I work third shift. Unlike some people, I kind of like it. I’ve always been a night owl so it suits me for now. At the end of the night I’m ready to sleep though, and on my drive home that’s all I’m thinking about. “I’ll be happy when I’m in my bed. I can’t wait to get out of this traffic. What the *expletive* is this idiot doing?!” Apparently even if I haven’t been asleep all night, I’m not a morning person.
I listen to a podcast called You Made It Weird with Pete Holmes. Pete is a comedian. On the show, he talks to other comedians, musicians, and occasionally spiritual leaders and scientists.
I haven’t been regularly going church for about a year. The church plant my family helped start closed and we have been slow to find a new one to attend. In place of church, we have a group of friends that support and learn along side each other. In place of a Sunday morning sermon I have podcasts. You Made it Weird is one of the most important things I listen to every week. There are many others that I learn from and am inspired by, but Pete Holmes has an approach to life and spirituality that resonates deeply with me. I have been trying to integrate something he says frequently on the podcast into my life. Don’t postpone your happiness. That is a beautiful idea. It’s also extremely annoying to live with a person who is trying it out. Ask my wife.
Happiness and peace are not the same. I don’t want anyone reading this to get them mixed up. In this case I’m going to insert peace in place of happiness. Don’t postpone your peace.
On my drive home each morning, I look forward to being in my bed, closing my eyes, and drifting into dreamland. I get angry at the slow drivers who are clearly just trying get under my skin, and the fast drivers who ride my bumper until I can get over to let them through. Bullies. It’s a real rage fest in my car. Even the soothing voices of NPR don’t keep me calm. I’ll get some peace when I get home.
It takes me 12 minutes to drive home from work if traffic is clear. 15 on the busiest day. What am I so upset about? Is that extra three minutes worth the stress on my body? This isn’t a game. There’s no prize if I pass more cars than pass me. The same logic applies to every situation. Yesterday I mentioned that peace is waiting to be found all along the journey. Maybe you’re better at this than me, but I tend to think the next thing or the next place will give me peace. I can’t have peace here because something is missing here. I’m not in my bed. This job isn’t perfect. This house is to small. If I had a better guitar, I’d be a better guitar player. You get the idea.
The truth is I can have peace here and now. I don’t have to keep postponing it. Neither do you. Breathe. Look around. Take stock. Realize if you did the first one, you have all you need. You don’t need to be anywhere else at this moment. You don’t need anything else to be who you are. And who are you? Tomorrow.