skip to the end of this bit?”
It’s very common to wish time away when we’re going through a difficult patch. We know that we’ll get over our break-up eventually, or that if we keep sticking to this diet we will see results at some point. We just hate waiting. Putting all of your energy into something and then having to hang about for the results is extremely frustrating.
It’s actually a good thing to have to wait for what you want. If we got everything we desired as soon as we wished for it, we would never learn to be patient. If our dreams materialised as soon as we thought of them, we would never experience the satisfaction of pursuing and genuinely achieving them. If we had magic lamps to give us what we wanted whenever we wanted it, we wouldn’t have anything to be proud of when we looked back over our lives. Plus, where on earth would you keep a magic lamp? Can you get magical knick knacks covered by home insurance? The whole plan is riddled with extra problems.
I think that one of the best things to do when we’re going through phases of enforced patience is to think of other times when this has been the case, and to take lessons from them. You got over that last break-up, didn’t you? Exactly. Your A Level results were eventually released. The latest series of your favourite television show did eventually start. And while you were waiting, I’m sure that you did and experienced things which may have been serving as distractions at the time, but which have now become important parts of your life. For example, the last time I was in this situation I wrote a play. That play has just done a great run at the Edinburgh Fringe, and is soon to be a short film for Sky.
Life is like that: if we concentrate on what we can get done while we’re waiting, we will surprise ourselves with what we’re capable of. Instead of wanting to skip to the end, we should try to enjoy the possibilities these difficult times contain.
Have a fantastic day. Make sure your lunch represents all the food groups.