It seems daunting. It always does. And sometimes, you admit, you let that get the best of you. You give up. You don’t even try. But not today. Today, you got this. Today is your day.
I looked back over the last 32 blog posts and realized they all had something in common – they started as being about me and eventually I might get to a larger, more useful point. This morning, on my run, I realized I’ve been selfish. I realized that if you are reading this, it’s probably not because you have some deep curiosity or schadenfruede-fueled fascination with me or my struggle. Or, maybe you do, but the only reason you might is because you recognize, in me, something you might be dealing with.
I was having a conversation with my friend Bridget this weekend. She’s awesome- everyone pretty much agrees on that- and she told me she likes checking in on this blog because it’s like a little pick-me-up for her week. She’s got three great kids, a great husband, a busy life. Yet, what strikes me is that, despite the pressures of schedule, responsibility, obligation and aspiration, Bridget has a way of being there for you when you need her… sometimes before you even realized you need her.
My friends Krista and Tony are the same way. They show up. But, more than that, they go out of their way for people in their lives. I’ve been lucky enough to be on the receiving end of all of their generosity and caring on more than one occasion. And on this morning’s run, I wondered how I could show up for people.
So that’s why this blog is for you, the reader. It’s Monday, the day after the Super Bowl. We return to our busy lives, our uphill struggles, our Sisyphusian journey up the mountain of work, life, family, friendships, victory and loss. I thought maybe you could use a little encouragement, a little early week pick-me-up. So here it goes:
You’ve got this. No matter how long your to-do list or how heavy your heart, you’ve got this. You’re ready. It doesn’t matter how scared or panicked you are; it doesn’t matter the weight of the dread that faces you, attack it. Get after it. Get it done and out of the way. You’ll feel better if you go for it now and have time later to look back and be relieved than the other way around. You’re tired. You’re not feeling great. Maybe that extra helping of Buffalo dip has got your stomach in knots. Maybe that’s just the feeling of worry about things to come. Either way, it’s not real. See worry and stress, obligation and responsibility, your list and schedule for what they really are: tasks. Tasks don’t judge you. Tasks don’t stop you. They just need to get out of the way.
Go out there and do your run, get through your exercise. It never takes as long as you think and you’ve already worried about it for too long.
Attack your list. Find a small win and get it done first. Then another. And another. You’ll be done before you know it.
You’re schedule is a bear. You have to be in too many places at once. Crank up the tunes in the car on your way. Hum Toto’s “Africa.” Whistle while you work. The items on your calendar can all be accomplished. If they aren’t important – really important – let them go.
You’ve got this because the people involved need you. They need you healthy and strong. They need you happy and rested. You’ve got this because the you eight hours from now needs to be able to look back at the day and think ‘damn, I nailed that.’ You don’t want you in eight hours to look back and say ‘what did I do?’ You’ve got this.
We tend to look at life as a series of big accomplishments. Getting married. Having kids. Their first communion and graduation. Sending them off to college. Retirement. Those are not accomplishments, they are markers. Accomplishments are small. You got the laundry done. You cleared you’re inbox. You made it on time to every meeting and every call. You laughed along the way. You rocked out in the car. You connected with a friend. Don’t save the celebration for the big stuff. Celebrate every check mark on your list, every meeting on your calendar.
You’ve got this.
Take a minute right now – seriously, right now – and realize what you’ve already done. You got out of bed. You hit the ground running. You got the kids out the door and made it through your commute. Be impressed with yourself and make a plan to be impressed when you go to bed. Don’t think about everything you have to do this week. Don’t weigh your mind down. Think about how you’ll use the next hour. Then the one after that. Before you know it, everything will be done. Every item checked off. Every responsibility taken care of.
Then take a moment to reflect, to celebrate, to pat yourself on the back. Today was better than you expected. Tomorrow will be better still.
You’ve got this. I know you do. You’ve got this and that’s worth celebrating. And if you need a little help, watch this and then get back at it: