“Someday I’m gonna climb that mountain.”
It’s 1992 and I’m on my way to Keene, New Hampshire for the first time. As I approached from south of the city I caught my first glimpse of Mount Monadnock. It’s not a huge mountain, but it was the tallest one in southwestern New Hampshire. That’s when I announced I’d be climbing that mountain some day.
And I finally did.
26 years later.
Self-promises and bold declarations are easy to make. But for me, at times, life has been far more talk than actually doing. Years went by as I continued to travel Rte 12, always glancing at the big mass of granite and trees, reminding myself that I’d climb that mountain some day.
After my last birthday I began questioning many things in my life. When you realize you’ve had more birthdays than you’re gonna have your relationship with time changes. With that fresh perspective I decided to gently challenge myself and the collection of things I’d thrown into the rather thick “Someday” file. I wanted to look at each one and decide if it stays or if it goes. And if it stays, when was I actually going to do what I told myself I was going to do?
But this was more than just purging a bucket list. It was me calling myself out, holding myself accountable for my actions, or in many cases, my lack of action. I dove deeper into the reasons why I’d collect these ideas and then never do anything with them. Because without understanding the reasons why I allowed the list to just keep getting longer the list was sure to just keep getting longer.
As a parent I was also concerned with modeling a “talk but never do” behavior. Was that what I was teaching my kids? Just talk about things and never do them? Dream big, kids, but never act upon them? Is that what they saw in me?
I needed to either actually do the things I said I wanted to do or just not say anything at all. For their sake as well as my own.
I was stuck. I wanted but I never moved. And I never moved because I found all the right excuses. And many of those excuses stemmed from a belief system of not allowing myself to experience that which I really wanted to. Because I didn’t think I was supposed to. Eventually I would tell myself I probably didn’t really want to accomplish those things anyway. Talk myself out of the things I knew enough to say I wanted to do but also never allowed myself to do. By not undertaking them I just perpetuated my own belief system that I was stuck and I was somehow supposed to be that way. I want but I won’t because I’m not supposed to is what I had accepted as my truth.
We may not like what we accept as our truth, but it can often be quite comfortable, habitually familiar and safe. Even if it is what’s holding us back.
What personal mountains have you yet to climb? What is it you’ve yet to accomplish? It doesn’t matter. What really matters is why you haven’t done them. What’s the no excuses real reason why you aren’t moving forward with them? What keeps you stuck? Because until you know what keeps you stuck, you’re most likely going to stay stuck.
Perhaps it’s a little soul searching. Perhaps it will be a lot of soul searching.
What ever it takes it’s worth it.
Because your life is far too important to stay stuck.
Funny how when you allow yourself to actually climb your first mountain you then create the momentum to then start climbing the other mountains in your life. The view from the summit was amazing, but the real beauty was in allowing myself to get to the top in the first place.
It’s a great day to be you!
photo: Kyle Loftus