When I first registered the web address for this blog, I was downright giddy. Finally, I was going to build a creative outlet for myself. I sat on my bed pecking away at my laptop on a Friday night, hammering out my mission statement, which would eventually evolve into my About page.
Dang, I was excited! I couldn’t wait to share how I was turning over a new leaf in life. Not only that, but this blog would hold my feet to the fire so I would have no choice but to maintain my momentum.
So much was going on: I took an email creative coaching course, which in addition to inspiring my blog development also encouraged me to meditate for the first time in decades.
After many years of thinking it might be fun, I was actually taking drum lessons. Every other Wednesday night after work I would sit at a drum set in my teacher’s basement feeling self-conscious but trying my best to be sweetly patient with myself.
I was determined that when opportunities or ideas presented themselves, I would no longer look the other way—I would jump right in. This would include all kinds of things, from the simple and brief to the more demanding and long-term.
As soon as I saw a post on my community Facebook page, I signed up for a Saturday morning knife skills cooking class.
After several years of seeing a hot air balloon floating around our area, I contacted the local guy who pilots the balloon, asking if I could come photograph one of his launches. What an experience! I’m sure actually going up in the balloon is even more incredible, but that’s going to require a bit more guts (and money) on my part.
Next up, I was going to get back into practicing yoga. And I visited a rock climbing gym that was near my office and inquired about classes for beginners.
It was at this point that things began to fall apart. A nagging thumb injury flared up and made drumming unwise. Yoga and rock climbing were put on hold before they even got started.
In addition to my physical limbo, I seemed to be placing myself in a mental limbo. I would write and re-write the aforementioned About page over and over, clearly putting off drafting my first actual post.
I started to feel like a fraud: How could I launch my blog when I was in such a funk? What kind of example would I be? I was wallowing, and it wasn’t pretty.
But as I thought about it, I realized that this situation is basically what this blog is all about—hesitating, getting stuck, questioning yourself. And then taking a deep breath and finding a way out, a way up.
The day after July fourth I stopped letting my thumb get the best of me, and I started a new effort to become a morning person—the kind of person who gets up early to exercise. The kind of person I am not.
Much has been written recently about the ability to change your behavior. I’ve read that you can create a new habit in 21 days, or possibly 30 days—some manageable, magic-sounding increment of time.
It’s been more than a month now, and I’ve been getting up earlier about three, four, sometimes even five mornings a week to take a walk. The trees and flowers smell incredible at that hour. The dog walkers are out. The construction workers are arriving at their sites. The hills in my neighborhood are a challenge and it feels great to move—to literally step my way out of the hole into which I was sliding.
So, here’s to making this new routine stick. And here’s to launching a blog even when you aren’t feeling on top of the world. In the words of author Elizabeth Gilbert, whose recent book Big Magic inspired me to finally start this blog, “You are allowed to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress simultaneously.”
Progress is the key word. Even, and especially, when you’re challenged.
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