31 Mar Slice of Life: Careful What You Wish For… #SOL19 #TWTBlog
Every year, at the moment of truth, just as I pulled my hair back, bent down, closed my eyes and inhaled, my dad would whisper, “Careful what you wish for.” Laughter or my retort would cause me to start all over again. This time moving through the motions more quickly knowing my mom was now worrying that the candle wax was going to ruin the frosting. I have to admit; his words are still in my head whenever I’m about to blow out my birthday candles.
When I was younger, his words had a different meaning to me. When I heard them, I was compelled to make sure my wish was exactly what I wanted. I wondered if there was something better, something I wanted more. I rethought my wish to make sure I had it just right. Now when
My dad was not a materialistic person and we were certainly not spoiled. In retrospect, it didn’t make sense that he would be warning me to revise my wish to make sure it was exactly what I wanted. He wouldn’t want me thinking about what I was going to get, he was all about hard work and sacrifice. His words were not encouraging me to make sure I got everything I wanted, he was giving me advice, a warning.
When you wish to get something, it is easy to miss what you already have in your life. When you wish for something hard to go away, you risk not becoming the person you were meant to be. When you wish for something not to happen, opportunity and possibility are forever gone. When you wish to get something without the work, you miss the journey and the appreciation that comes from attaining something you desire. When you wish for something and add it to your life, it may change or impact aspects of your life that you already truly love.
Careful what you wish for takes on an entirely new meaning for me now. It makes me think about what I would honestly change about my life. The bumps along the way have made me who I am today. I could wish my mom did not have dementia. I could wish she knew me, but I have to wonder if I would have known her as well if I took her dementia away. I could wish I finished my PhD, but I may not have landed in a job that I love as much as I do now. I could wish for my parents to still be alive, but then maybe I would not treasure my childhood memories the way I do now. I could wish for a garage, but I would miss connecting with my kids and husband reordering our cars each night for our morning schedule. I could wish to have my son home with me today on my birthday, but then he wouldn’t be on spring break with new friends creating a life of his own.
When you slow down, truly slow down, and contemplate how the wish will impact the life you already have, you realize you just might not want it. You may discover how something that is hard is actually beneficial. You may feel more gratitude than desire. You may realize you already have everything you need.
Today, as I blow out my candles, my dad’s words will be with me. I will be very
Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Kelsey, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum from Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers, and teachers here