Thursday, September 2, 2010

Do You Know When?

I got into a conversation with a grounds supervisor at the US Open Tennis yesterday. I remarked that he must get all sorts of crazy questions posed to him from ticket holders. He responded with an easy laugh and a shake of his head. "You have no idea! You want to know what they ask the most? When will this match be over? As if I can tell them that. When."

When, when, when.

We all want to know the answer to when. As kids in the backseat of the car, the first question my brother would ask my father is when are we going to get there. Anyone from the Carolinas up to the Cape at this moment wants to know when Hurricane Earl is going to hit the coast and hoping it doesn't.  I want to know when I will have a book contract in my hands.

But none of us really knows. For sure.

We can guess when the match will be over. We can guesstimate how long it will take before we arrive at our destination. We have a wealth of scientific information and instruments trying to determine exactly when and where Hurricane Earl will hit the coast or if it will. I can set target dates for publication as often as I like. We can predict but we never know exactly when. That is until when shows up.

And even though we know that we still try to control it.
We fight against surrendering to when  when will occur by trying to reduce what we don't know as though we were solving a math problem. Or focusing so hard on the when in the distance we forget to notice we did not put gas in the car.

We forget that there are things in our control and there are things out of our control.
We forget to let  go to some power greater than ourselves.
We forget to revel in the element of surprise.
We forget that when eventually occurs, if it is supposed to.
Or as my father would say "when it's good and ready."

Do you have a when you want to know the answer to now?
Are you trying to force your whens or surrendering to what you can't control?
Do you know when Hurricane Earl is going to hit the East End of LI, exactly? 


BigLittleWolf said...

This is a clear, relevant post to so many areas of life - personal and professional.

I'd like to know when one of the pokers I've put in the fire over the past years will finally yield a result - a paying result. Paying work. Like so many in this country, I still have contributions to make, and abundant skills and experience which may not go entirely unused, but go unpaid.

I want to know when I will have the satisfaction (and relief) of being able to pay my bills again. Something I took for granted for more than 20 years. Something millions of us would like to know, no doubt.

Meanwhile - the US Open! How fabulous to see matches in person! (I'd also like to know when I'll find the time to at least catch coverage this weekend. A sport I admire and love to watch.)

HOTmani said...

Hey Joanne- great post! I so have a WHEN...when will I have the conversation I need to have? WHEN will I have the courage to choose my pleasure above obligations?
So, your blog came at the perfect time!

Love ya-