Our engagement has been a whole new experience for me and Katherine. It’s been a time of fun and excitement as we plan our wedding and our life together, of course. It’s also been a time to learn about ourselves, about each other, and about the way we interact. And it’s been a time of developing our bond and our relationships with each other’s families.
But lately, it’s felt like a time of waiting. A practice in patience. It’s been a time of filling out paperwork, waiting for approvals, and calling customer service for the hundredth time. In the midst of consolidating everything and setting ourselves up for future success, we’ve had to jump through a lot of hoops.
In the moment, these hoops are really frustrating. They seem unnecessary, and it’s stressful not knowing if everything’s going to work out the way we want it to. Sometimes, it’s enough to make us want to give up on the whole endeavor. Maybe you’ve been there, too. But in the midst of all of these hoops we’ve been jumping through, I’ve tried to remind myself of a few things that I find helpful.
The hoops are there for a reason.
This is a tough one. But when I start to get frustrated, I have to remind myself that the systems causing me trouble are set up by real people trying to deal with real problems. Do all of these steps make sense to me personally? No, not always. But when I practice a little bit of compassion and try to see it from the other side’s point of view, I can at least acknowledge that their intentions are good.
Hoops are set up as protections. They’re meant to keep me and others from being taken advantage of by those with bad motives. Sure, it can be annoying to fill out more paperwork or try to remember a password I haven’t used in years. But if I didn’t have to jump through those hoops, then nobody else would, either. And if I’m being honest, I don’t really want that.
I’m not saying that every system is perfect. Sometimes, restrictions are put in place unnecessarily or on much too wide a scale. But for the most part, when I look at the logic behind the system, I can usually see why it’s set up the way it is, and it’s almost always to my benefit, even if it doesn’t always feel that way.
The hoops won’t last forever.
Sitting on hold or waiting in line for 30 minutes can feel like an eternity. No one enjoys it. But, as we’ve talked about on this blog before, nothing lasts forever. When I’m feeling annoyed by the amount of time it takes to get through a hoop, I have to remind myself that this, too, shall pass.
That recognition doesn’t necessarily make the waiting any easier. And it still feels like a huge waste of time in the moment. But I always find it helpful to keep in mind that there is an end to it all. Eventually, we’ll get the final mark of approval, and the whole thing will be over. And then, it will all be worth it because…
The hoops get you where you want to go.
Anything worth having is worth working for. Sometimes, that work is a series of hoops that we have to jump through. But the reason we jump through the hoops is because there’s always something worthwhile at the end. Maybe it’s a house or another year of driving legally or a lower phone bill. (I’ve been working on all three of these lately.) For you, it may be something different. But no matter what, there’s a reason for the hoops you’re jumping through, and that reason is worth the effort.
Life in the 21st century can often feel like a long series of paperwork, lines, and phone calls spent on hold. And sometimes, it is. But those hoops have a purpose, they don’t last forever, and we jump through them because they eventually get us where we want to go. Once we’re through them all, we’re free to enjoy the things we’ve worked for with those we love. And isn’t that what we all want anyway?
It’s not a perfect system, but it’s worth it. And that’s why I don’t sweat the hoops too much. Hopefully with these things in mind, you won’t have to sweat them, either.