Meet our writers

Win $1,000

Reflections August 2012

Golden Ponderings

Be Careful What You Wish For…Because It Might Come True

By CJ Golden

And that’s the big problem with spending our time wishing for things we think we want in life. We are not specific enough and all too often find ourselves living a scenario that is not quite what we had imagined.

There I was in beautiful San Diego, knowing that I was to leave the next morning to fly back home. That was fine – I’d had a great visit with my cousins and was ready for a return to the “real world” and my comfortable life in Connecticut.

The one big negative was that my American Airlines flight from San Diego Airport to JFK was leaving at the ungodly hour of 7:45 a.m. Is there really a functioning world earlier than 10:00 a.m.? If there is, I am not usually privy to it. Left to my own devices I would awaken at the crack of noon rather than the crack of dawn.

Oh, how I bemoaned my fate of having to take that early a flight; I so desperately wished for a later departure.

And that, dear friends, is the set up for the title of this article. For when I arrived at the airport I was informed my flight was delayed until 8:15. Not a major delay, but one that would have allowed me another half-hour of sleep that morning. Eventually, seated comfortably in my tiny corner in the passenger cabin, I buckled myself in, turned off my cellphone and iPad and readied myself for the departure. Except that it didn’t happen. The departure part, that is. Instead, the other passengers and I were informed by the pilot that due to severe weather in New York, we would not be leaving for another 2-½ to 3 hours.

There it was – the later flight I had been wishing for! Just not quite the way I had envisioned it. Actually, I had it wrong. I should have been wishing for a flight that would allow me to sleep a bit later in the morning.

And that’s the big problem with spending our time wishing for things we think we want in life. We are not specific enough and all too often find ourselves living a scenario that is not quite what we had imagined.

How many times have you wished you were back with old friends, enjoying the parties, camaraderie and chats you had with them when you lived in the same neighborhood?

How much time do you waste wishing that you had more work/or less work, or more leisure time/less time on your hands?

Then when your dream comes true you discover those old friends are not the same people they were (or you thought they were) when you lived near each other. They’ve become boring, or boorish, rather than the delightfully charismatic folks who graced your life way back when you were together? (Hmmmm, maybe they were always that way but you never noticed?) Or possibly that desire for your workload to increase/decrease comes true but now you find yourself too busy/bored? And when that leisure time thing you had longed for happens you discover it has created a lethargy that becomes painfully tedious.

We waste a lot of time wishing for that which we think will provide us with a better or happier life. So much time, in fact, that it too often depletes our ability to focus on the good we already have in our lives. If I hadn’t lost precious hours grumbling about having to get up at 4:30 this morning, I might have enjoyed the gorgeous sunrise that nature had provided for me as a perk for rising early. Would my flight still have been delayed? Of course it would have. However, my time and my mind would have been put to better use wishing that I learned to enjoy the early morning hours, thus relieving anxiety about the timing of the flight.

When we take the time to create our wish list we need to mindful about just what it is we hope to achieve. Do we want more time for creativity or play? Or friends who are congenial and fun to be around? Perhaps we want to keep working but have the ability to be a bit more carefree when we have time off. Whatever our dreams might be, we need to be oh, so clear about what we want the outcome to be. That’s when we can be proactive about helping bring our desires to fruition, and are truly content when our wishes do come true.

When the genie asks you what you want – you’ve got to be specific!


CJ Golden's book, Tao of the Defiant Woman, combines Taoist acceptance with healthy defiance to challenge negativity and achieve inner peace.

Meet CJ