I have a theory. For all you avid book-readers out there, you might get what I’m saying. For those of you who aren’t literary-inclined, just bear with me. My favorite English nerd supports this theory, so I think it’s pretty legit. Here it goes.
Think back to the best book you’ve ever read. When you first pick it up, you move slowly through the first couple pages, noticing all the tiny details, focusing on all the individual words. The left of the book feels light with foreshadowing, while the right side weighs heavy with potential. It’s drawing you in, a little bit at a time.
If it’s a good book (it has to be for the sake of my theory), you begin to flip through the pages faster. The left side starts to feel even with the right side, as the beginning transitions to the middle of the story. You’re engaged. Entertained. Enthralled.
Now the Sweet Spot of a book comes right after the middle. You’re a little more than half way through, but not close enough to the end yet. You’re not paying attention to every single word, or every single detail. Instead you don’t even feel like you’re even reading. You’re absorbing the story, devouring the book. It doesn’t matter that you’re missing the tiny nuances that the author meticulously placed in. You’re experiencing the story in a completely different way, in a way that goes deeper than the words. You’re immersed in the story and you keep reading and reading, you can’t stop and you don’t want to, and you don’t even notice the number of pages dwindling by the minute, and
Then it’s over. The end of the book. Of course you knew it was coming, but you didn’t want it to come that quickly.
Now take this theory and apply it to life. Say, senior year. I’m in my Sweet Spot of college. Currently, I’m on campus, planning for our New Student Orientation Program. I’m on the Steering Committee and part of my responsibilities is to plan the 4-day program for the new incoming freshmen as well as the training for staff (who comes in a week! ah!). I’ve been looking forward to this time of year since January, but also dreading it’s arrival.
Now that doesn’t make sense, right? I knew that this month of August would be the start of the Sweet Spot. I knew I would be immersed in planning, laughing, bonding, growing, leading and I would start to forget the details and just be overcome by the experience and the unique feeling that I get from this group of people and program. And I knew I would love it. And I knew it would go so fast.
I didn’t want it to start because I didn’t want it to end. Read that again. I didn’t want it to start because I didn’t want it to end. How ridiculous is that? (My favorite English nerd told me so as well). And now that I’m here, exactly in the middle of Steering Training, I was right. It’s FLYING by but I’m loving it. I’m so happy. It’s the perfect Sweet Spot. I never want it to end.
I wrote that part of the post a couple days ago and didn’t know how to finish it. Right after I ended that last sentence, the rest of the Steering Committee and I went to have dinner with the President of Villanova, Father Peter. (You read it right. We had dinner with the President. He cooked us dinner and we drank wine and laughed. Check that off my bucket list.) During that dinner, I found myself having a true moment of awe. I was surrounded by probably the most wonderful people I’ve ever known, eating dinner with a man that every Villanovan admires. I felt full of joy. I kept thinking “yea, this is it. I made it.”
One of the advisers for Orientation is fond of the phrase “Enjoy it.” Simple, two words, but has refocused me during this Sweet Spot. Instead of calculating how many days are left, or evaluating how I’m changing or what I’m learning, I find myself just enjoying it. Letting the all the emotions of this experience wash over me so I can just soak it in. Of course Orientationland will come to an end, just like all Sweet Spots do, but hopefully if I just sit back and take in the moments, I won’t feel so empty after it ends. That’s the difference between books and life. Books have a last page, while life keeps getting written.
Here’s to Sweet Spots & Enjoying it.
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