Everyone faces difficult questions. Moms ask: Should I stay at home with my kids? Should I go to work? What is best for my kids? What is best for me? How do I take care of my children and my finances and my mental health? Is it selfish to have ambitions? Is it okay to focus on myself? Is it better to focus on other people? Are public schools right for my kids? What about charter schools? What about online classes? What about private school? Should I homeschool? Should I move? Should we change jobs? Should we change careers? Should we go to school or not?
If you are in a different situation, you are asking different questions, but they have the same weight. Everyone is asking those sorts of questions all the time.
Sometimes we need to answer the questions and figure something out. But sometimes we are asking the wrong question.
Sometimes I feel like I need to answer a question right away and figure it out. But then I just feel frustrated. I think that if I come up with an answer and I solve it, that everything will be right. And then when there isn’t a solution, I keep trying and trying to make something work.
But often, I don’t need to ask those questions in the first place. A solution can come slowly, if I am patient. Or there may not be a solution.
Sometimes life is not an equation with a variable that you can figure out. Life is a lot more messy than that, with approximations and confusion and imperfection.
We often try to fix things, but in our effort to fix it, we lose the nuance and imperfection and chaos and beauty.
We can throw away the needless guilt. We can throw away the thought that if we somehow tried a lot harder, everything would fall into place. We can stop pretending that we are able to take care of everything and everyone all at once. Because that isn’t going to happen. There are tradeoffs.
So instead of trying to solve life like a math equation, just do the best you can in the messy chaos.
This applies to everything in life. We want solutions. We want to fix things. But politics and housing prices and healthcare and viruses don’t have one easy solution. Things are complicated. There is usually not one solution that works great for everyone.
Except loving other people. And prayer. And gratitude.
Come to think of it, being grateful for what we have is a good way to start solving things in the right way.