No Pain, No Gain

I’ve noticed something about myself—a bit of a pattern in the rhythm of my life: Every couple of years I want to burn everything down and start over. I get restless first and crazy shortly thereafter.

I decide I can’t work this job for one more day—or I’ll go crazy. I can’t live in this house for one more day—or I’ll go crazy. I need a baby right now. I have to do this or stop doing that because I NEED a change and can’t go on like this anymore.

I’m at that crazy restless place again. It’s been too many years of the same and I am aching for something different and new.

Usually I get what I want…eventually. I plot and plan, scrimp and save, pester and fuss until the old breaks down and the new is built up around me. And I’m happy—for a while. Life is fresh and new and I’m not bored and restless anymore. I reinvent myself. Find something shiny and new…something different from the monotony of the same.

But right now I am stuck. We have our plans and we know change is around the bend. But that’s the problem…around the bend not right here in my bored little arms. I have to wait. I have to be patient. I have to keep working the job I want to quit. I have to keep living in the house I want to leave. I have to stand still when every fiber of my wild, restless being wants to run away.

There is much learning in the waiting. If I run from what I have, I can never get to what I want. I have to wait patiently through THIS to ever get to THAT.

I’ve been thinking about this restlessness and what it might teach me.  I realize whenever I get uncomfortable in life, I do everything I can to make myself comfortable again.  But I’m starting to wonder if discomfort is actually a very good thing.

After all, if I’m never uncomfortable then what would ever motivate me to move or change? Comfort is nice but it can be very destructive too if it keeps me from ever moving forward. I don’t like feeling wild and restless but this wildness wakes me up and gets me moving.

Not that the whole purpose of life is seeking comfort only. I’m simply saying that discomfort teaches me things comfort never can. Discomfort prods me onward and gives me a catalyst for change.

So I’m trying to value and learn from the wildness inside of me that is always wanting to run away, run on to the next thing. The next thing is probably fine and well—but the waiting and the discomfort—that is fine and well too.

10 thoughts on “No Pain, No Gain

  1. It seems to me, from reading this post, that the problem is caused by passiveness. I get the impression that you wait until you can’t live with a situation, and then become radical in your approach to a solution. How much better it would be if you made little adjustments as soon as something started bothering you… talked to a boss or a neighbor or a friend, and try to find an amicable solution. This would help you to keep on an even keel, and enjoy the work and the life. It would also allow you to work towards goals without feeling great frustration at times. Best wishes. Very happy to hear of all the things that are working out in your life in these times, generally.


    • Maybe you are right, Shimon. I hadn’t really thought about it from that perspective but I can see how little changes along the way would help me stay away from the feeling of desperation. Thanks for the advice.


  2. There is a reason the Bible talks about learning to be content, because it’s not easy. You come by your wanderlust naturally…your dad and I both have it big time. But I am learning every day that God’s ways truly are perfect, and when God decides it’s time everything falls into place for the wanderer to move on and find a wonderful new adventure. “Godliness with contentment is great gain.” 🙂


  3. I know how you feel. That wanderlust has bit hard lately… I keep looking at tickets thinking, “I could just get up and go. Just disappear for a month or two, come back and start fresh. Go see the world and enjoy the different cultures and places!” Glad to know I’m not the only one out there who has that wild urge to be free and throw off the lines and set sail for new places 🙂


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