Monday, May 2, 2011

I wish...

When I was a little girl, I believed that every time my mom drove through the rainbow tunnel connecting SF to Marin County I could hold my breath and make a wish and it was sure to come true. I spent years turning blue and wishing my heart out for all the things I wanted. Well actually for just one thing; a snoopy snow cone machine. There was nothing I wanted more. I knew that if I could just get my hands on one of those awesome pieces of snow cone making magic, my life would be perfect. I also knew (because I was a young girl and young girls know all there is to know about making wishes) that if I told anyone about my wish it would never come true. The only way to really get my snoopy snow cone machine was to keep hush-hush; it was my secret, my wish.

Every time I went through that tunnel, I wished. Every time I blew out birthday candles, I wished. Every time I blew an eyelash off my finger or scattered the pollen off a flower, I wished. I held my breath and wished for years.

Unfortunately my wishes were not granted. I did not get my snoopy snow cone machine and eventually I stopped wishing for it. Then one day when I was 17 and no longer vying for snow cones I jokingly told my mother the story about how my wish had never come true.

Do you know what she said?

“Sarah, I had no idea you wanted that. If you had told me, I would have gotten you one. It’s no use making a wish you never express, how can you ever expect it to come true? You need to ask for what you want.”

Best advice I have ever gotten.

Best advice I often forget.

The BF and I drove to Marin this weekend and driving through the tunnel I habitually drew in a big gulp of air, puffed out my cheeks and wished. I did not wish for a cool toy or a new dress or a bigger bank balance. I wished I were healthier. It was unconscious. I didn’t plan out this wish. I wasn’t holding out for this car ride in order to finally declare my needs, it just happened.

Can anyone relate? Has anyone ever wished they were thinner or fitter or smarter or younger? Did you tell anyone? I am not talking about whining about it over drinks with your friends (I’ve done that) and I’m not talking about saying negative things to yourself repeatedly until you feel bad (yep, done that too). I’m talking about actually saying out loud (to the wall, your BF or your dog) with no judgment and not a hint of self-loathing, what it is you want. Then after you have declared your wish, figure out what it is you need to do to get it.

Sarah the 6 yr old had only a few options for getting a snow cone machine: telling my mother or asking grandma or Santa Claus were my only choices. But Sarah the 34 yr old who would like to be a little healthier can actually do something about it.

It’s time to stop wishing for things that you are not willing to take the initiative to get.

Want to be healthier? Stop holding your breath and make a change. By telling yourself and the people around you what it is you are trying to accomplish you will receive the support you need to make your wishes come true. This does not mean that wishing upon a star no longer has it's place. I think there is nothing greater than hope and wishes and magic but if you aren't willing to work hard for your wishes than the magic of the world can never help you get them.

In the end I did get my snoopy snow cone machine. My mom found one at a garage sale and gave it to me for my 18th birthday. Moral: wishes do come true, if you make them.