Do you remember?

For the past few nights I have been sorting memories. Ok, old papers and pictures, but they are bringing up a lot of memories. Many good. Some painful. Some things I haven’t thought of in over 10  years…or more. I have come across memoribilia from a couple of things I don’t remember doing, but I am in the pictures. (That isn’t a good feeling.) I have run across evidence of things I know I did that I wish I could forget. And, I have been bombarded with a lot of good memories.

I have enjoyed the trip back in time. It wasn’t intended as a pleasure trip though. I have been searching through this stuff to see what I can remember (or find out) about myself. Who I was back then has a bearing on who I am today. I may be completely different, but where I am now started back down that road. Parts of it have grown fuzzy. I have noticed that we tend to forget things about ourselves. Sometimes, they are very important things. Pieces of who we are and why. Life presses down on us so hard that we forget. Have you ever had times like that?

For instance, I was almost a straight A student when I was in grade school. There were a few Bs here and there, but I did really well. What do I remember? I was very unmotivated in High School. Lots of Bs and Cs. I was just as bad in college. What happened? I made the Jr. Honor Society as a kid, but I had to have my Plant Biology professor grade my final before I left the class to make sure I would pass the class so that I could graduate from college. (I was happy with the D I made in that class at the time, but looking back now I know I could have done so much better.) I still haven’t figured it all out, but I know there is something important I am missing there.

How long has it been since you examined who you are now compared to who you were back then? History really does repeat itself if we forget or neglect to remember. If we forget where we have been, we may make the same mistakes we made long ago. We may be bound by the same problems that should have already been over.

It has been painful to see my younger self in some of the pictures. (I had an unhealthy fascination with posing for the camera.) But, it has been amusing at the same time. There are things I have remembered by looking at these pictures that have been long forgotten. It has been an interesting look in the mirror. One I should have taken before now.

Grateful for the routine.

Tonight an old friend called me on the spur of the moment to see if I had plans for the evening. It was a flexible evening and I headed out to see him and had a good time hanging out. It was fun to get out for a bit and do something out of the ordinary. I am glad I went. One thing hit me when I got home. I missed getting to be a part of the evening routine of hanging out with my family and then getting our son down to sleep.

When I got home I went back to my bedroom and my wife and son were both fast asleep. I felt a sense of loss as I looked at the two of them. The time we get to spend of an evening is a special time. It usually involves chasing the boy around the house and wrestling with him. It involves reading to him and then fighting with him to get him to stay still long enough to let sleep catch up to him. Then, when it is all said and done there is an awesome quiet that settles over the room. A peace that is amazing.

Marixa and I get a chance to catch up if he has gone to sleep early enough. We get to really talk to each other and dive deep into conversation. (That is hard with the little guy around sometimes. Can’t get too far into a conversation when Mama or Daddy gets said over and over!) I enjoy that quiet time we get to spend with each other talking over our boy as he sleeps.

I am grateful for the life that I have been given. I love the routines that we do together. I love the time we get to spend. It was fun to do something out of the ordinary this evening and I am glad I did. I do look forward to being back in the routine tomorrow. It is good stuff.

There comes a point when you have planned enough…

If you could win awards for drawing up brilliant plans, I am not sure I would win one. I make good plans all the time. I am not sure they are brilliant, but I do have some good ones though. I sit down and plan out my attack on whatever goal it is. Then I sit down later and plan it out a different way. Then I sit down even later and plan it out again. Did I mention that no execution followed any of the planning?

I don’t know if I just like looking a problem and figuring out ways to get around it (on paper), or I have just been scared to get my butt moving and follow one of the many plans I have drawn up (whatever the goal may be). It struck me yesterday that a plan isn’t worth a nickle if it isn’t put into action. It is just some dreams scribbled on a piece of paper. It only becomes reality when you do the work. And it may look very different when the plan is executed than you thought it would when you started off.

I was reading a blog post by Michael Hyatt the other day. He interviewed Alison Levine about her expeditions to climb Mount Everest. The first time she attempted it was in 2002 and she (and her team) had to turn back when they were 200 feet from the summit. Things did not go to plan. She took a team back to Everest last year and was able to complete the climb.

She had a plan. She set about the execution of that plan. However, she said in the video that even though they had a plan, there are times you have to take action based on the situation at hand and not necessarily stick to the plan. In her first climb the climate and situation dicatated that they turn back. There may have been major injury or death had they stuck to the plan.

I had to sit and think about the message she shared. A plan is just that a plan. It has to be put into action. It is what initially gets you moving. Once you are moving though, you have to be aware of what is going on around you. There may be things you didn’t plan for and you have to take action. Even if the plan isn’t brilliant, it can be updated on the go. The point is to get moving.

An inadvertent hiatus.

I have been on an inadvertent hiatus. It has been apparent over the last few months that my posting frequency has slowed way down. Some of this was on purpose. The first week or so anyway. I intended to take a break from the keyboard to catch up on some other stuff. I had no intentions of letting 2 months go by with very little time at the keyboard, but alas here we are.

I have attempted to sit down many times of late to start a new post. I have some things that I am going to write about in the near future, but every time I sit down to get at them they elude me. Has this ever happened to you? I park it right here in front of my screen and this heavy feeling hits me square in the face. I look at my list of topics. I pick one to start. I stare at the screen for several minutes. Frustrated I pick another topic. I sit for several minutes more. Frustrated, I get up from the computer vowing to do better tomorrow. Steven Pressfield calls this The Resistance. Over the past couple of months I have really discovered why he calls it that.

Have you ever faced The Resistance? That voice in your head telling you everything you do sucks so you shouldn’t even try? It is there. It is annoying. How do you get through this resistance though? Mr. Pressfield wrote a whole book about it called The War of Art. (Check it out if you haven’t. I don’t agree with every word of it, but it is a good read none the less.) One of the ways that I have discovered to break through The Resistance is this: I have to be willing to write some really awful stuff and keep writing anyway. This is extremely hard for me. I am the worlds worst at writing a few paragraphs and then rewriting and then deleting them all together.

I have discovered that I have to write through my whole idea first, even if I know what I am writing sucks. After I get the whole idea out, then I am allowed to edit. I catch myself going back on this a lot. I am still learning, but it seems to help.

What do you do to break through The Resistance?

If I did this in 8 weeks, what can I do in 80?

I have a workout program that I have been saving for 9 years. I did the workout routine in 2002 and have kept it ever since vowing that I would pull it back out one day. (Secretly knowing that I probably never would.) It is an 8 week program that is meant for guys younger than me, but I pulled it back out 8 weeks ago and am proud to say I finished it this morning.

I had one of those moments two months ago where I decided enough was enough. It was time to either get moving or get moving. There was no other choice. So, after much digging through old files I found the workout program and dusted it off. I had to reteach myself what many of the exercises were and how to do them properly, but in the end I am very satisfied with the progress I have made. Satisfied enough, that I am going to start the 8 week program over on Monday and see where I get in another 8 weeks.


This brings me to this thought: If eight weeks could make me feel this good, what would 80 do? I have done my best to give this workout program my best effort. I have been sore many times, but it hasn’t stopped me from going back for the next round. What would this approach lead to if worked over a larger scale of time?

That thought leads me to the next one: in what other areas of my life can I apply this principle? If I am setting goals for the areas of my life that I want to improve and give it my best, why wouldn’t positive things happen? Answer is: they would.

I am angry with myself for my lack of motivation over these past nine years. I have done several workout plans, but have never stuck to one like this. I have no excuse for that. What has been the difference this time? I have tracked my progress. I have made notes so I won’t forget what has happened. I have done all of this with intention. No random acts. It has had purpose. It has been good.

So, I sit here at my keyboard 10+ pounds lighter than I was at the beginning of May and super excited to see what the next 8 weeks (and 80 weeks) holds. There will be other areas of my life that will be worked on in the next 8 weeks as well. More to follow!