The other day I was reading a continuing education booklet for a local community college. (It was a little slow... I was working at a nearby high school as a general sub (not a teacher). It is an on-call position that is very flexible and allows me to make a little extra money while my youngest child is at preschool during the day... and sometimes my responsibilities are not too demanding of my time or focus... anyways, I can't handle sitting still without something to read...)
I found this thought as I read through the booklet: "The happiest people may be those who've realized that it's worth seeking out novel experiences that promote growth even if they present a challenge." This thought was part of a brief article titled: "Recipe for Maximum Happiness: Feed your curiosity, meet a challenge, pursue your purpose."
As I read this thought, (amidst our current discussions surrounding which job my husband should take after completing his residency and fellowship this year), I was moved deeply. I consider myself a very capable person (okay, only with regards to handling challenges and pursuing difficult experiences... which often are because of mistakes I've made, or are due to my totally unrealistic optimistic attitude about, well, everything...). However, I also really like stability and really, really dislike surprises... and change, in general. My attempt to control the present situation, to methodically reason through pros and cons of our options, to make a good choice, is somewhat comical.
The day that I read this booklet I was praying hard, fasting, and completely focused on receiving an answer. It was interesting to me how this thought impacted me. I felt strongly that I should not be so resistant to change and unfamiliar territory, that I should focus more on the needs of others rather than my own, that I should be less prideful. These feelings were powerful, and changed me enough for me to open my heart and accept new ways of seeing the needs of others and the potential experiences for our family, post medical training. All along I was seeking an answer from God, I wanted to be told what to do so that I could know with absolute certainty that everything that would happen (good and bad) was "meant to be". However, it quickly became clear one day after fruitless attempts to receive an answer, that my life is like a Choose Your Own Adventure book... which doesn't bode well with my strong inability to make decisions, in addition to my tendency to endlessly question every decision that I (ever) make in life.
I know how important it is to "disrupt ourselves" often, that this creates valuable opportunities for learning and growth. But, it is so hard for me! I love how my kids just attacked this hike (pictures), exploring without fear, even climbing down "the Crack" to shimmy their way down in the dark slot canyon. I hope I can strengthen my adventurous side... maybe I can borrow some from my kids.