The Heavy Costume
I am cloaked from head to toe
In pearls and robes
A heavy costume wearing down the soul
Who was it that cast this role?
November 19, 2018
Sunday, 7:00 am
I tried to be lazy with you today. To let you drape your warm blanket around my darkened room. To bring light in without awakening the slumber. But you are not a lazy morning, nor are you warm. You insisted on peaking through; stretching your long and cold fingers into my den. First, you unsettled the laying child next to me. Don’t you know you never do that? It’s said to let sleeping dogs lie, but behold I say let a sleeping child lie! It’s far a greater risk to unsettle the wild hearts than to move an old dog. You show no hesitation.
The Soul never forgets
I am thankful that as we grow and mature; as provision and responsibility call us into our adulthood, as our worried aging minds forget who we aspired to be, who were are at our core, and who we can at any age strive to become, our soul never does. I am thankful for the second, third, hundredth change our soul gives us to settle and be ourselves. I am thankful that my four people, my tribe here at home allows me the flexibility and encourages me to rediscovery.
Most of our Fridays are filled in the same manner of most American Fridays; Netflix and chill. And I’ve come to realize that if the TV is the devil, then Netflix is it’s smarter, faster and more attractive spawn. Our family can get wrapped into its vicious claws of entertaining as it weaves us through dramas, comedies, suspense, and adventure. At the end of every passing weekend that only seems to speed with the children’s age, we find that the days and nights poured over the blue screen, can make us, well, blue. We find that while being entertained with other’s stories and lives, fictional or other, we forget that we have dramas, comedies, suspense and adventures of our own to live, to tell, to get ourselves lost.
Growing up, we stopped trick or treating around age 8 or 9. I don’t remember the exact phrase or conversation that my father pieced together to make this indescribably unfair and illogical announcement make more sense to three adorable blonde headed children. Looking back I’ve always blamed it on the religious fear my father had of succumbing to the “world” and it’s superstitions. Later he became a Southern Baptist preacher, and I’m afraid to say, that’s when most of it started to fall out from there. We never went trick or treating again.
We are free to move about
I have been, and hopefully forever will be in a state of rediscovery. Rediscovering myself, my family, my values, my beliefs, my goals, my life. Moving freely between the labels I place on myself and the labels others have placed upon me. Which ones do I accept, which ones do I grow out of and which ones do I grow into?
But careful, that I do not attach these labels as a definition of who I am. For the existence of these labels, merely pull others into a shared experience, a starting point, an introduction. Not a definition. I am free to move my many labels and rediscover lost as well as new ones.
You are only as good as your next best offer
When it comes to promotions, raises, and money, two of my mentors used to tell me: “you are only as good as your next best offer.”
The coaching goal was to get me to understand that no matter how truly valuable I am when it comes time to assign a dollar amount to that value, in general, and in business, it’s customary that we would receive only as great as our next best offers. Taken under the wrong light, this comment could, in fact, appear like a slap across the cheek. Further still, while exceptions to this statement are certainly not uncommon, make no mistake: we will receive in life, not only what we ask for, but said request grounded against a baseline of our next best offer.
I am not alone
A collection of strokes
Just as every piece of artwork is not one specific pen or brush stroke across a blank page, yet is a collection of all pen strokes that had come before and resulted in the final piece of artwork; similarly, we are not defined by this one moment or a specific period. If taken out, any single brush stroke across the canvas is not enough to identify a standard of said artwork, nor identify subject matter – there is no context for one stroke alone. So too the artwork that is our life.
We are not the bad day in the office, nor the failed attempt to be patient with our sons and daughters. And we are not the projects left undone on our desks and kitchen tables
We are a collection of brush strokes that has taken years to form. There is no context with one stroke. And these brush strokes have been performed by those that have come before us and will come after us.
- in a new or different, typically more positive, way.
2 significant things have happened in our little family life the past couple of months:
- My daughter was invited to play on a summer Super Y soccer team (equivalent to baseball AllStars)
- My company is going through another acquisition.
Through these 2 events there is one resounding take away from me:
You can’t live off the success of the past, every day begins anew
With the Soccer invitation came a new level of skill development for my daughter. She felt out of her league because she was. Everything that she had done up to that point had gotten her to where she was, but now, she’s learning even more.
With the acquisition (both last time and again this season…) I was out of my league, again. Everything that I had done to that point had prepared me for the next step. However, I still had to make that next step. And the next. Then the next. I have to keep going.
While it’s easy to look back and see how far we’ve come, and while we should revel and be proud of those moments, we can not linger there too long. Plateaus come out of complacency. Where there is potential to keep going, one should.
I can not live off the successes of my past. If I do, then that step, and consequently growth is never taken.
MAA Log Day 5: Every Day Begins Anew
I am mindful of all the successes that make up our past and find both pride and joy in them.
I accept that to continue to grow and move forward, I can not live on the success of my past, but make new ones each day. This is in my power and control to work this practice into my daily interactions and challenges.
I appreciate that every day begins anew. Every day I have an opportunity to start again. From where ever it is that I end one day, tomorrow begins again, and my slate is wiped clean.