This is actually a really funny title if you could live inside my head. You see, I thought of this blog idea approximately 3 weeks ago and am now just getting to writing it. I think that fully encapsulates the idea of preparation. You can plan, worry, and what if as much as you want, but the outcome majority of the time isn’t what you initially planned.
Why is it that we now just accept the fact that once Thanksgiving is over it is just go go go. Everyone just gets over the fact that you are still working 40 hour weeks while buying and wrapping presents, attending too many Christmas parties as if you never see anyone during the other 11 months of the year and somehow sleeping and all the necessary everyday life stuff. It’s draining, but it is almost as if we begin to make a game out of it.
We continue to plan, checking off boxes of who to see during this season and just trying to make it to the next event. Honestly, do we really even want to do/see half the stuff we have crammed into the holidays? If we are always focused on the ‘next’ thing to come, how are we being present in the space we hold now?
This isn’t me attempting to lecture everyone on why slowing down and being present is important, we have definitely covered that one here. But, in the busiest time of the year I have felt an overwhelming sense of preparation for the coming season of life.
I’ll be honest, I have no idea what is going to happen in 2023. And if I’m being MORE honest, that would freak past-me out. But, as I am growing older and learning that life truly is about rolling with the punches, it isn’t as scary. If I know I am unable to control the outcome, why worry before it happens?
Although I may not know what is coming next for me, I do feel like I am ready for whatever comes. The weeks leading up to Christmas are known as advent in the Catholic faith, which I grew up in. It is a time of preparation for the coming of Jesus as He will enter into the world on Christmas. During this time, we are called to prepare our hearts and minds.
I think advent subconsciously planted the idea of preparation for the new year in me. As we would prepare for Jesus’ coming, we would also be coming up on a time of a new calendar year. This is when the conversations of new year’s resolutions would begin, how we wanted to be better or what we want to accomplish.
Each year I prepared for the next one to come with extremely high expectations for myself, which of course we usually never reach. I have become more comfortable with the fact that not every goal I have for the new year may be checked off, and that’s okay. Life is a marathon, not a sprint.
As I am beginning to prepare for Christmas as the parties have already begun and none of my presents have been wrapped, I feel less of a sense of urgency than usual. I truly believe I am just trusting that things will get done when they are supposed to.
Maybe that will be my phrase for next year, which is another I am beginning to prepare for. I know that whatever is supposed to happen will come in its time, so why worry? (Seriously, who am I right now? Payton, you sure have come a long way). But seriously, I know God’s timing is perfect and right, so why would I rush or question something He has already planned?
But that is the funny thing about times of preparation, no matter how hard we try, it will never go exactly how we think it will. It’s ironic actually. Being someone who usually craves control, the thought of not having it over my future used to be terrifying. But, the more I sit in the understanding that sometimes ignorance can be bliss reminds me that there is always a light even if you just can’t see it yet.
So, to the girl who is preparing, I don’t know what the future holds, not even what the next 15 minutes hold. But, what I do know is that we can prepare and be expectant, but never underestimate what may be working in the background. We may not get the picture perfect moment we think we will, but maybe it is exactly what it is supposed to be. As you walk into this season of business and utter chaos, give yourself grace because it isn’t going to all go exactly according to plan. Don’t rush and enjoy where you are. You can take the time to prepare, but be ready to pivot and have fun while doing it, even if it doesn’t make sense right now.