April Jeppson: What a difference a little perspective makes

Published 8:45 pm Friday, April 19, 2024

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Every Little Thing by April Jeppson

I had a big day today. As a youth, this would have been similar to a final exam or better yet a jazz band concert. Tests rarely stressed me out, but performing a solo in front of all those people? Yeah, that did it every time. I would triple check that my sheet music was in the correct order and try my darndest to not let my nerves get the best of me. I’m sure I didn’t hide it as well as I thought I did.

April Jeppson

In order to distract myself today, I attempted to take on a three-day project in the 90 minutes I had leading up to the meeting. The completion of this task was not necessary today, but my inner monologue would beg to differ. It wasn’t until I noticed I only had 10 minutes left that I awoke from my work frenzy to actually prepare for my meeting.

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Every once and a while, I’ll get a glimpse of myself from an outside perspective. Sometimes I giggle at how silly I am. Other moments I question if I have any social skills at all. My thoughts range from “Oh April, you’re so goofy” to “Why on earth did I just say that?”

Before an important event, I tend to overthink everything. So instead of realizing how capable I am, I start to second guess every decision I’ve made in the last 10 years. It’s odd because the amount of preparation I do leaves little room for error. Even though the truth is staring me right in the face, my nerves try to paint a different picture.

The good news is, I’m aware of these things. I’ve spent 30 years observing my behaviors and asking myself almost daily, “Why did I just do that?” I’ve seen this pattern time and time again. I know that those doubtful feelings looming over me will soon pass. History has shown me that all that time practicing and triple checking has paid off. The concerts, meetings, presentations — they all turn out fine.

Having this level of perspective really only comes with time. This is an unfortunate truth for the young and inevitably impatient. Those that could benefit from a lesson in perspective the most, are the ones that need to wait the longest to learn it. It’s not that they are sitting idly by and waiting to learn.

However, it’s only through their experience that they can truly understand.

As a child, I recall how frustrating it was when someone told me that it would make sense to me when I was older. As an employee I felt that same agitation when my boss would tell me that I’d understand in due time. No! I want to understand now.

Now that I’m the parent and supervisor, I see now that some situations simply need to be lived in order to understand them. Even in movies when the wise old man, who may or may not be Santa Clause, shares wisdom with the curious, it’s not until the end of the film that his words actually make sense. I’m thankful that I didn’t have to wait until the end of my film to learn that it all turns out just fine.

Albert Lean April Jeppson is a wife, mom, coach and encourager of dreams. Her column appears every Saturday.