Saturday, October 14, 2017

Eat all the stuff, wear all the things

Growing up, I learned to “save the best for last.”

I believe it was in the context of eating, and thus I still apply this to just about every meal I eat.  Whatever part of my meal I am most looking forward to, I save til the end.

Of course, by then it is cold and probably not as good as it once could have been.  Still. It was the best and so it must be saved for last.

Lately, this concept has taken over. And is ruining my life.

For example, today. My husband decided to cook some soup/stew/goulash – actually I’m still not quite sure how to classify it. But that’s beside the point. He made it around 11:30am. Now, in my mind, if you get out pots and pans, you brown some meat, and you hand mince garlic, that means dinner. It should be saved for later. It definitely wouldn’t be eaten for a weekend lunch meal.

But of course Jason, and probably anyone else who had just invested a bit of time preparing a meal, wants to eat it now.

I proceed to argue, just a little, about how we should save that gourmet meal for dinner and find something else to eat for lunch. But a piece of me knows, of course, it would be more satisfying to eat it now.

It’s ready now; it’s fresh now; it would be good now. So why is it so hard for me to embrace the idea of eating it now?

Here’s another example. Recently I bought a couple new shirts. They’re different, they’re new, they’re going to be fun to wear. And yet, an internal voice chants, “save it for something special.”

Honestly, I have two other shirts in my closet I purchased over 3 years ago for “something special.” I have never worn them. Does this mean I never do anything special? Of course not!  My life is filled with all kinds of special things, for which to wear fun clothes.

But in those moments, I tend to drift towards outfits I have worn before, because, for some reason, I feel like I need to save my new clothes for something else. But for what, I couldn’t say.

Why is it so hard for me to enjoy wonderful things that are happening now?

Why do I feel the need to suffer first before I enjoy something?

Is it so wrong to have dessert first once in a while?

Saving the best for last does not automatically mean that whatever is 'right now" is of no value.

I painted a rock a couple years ago that reads: “The best is yet to come.” This is of course a comforting and hopeful thought when we think about our eternal home in Heaven.

What's ironic is at the same time, I painted another rock that reads: "Treasure the moment."

Yet, it wasn't until just now that I realize these statements are in complete opposition to each other. By dwelling on the thought that the best thing is coming sometime in the future, the current moment is actually unable to be treasured!  Good grief Elizabeth.

There are times when we are to be in the moment and treasure it.  In fact, as a mother, I'm learning that this should be most moments in life. It's really the only way. I admit I need to work on that.

There are other times, hard times, when the present moment is suffocating and sad.  In these situations, the future hope, joy and glory of being face-to-face with Jesus is perhaps the most comforting and best thought. Honestly, I need to work on that one too.

So, once again, it's a both/and.  It's a grey area. It's not a straightforward "only think about now," or "only think about the future." It is think about both all the time :)

But for now, for me, because I tend to error on the side of 'saving the best for last' and neglecting to savor what is in front of me, I'm going to go ahead and eat all the stuff, and wear all the things.  Because honestly, when the best does come, it will be a moment to treasure!

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