We might be surprised how many times we ask this question “What comes next?” Remember learning a new game, particularly one you found enjoyable? As you learned the rules and how to play, your mind probably raced constantly to what came next. It has been said that play is the work of childhood. In play, we learn the skills we will need throughout our lives. These lessons are constant and ongoing. Looking for what comes next becomes a natural part of our growing up.
I had the privilege of attending all six years of elementary school in the same building. We literally started at one end of the building-the “new” addition and worked our way to the basement of the “old” building, finally ending up upstairs in the old building. The whole progression through that school was a series of anticipating what came next.
My elementary school had a massive playground. Many of the swings, slides, monkey bars and so forth were only available to be used by the older kids. We used to look forward to what next as we became old enough to use the playground equipment reserved for the big kids.
The last piece of equipment I remember being big enough to ride was called the Ocean Wave. It was sort of like a merry-go-round. Only it did not just go around and around. It went in and out like a wave. When it got going really fast, it was a challenge to hang on. Every child in that school looked forward to the day what came next was being able to ride the Ocean Wave.
Another thing we had that school was the woods. To the little kids it seemed as if the woods went on forever. Of course, they didn’t. One of the things that added to that mystery was that there were degrees of how far you could go into the woods. There were two or three very low fences in the woods. Little kids had to stop at the first fence. It was fun just going into the woods, but reaching the fence made us eager for what came next. It was worth the wait. Further, back in the woods there were some rock formations that provided some great opportunities for the older kids to play more grown up games.
Reaching the point where we could go as far as the fence at the end of the woods was actually disappointing. Suddenly, there was no what came next. We were there. Sometimes in our lives we reach the fence at the end of the woods. What comes next is either unattainable or no longer exciting. Sometimes what comes next can be confusing, especially when we hear many people telling us many versions of what comes next.
That confusion can result in our getting stuck, unable to move toward what comes next. What might be next can sometimes be scary and confusing. We all know that we cannot go back to what was even if that seems comfortable. We must keep moving to what comes next, even if it seems uncertain.
As we move forward, it can sometimes be fun to take a mental journey to look at our journey up to this point and remember all the exciting things we discovered and experienced as we went through the things that came next at each stage of our lives. Let’s use the memories of these discoveries to embrace what is coming next for the new adventure, the growth that it will be for each of us. How do you feel about what comes next?If you would like to receive new As We Move Forward posts, please subscribe to the As We Move Forward mailing list by clicking here. I release entries on a bi-weekly basis.
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