“Meg, are you ready?” I said over my cell phone.
“Whhhhhhhhatttttt? Ohhhhhh. What time is it?” she said as though she was in another world.
“It is 5 minutes before we arrive to pick you up. I am assuming you have all your stuff packed and ready to load, right?” I said, knowing the answer.
“You are almost here? No…I’m not ready,” she said.
“As in not ready, you mean you haven’t even started to pack?” I asked.
“Daddddddd. I have been sooooooo busy with finals and practicing my music,” she said in defense.
“Well, we are there in just a few minutes. Get up and let us into your dorm,” I said with a resigned tone.
As my wife and I came to the door of our daughter’s building, she slowly opened the door and this is what we saw.
And this is the readiness we found upstairs.
I stopped myself and thought, “Mike, you know how lucky you are to be able to arrive and move your daughter out of her dorm room. Let it go that she isn’t ready.”
I found myself cursing a bit as we loaded boxes and lugged them down the stairs to the car. But mostly I found myself engaged by the rites of passage taking place. I was watching my daughter go through what I experienced 25 years ago. How blessed am I?
The point is we constantly need to remind ourselves about what is most important. The saying, “Don’t sweat the small stuff – and it’s all small stuff” holds true. Meg wasn’t ready and her room was a train wreck. So what? Isn’t the most important thing that I had a chance to be present? To see her through her first year? To see remarkable growth, albeit short on proactive planning? Yes, that is what matters.
The next time you find yourself in a moment of friction, ask the question: “What is really important in this situation?” Whatever your answer is, go focus on that.