“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? Continue reading “Maybe Your Truth Is What’s Holding You Back?”
Maybe we shouldn’t have bought her the car?
Recently we needed to get my daughter a car to get her to and from school. She did all the research, scouring the local dealerships’ websites for her first car. My job was easy; I just needed to pay for it.
She settled on a used, rather sporty Honda Civic, two door coupe. Her only concern?
She didn’t know what the clutch was for.
The car was perfect, except for the fact it had a stick shift. My job was to teach her the art of driving with a manual transmission. At some point it just became easier for me to simply drive the car myself.
I had forgotten how much I had always enjoyed driving with a stick shift. I had gotten used to the less-involved, far more simplistic version of driving with an automatic transmission. But just like riding a bicycle I quickly regained the mechanics of smoothly negotiating gas-clutch-shift. For the first time in years I felt like I was actually driving, an active participant interacting with the road ahead. No more free ride for my left foot.
The biggest difference in driving a stick? Awareness. You focus far more intensely on things you wouldn’t ordinarily need to when driving an automatic transmission. You need to more fully understand your environment, observing and accounting for the contours and elevations of the road, shifting and adjusting accordingly, listening to and feeling the vibration of the engine in order to purposefully and intentionally respond with the fluidity and grace of a tai-chi master. A rather tactile experience. Continue reading “Life Is A Journey, But Are You The One Who’s Driving?”
Steve grimaced after completing the four-mile hike. He had been favoring his left foot for most of the walk. He sat on the bench, took off his boot, and removed the annoying pebble from his boot. He mentioned the stone found its way into the boot early on in the hike. “So, why didn’t you stop and remove it once you first noticed it?” I asked. “Well”, said Steve, “I guess I just kind of got used to it after a while.”
Life can often feel the same way, can’t it? Disappointments and discomforts become something we just decide to live with, even if on some level we know it doesn’t have to be that way. But sometimes we get stuck in an emotional place for so long we simply accept our temporary situation as our permanent reality.
Perhaps in some areas of your life you’ve gotten used to struggling because you’ve just struggled for so long? Have you settled for being disappointed in a less-than-ideal relationship because that’s just how it’s always been? Or perhaps there’s a career move you’d love to make but you’ve decided your lot in life is for you to stay who you already are instead of becoming all you’ve been created to be? Simply because that’s what you’re used to?
Continue reading “Go Unstuck Yourself”
The real question is why didn’t anyone bother to ask why he was sitting on a wall in the first place…
When you think about the elliptical shape of an egg it’s not really surprising Humpty Dumpty had his great fall, is it? When you factor in gravity, an egg on top of a wall is an accident waiting to happen. And in Humpty’s case that’s exactly what happened.
Sure, all the king’s horses and men tried their best, but, as the story goes, they couldn’t put Humpty back together again.
Too little too late.
Sometimes we find our own emotionally elliptical-shaped self teetering atop of our own walls, and with one small change in circumstance we, too, can find ourselves in pieces on the floor, hoping the horses and men (and women) in our own life will be there trying to help us piece our emotional self back together again. And while it’s good to have friends to help you pick up your pieces, wouldn’t it be better if they never let you fall in the first place? Continue reading “Please Don’t Wait Until I’m Broken To Fix Me”
“No one ever loses their Christmas spirit…they just misplace it.” – Santa
I had a rather impromptu conversation with Santa at an event at my daughter’s school earlier this week. The topic? Christmas spirit. It seems like many people find the holidays to be less than joyful, more “no, no, no” than “ho, ho, ho”, and I wanted to get his take on the matter.
The loss of Christmas spirit goes beyond just having far too many things to do to get ready for the holidays. It’s much deeper for some, sometimes quite painful, the memories of what used to be, the reminders of what never was, the people who’ve gone and the emptiness now left behind. Sometimes witnessing the joy others experience during the holidays provides us with the contrast which only intensifies the emptiness and the lack of joy we feel is missing from our own lives.
I’ve been examining my own Christmas spirit of late and I see I, too, have let the joyous light of the spirit of the season grow dim within me. Not intentionally, but the light isn’t shining as brightly as it once did. I do remember when Christmas was a time of awe and wonder, of magical possibilities, of I’m-so-excited-I-can’t-even-sleep kind of excited, of joyous expectations! Continue reading “Santa’s Most Precious Gift Is Never Found Under A Tree”
There’s a reason you’ve never seen a sunflower plant in any image depicting the North Pole.
Sunflowers don’t grow there.
Plants are at the mercy of their environment. The proper soil, the mix of nutrients, the amount of water, temperature, and sunshine can mean life or death to a plant. So many external variables impact their viability and growth.
And there’s not a single thing a plant can do about it.
As humans, we, too, are greatly impacted by the environments we find ourselves in. Some environments are conducive to growth and thriving, while others will never let us Continue reading “Picking Sunflowers in the North Pole”
You should have seen me, standing alone on stage under the bright lights with the shinning award in one hand and my prepared speech in the other, ready to thank the Academy.
Of course, the only place you could have seen this play out was in my mind. Because it never actually happened.
Sometimes when I’m watching those award shows on TV I playfully wonder who I would thank in my acceptance speech for winning a Grammy. I envision myself emotionally thanking everyone who has gotten me to this point, those who believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself, my family, my mentors, the fans…and, of course, Mom! Continue reading “Who Will You Be Thanking For All You Have Become?”