May 31, 2013

You Can't Always Get What You Want. Thank Goodness!

You know what I like? I like not getting what I want. 

I like not getting what I want, because there always seems to be something better lined up for me. I was reminded of this on Tuesday night as I headed to the church in my community to help build the new gym. I had been looking forward to this event for over a week, and had even prepared a special ensemble. They had put a call out for anyone with carpentry skills, a passion for carpentry, or people who just want to help. I was the third category. I showed up ready to hold boards, hammer nails, and maybe even use a saw. I didn't get what I wanted. I was wasn't fast enough when it came to hammering, I wasn't strong enough when it came to the moving, and more than anything I was in the way. I wandered over to see if the electrician needed help; he didn't. I walked away and sat on a pile of lumber thinking to myself, "this isn't what I expected at all!" Things started looking up as the electrician called me over to hold a spool of cable, then to pull it and weave it behind the stud beams. Before I knew it I was wiring the new gym! I even helped decide where the outlets should go! How cool is that? There were spaces that the cord needed to be pulled through that only my arm could fit. It would have been really easy for me to think that I was fired from the carpentry side of things, but when the head carpenter asked what I was doing on the other side of the gym I proudly told him that I had been promoted to electrician's apprentice. 

As I reflected on this experience it got me thinking of other times that I haven't gotten what I wanted....and instead got something better!!!

Last summer I was really hoping that a friend of mine would be hired at a very interesting job. When she didn't get the job I was quite disappointed and maybe even frustrated, but I later found out that if she had gotten the job she wouldn't have gotten a better job offer, and I wouldn't have had one of the best summers of my life. 

I also got thinking about a guy that I dated a few years ago, and how perfect I thought the relationship would be. It's funny how things don't always line up with how we idealize imagine them to be. Our imaginations are so limited! Just like my construction project, no matter how I constructed the scenario in my mind, there was something waiting that was far better than I could have ever imagined. We can think up the best person for us, or the best job for a friend, or even how a simple volunteer project should be, but more often than not, by not getting what we want we get something so great that we couldn't even imagine wanting!

I guess I'm just doing my best to remember that the best is yet to come, and to go with the flow, because getting what we need is far better than getting what we thought we wanted any day. 

"Sometimes not getting what you want is a brilliant stroke of luck." -Lorii Myers


  1. I love the positive spin you put on some of the not so great moments.. it makes me smile and feel successful :)

  2. You are so wise, Annie! And I totally agree with you on this one! I've always believed everything happens for a reason (although that's hard to remember sometimes).