Running the Race or Why Patience Isn’t My Bag

I’m not a runner, but I’m starting to experience something akin to what I think the euphoria of finishing a marathon might be. There’s a sort of exhausted jubilance to seeing the finish line within your sight, and even though you realize there are still many more steps to take, they pale in comparison to all the ones you took leading up to that moment. And so you dig deep into yourself and pull out every ounce of remaining energy, you know you’re almost done and it feels great.

I just got off the phone with Tom, and he’s the man who is essentially standing between me and our finally being in our new house. Tom tells me the materials have been ordered and that they hope to be able to get to work on Monday; and while there’s no real timetable for completion–I’m assuming within a week or so–something about this feels fantastic. But I also feel like I’ve been repeatedly run over by a dump truck.

See, I was ready for change when we started the house buying process; that’s sort of the part of that particular course. What I wasn’t prepared for was packing up our entire apartment, moving most of that stuff into our uninhabitable house, taking the rest to my parents’ house to stay for a few weeks and all the minutia of finally getting to the point where “we’ll start on Monday” felt like finding a million dollars in my jacket pocket.

To be clear, I’m beyond thankful to my parents for offering us space at their house. It’s made a lot of elements over the last few weeks actually a little easier, which is good because adding more complicated things to all of this would not have been a good thing. It’s also cool that we’re getting almost all new flooring/carpet in the new house, I just don’t care much for the method by which it was delivered. Really, this has just been a delay in getting where I thought we’d be a month ago, and that isn’t quite something that sits well with me.

I’ll just say it: I’m not good on waiting and I’m even worse at dealing with unforeseen forks in the road. This situation has granted me both, and I’ll just say that I haven’t always been great at dealing with either, let alone both at the same time. It also seems like things happening with this much ferocity is the way of it in my life: it’s either a storm or clear skies, and sometimes I’d prefer a little rain to mist than either extreme.

In my mind it certainly makes sense why things happen this way. This is how we grow and mature, by engaging with the pain and finding God in the middle of it. But to be honest, I sometimes worry that I’m not getting any stronger, like the muscle is being worked but I come out on the other side of each opportunity just worn down, but having learned nothing. That’s more frustrating than having to experience the trouble in the first place, like suffering through an excruciating work out and then eating half a dozen donuts immediately after. And maybe I’m just missing the improvement because it comes in small alterations over time, not massive upgrades all at once.

So while I was writing this, Bill, who works with Tom, called to tell me that they’d be in on Tuesday to get the drywall and other preliminary work done, and that once they floors came in, he’d call to set up a firm time line for completion of the job. There it is. That cool burst of fresh energy. The finish line is near. Just need to push a little harder and we’ll make it just fine.

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