Good things take time. This phrase came to me one day when I felt frustrated in a season marked by constraints. It was (and still is!) a season of having a young child at home, trying to build a business in the fringe, and never feeling like there’s enough time (or coffee) to accomplish all the things my ambitious heart desires. I constantly felt behind.
Friends encouraged me and said, “Wow, you’ve come so far in such a short time! And with a baby!” This seemed crazy -- I felt I was moving at a snail’s pace. The anxiety of being far from the goal is real. Many days I’d sit at the table with massive to-do list in one hand and my precious baby boy by my side and feel overwhelmed with competing emotions. I wanted to do everything on the list and I also wanted to rip it up and sit on the ground and play.
I tried to figure out productivity hacks to get 8 hours worth of work done during increasingly elusive naptimes, but when I searched out tips and tricks the answer in my gut always returned the same: Slow down. Do less. Good things take time. Argh.
I’m certainly not opposed to good things happening quickly -- that’s always my goal. My experience, on the other hand, has been to the contrary.
American society loves a good story of overnight success, and there are some goodies out there. But the truth is always more complex. While these case studies may inspire and amaze, they can also paralyze when things just take longer than I’d want (which is most of the time). I can look at the spring flowers which appear to blossom overnight and want that, without valuing the roots of their trees which took years to burrow deep, hidden and uncelebrated.
In a climate obsessed with speed and results, I’m learning to lean back into (and even enjoy!) the beauty of patience and the long, slow seasons of growing roots. Patience is a concept that needs redemption, because it can so easily be confused for passivity, which I am not about. I am an activator who loves launching new things, so the daily discipline of patience is a challenge.
The truth that “Good things take time” keeps coming back though. As I say yes to an expanded timeline, I can see that true patience is actually a deep trust that the hard, hidden, daily work of putting down roots is not in vain, but it is in fact an essential foundation that allows the flowers to not only bloom in time, but to keep blooming year after year.
The deep trust of patience doesn’t ask, “Is it worth it? Will I ever see the fruit of my labor?” but it is prepared for when good things do come. The truth is that deep roots always bear fruit. Not immediately, but in time.
With Goldpress, despite my ambitions, I’m constantly challenged to grow at an appropriate speed that works for me and my family. Usually the “appropriate speed” is set to “painfully slow”, because I just don’t have the time or energy to do everything that I know could be done to grow a business while working and running after a (very fast) toddler, which is the right choice for me right now. I’m not advocating everyone go at my speed (my son sure does not!), because if the fast train is working for you, go for it! This is instead an encouragement for those who find themselves in this slower season. You don’t have to do everything today, this season, this year.
Speed is not the only metric. In fact, it’s hardly a great metric at all! Don’t be ashamed to play a long game. Good things take time.
"Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished." - Lao Tzu