Pomp and Circumstance
By Resna Marie Brunson, MSC

Universities have been intentional about accommodating the needs of non-traditional students. Many offer online classes, accelerated degree programs and credits for work and life experience; nonetheless, it may feel risky to return to school after several years. It may be difficult to celebrate little successes (finishing a chapter, paper, project) while trying to maintain a work/life balance. The hope of graduating sometimes becomes less of a reality with each difficult assignment. The Bible reminds us not to be weary in doing good  because in the right time we will experience a harvest of blessings if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9)  Applying this biblical principle can motivate us to keep our eyes on the finish line and look forward to hearing pomp and circumstance. Unfortunately life’s journey is not a straight road. There are many twists, turns, potholes, road closures and unexpected detours, with no “accelerated paths.”  Sometimes our journey ends at an unfamiliar place and our “right  time” is not what we had imagined. So how do we find joy and peace with such uncertainty? What is the point of persevering if I am destined to collide with a roadblock? Here are a  couple of suggestions to help will ourselves to keep going. 

Redefine success. Many of us have an idea of our “perfect” life. We have a timeline of what we wish to accomplish and if we achieve our goals on or before our  self imposed due date then we are successful. But… who made up these rules? Years ago I was at dinner with colleagues. I love desserts and commented on my desire to order dessert first as my appetizer but it would not be “proper.” My supervisor said to me “why not? You are an adult.” Here is a secret… you can change your story of success if life throws you a detour or if you simply decide to take another route/eat dessert first. It is really ok to change the rules. 

Don’t anticipate the curves, just go with it. My uncle coined this phrase while teaching me how to drive. When I would become anxious driving on a road with many twists and turns  he would remind me to just “go with the curve.” Sometimes we focus more on what is around the corner or what might happen and lose sight of what is actually in front of us. Yes, there may be obstacles that stop or delay me from reaching my goal. But, for  now I will finish the  assignment that is right in front of me 

Life can be  like a cross country course. One moment you are running on flat ground and the next you are treading through rough  terrain. Sometimes you may  lose hope of experiencing your “right time” or hearing the triumphant pomp and circumstance. You continue to step on landmines and are faced with “no outlet “ signs. Having someone to pace alongside you through life’s marathon can be helpful. 

Ready to take the next step?

Resna Marie Brunson, MSC

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