We have an unofficial motto in our house.
In fact, since we don't even have an official motto, we could just promote this one from its unofficial status, but I don't think we'd attract more guests to our dinner table with "Delayed Gratification" painted above the door.
Our lives have been about waiting. With the idea (and hope) that all that waiting pays off in the end.
We've watched friends and family travel. Buy new cars. Buy new houses. Have the latest technology. Have even no-so-latest technology that we still didn't have.
Hubster and I haven't traveled. We drive at least one of the ugliest cars in the parking lot. We don't have smart phones, laptops, or fancy mp3 players.
We watched our friends drive their shiny new cars and go on their exotic trips. And then we went to class.
I was the girl in high school who had the detailed 10 year plan. The girl who knew exactly what she wanted. Amazingly enough, I've stuck with that plan.
My 10 year high school reunion is a couple of months. And although I won't be able to go, I'm proud of what I've accomplished in that time frame.
There have been times when it has been unbelievably tough. Times I wasn't sure we were going to make it. Times that I curled up on the kitchen floor and bawled my eyes out about how hard it all was. Times we've looked at the bills, looked at the bank account, and then back again, not sure how to make the math work.
It will all be worth it.
That's what we've kept telling ourselves during this long path.
That giving up all that extra time, that going one hundred thousand dollars in debt for our education, that just waiting would all be worth it.
It seems like we've been saying that for a very long time.
Yes, my 10 year plan is now a 15 year plan. But I've already done the first 10 years. There are only a few more.
One day, I was venting to my mom that I felt like I was giving everything up, and it seems so easy for other people, and how could I keep going when it would take so long, and I'm going to be 30! Well, someday. Her response has kept me going. All those years are going to pass. One way or another, they are going to pass. I'll be 30 whether I went to medical school or not. I'll be 30 whether I did residency or not. So, since I'm going to be 30 someday, what did I want to do with the time it took to get there.
I would rather put my shoulder down, work hard, be a doctor with an amazing family at the end of that time rather than have spent the time driving a (now not) new day and having (no longer) new technology.
We teach it to our boys.
That sometimes, the things you have to wait for are better than the things you can have right now.
On second thought, maybe I will paint it above the door.