What I didn’t do on my summer vacation

I wrote this piece a little over a month ago and I’m just now getting around to publishing it which says a lot about how much work I still have ahead of me.  I’m seriously considering a mulligan on the list in question. . .we’ll see.

It isn’t so much what I’ve done as what I haven’t done.  Most notably I haven’t written much of anything in months.  I haven’t touched the guitar in months.  I let myself go and haven’t so much as worked out consistently in months.  That list of goals I compiled around my birthday last year?  I’m pretty sure it’s gather a thin layer of dust inasmuch as dust collects in cyberspace.

I could easily throw in the towel and say I’m never going to get past this rut.  It’s the same rut I’ve feel like I’ve been in for around a decade.  Except the rut doesn’t really exist.  It’s a convenient place for me to hide.  I can look at old journal entries or the sparse writing I’ve done over the years and say “See, I’m still groaning about the same things today.”  That isn’t fair to the work I’ve done though.

I’m not going to go through and list everything I’ve done.  That makes for boring reading and makes me look like a braggart.  The point is that despite some setbacks I can refocus and start working on these goals again.  The truth is we have to be able to give ourselves some grace because we will stumble.

We will get home from work and veg in front television instead of writing.  We will hit the snooze button one more time and not workout in the morning.  We will get frustrated and put the instrument in storage for a season.  And we will look back and be tempted to beat ourselves up over our failures.  Own the failure.  Stumble in the dirt.  Then stand up either through your own power or by reaching out for help, dust yourself off, and start again.

The hardest part is starting.  Don’t derail the start to move forward by staring backward to the past.  One walk around the block, one chord over and over again, or one paragraph to a page.  Whatever goal you are shooting for you will reach in the small day-to-day battles.  Win the skirmishes and don’t worry about the war.

I haven’t written much of consequence in three or four months.  I’ve spent too much time overthinking the situation.  I’ve been waiting for the perfect words.  The perfect words are an idea.  The perfect entry is an illusion.  I may feel the words I write aren’t helpful to anyone, but my silence definitely won’t help anyone.  Neither will yours.  Fight for your dreams.

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