Saturday, April 8, 2017

Occasionally sacrificing what you want to do for what you need to do: The hard part of adult life

One of my essential and ongoing dilemmas  just ask my wife, who has to hear me whine about it all the time – is that I want to run a marathon. It would be my second marathon. The first happened way back in 2001.

OK, you say, go run a marathon. Not so fast. Marathon training requires a lot of time, especially those long weekend runs. I don't have time. Or at least, the other choices I make in life create the circumstances in which I don't have time.

Because really, I DO have the time if I choose to create the time. But I have family commitments, chores, job-related obligations, etc. All of those take precedence over the quest for Marathon #2, as does that pesky little biological need for adequate sleep.

In reality, I choose not to have the time to train for a marathon. I also choose to go to church virtually every Sunday morning. I also choose to be married and raise a large-ish family.

These are all life decisions I've made that affect my allocation of resources. Those resources include time, money, and energy, both mental and physical.

Maybe someday, when the kids are a little older or maybe my professional and personal circumstances have changed for whatever reason, I'll have more time to do the things I've put off. But in the interim, this is the life I've chosen, and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

If you're any older than 15 or so, you know what I'm talking about. It's interesting watching my daughter Elissa adjust to this most inescapable of grown-up realities as she settles into her first full-time job. She claims she's not very good at the adulting thing, as many people her age do, but I would say she's far ahead of most of her peers.

Whenever I get a little disappointed about not being able to do everything I want to do, I take stock of what those little personal sacrifices have done for me. I am blessed beyond measure, largely because of the way I've chosen to react to all of the gifts God has given me.

Sure, I can't just up and go on a weekend trip at the spur of the moment. But how important is that when compared with having a wonderful wife to whom I've been married for nearly 25 years? And children I love being around? And a job that provides us with so many material gifts countless others on this planet lack?

I have a car to drive, food to eat, a roof over my head, and a warm place to sleep every night. If you stop taking things like that for granted for just a second, and recognize how close to NOT having them you really are, suddenly the other stuff pales greatly in comparison.

I may or may not run that second marathon someday, but if I don't, it really is OK. That, I suppose, is at least one wise thing I've come to understand in my 47 years.

1 comment:

  1. I swear we could make millions making a sitcom. Your thoughts from your blog and me being a smartass neighbor... Going to have to find somewhere to sell this...
    I bet we could get a National Sponsor like VITAMIX...