Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Certain Uncertainty

The other day it occurred to me that I was truly getting old when I realized that I had "perspective". The kind of perspective that my parents preached to me about in my youth. The type of perspective that my professional mentors talked to me about early in my career.

It was bound to happen. After all, I did have my 40th birthday earlier this year. And as I'm learning from my aches and pains, 40 is more than just a number.

It’s the sort of perspective when someone is making a mountain out of a mole hill and you think to yourself..."this is really unimportant in the grand scheme of things. Take a few steps back and look at the big picture."

It reminds me of when I finally delivered the blow about Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy to my oldest daughter. She was devastated. Tears flowed freely. It was a somber day at the Windley house.

It’s been several months since that dark day, and now we both look back at it and laugh. She no longer believes that the world is a horrible, cruel place where parents lie to their children about flying reindeer and fairies. She’s in on the big secret, and she’s playing along for her younger sister.

I remember early in my career thinking that I was being treated unfairly because a co-worker with my same job title and responsibilities earned a higher salary than me. Even though she had ten years of experience to my two years on the job, I felt the company was taking advantage of me. Now that I’m 16+ years into my career, I realize that I was wrong. Experience counts.

This crazy thing we call life is full of certain uncertainty. Sometimes I feel like I’m walking on a proverbial earthquake...unsure of where the ground is going to move next. In the past couple of years I’ve had several experiences, both personal and professional, that I didn’t see coming. Perhaps I just wasn’t paying attention. Or maybe I wasn’t "in tune" with my spiritual side. It could be that I’m a couple of cards short of a full deck.

I believe that certain uncertainty is God’s way of keeping us humble. Just when we think we have things figured out, the wind changes direction and we have to adjust our sails. If you choose to fight the wind, it will rip your sails and you’ll sink. (Dramatic, I know...but I’m trying to make a point.)

Life is just a bowl of cherries. Or chair of bowlies. Or something like that.

Someone said "Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff. And It’s All Small Stuff." And he wrote a book about it. And he made a lot of money with that book. If you’re sweating, then you need to read that book.

Perspective. I wasn’t looking for it, but apparently it was looking for me. Now that I have it, I hope that it sticks around.

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