Sunday, March 4, 2012

Watching the driveway

From when I was a child living with my parents, I still remember occasional nights when either my mom or my dad would work late. (Side-note to my parents: please do not read this and feel guilty; I never felt neglected. This just happens to be an appropriate metaphor for this post). On those nights (particularly if their arrival at home meant dinner-time), I would sit by the window and watch the driveway and wait.

We have a circular driveway with two entrances, spaced maybe 10 meters apart. I kept my eyes set on the western entrance to the driveway, because usually my parents would drive in from the west on Central Rd. So, with book, homework or video game in hand, I would sit and wait, and watch. Every so often, I'd see the glow of a pair of headlights coming up the hill, but the car would speed past the driveway... not my parents.

Finally, there'd be one pair of headlights that slowed down and the familiar sound of tire turning from pavement onto gravel would confirm that either mom or dad had arrived home. There were several occasions, however, where the unexpected would happen--I'd be watching one entrance to the driveway, and they'd turn into the other entrance, coming from the other direction. They had arrived at home, so I was happy, but despite my best efforts I had not seen them coming.

Now the point: (and yes, there's a point because otherwise, this post would very much resemble a story I wrote about buses back in Kindergarten... my family knows what I'm talking about ;-)

Life is sometimes like watching the driveway and waiting for your parents to pull in. There are events in our lives that we watch for, wait for: job opportunities, opportunities for advancement or education, friendships, relationships, what have you... we may not know when the milestones in our life will arrive, but we usually think we know where they are coming from, what they will look like.

Here's the thing, though: we don't know. Sometimes, the car pulls into the other driveway. Just because something happens differently than how you expected it to, is that an excuse to complain or reject an opportunity when it comes up unexpectedly?

If you're waiting for your parents to come home, would you complain because they took a different route home than usual?

Don't resist the unexpected... Accept it. Embrace it. It may turn out to be better than what you'd been waiting for.

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