Dress Rehearsal to 50 with only six months more to practice before my debut!

Don’t see it, don’t hear it, don’t speak it…it is what you know…just be.

Time to stop the guesswork

Run don’t run, eat don’t eat, work don’t work, sit don’t sit…it’s insanity! Everything we are supposed to do, we aren’t. Everyone we are supposed to be, we shouldn’t. Where is the line and who decides when you cross over? What I know is that when I run I am a better version of me. What I know is when I don’t obsess over what I eat, I eat less and better. What I know is when I put boundaries around work, I have more expertise. What I know is that I can’t sit…I just don’t know how.

Six months before my 50th birthday and I am finally realizing that the first 49.5 years were the dress rehearsal for what will be the best days of my life. I have spent 49.5 years learning how other people do “it” and then trying “it” on for size. Well I finally know what works for me and now I need to do “it” and move on to the greatest performance of my life, my 50’s.

I know what styles fit my body best and it is not likely that after 50 years this will change. I know what foods work in my system best, as no one has a system like mine. I know how to do my job best for the company that is the perfect fit for me. I know what I know and for those things there should be no more decisions. Let knowing be the decision allowing more time for those mysteries that remain.

Figuring out the last act

What I believe lies in front of me, in the next six months is to figure out the rest. Those things that I have not found the fit. The monkey brain that cannot slow down, cannot stop thinking, cannot relent that is what is left to figure out. Even for that I know the course to take yet continue to stumble as it takes over. The noise, the never ending cacophony of what I should be doing all the time is the next frontier. Do I meditate, do I use oils, do I listen to spa music all day, do I watch tv, read, walk, sleep…RIGHT down the RABBIT HOLE I go!!!

I know what I know. We all do. It is just a matter of putting it all in its place. I control the mind, it does not control me. I control the reaction regardless of what plays out in front of me. Just like the brands I choose to buy, the people I surround myself with, the life I have created…I ultimately have control of this monkey mind and that is the mantra, the final act I will rehearse for the sake of sanity.

Putting it in place is the easy part. Playing it out is where the rubber meets the road. Easy to do when the day is yours to decide. Hard-as-heck when the pressures of life have their way with you.

Life as I live it – L.

Seeking Normal – Day 8

Day 8 prompt:

Is wanting control in every single aspect of our life normal? Control over every emotion, person, stressors, etc. that are in my life…

My answer:

I could not have known a year ago when writing this prompt journal that it would be put to the test in a pandemic that has taken our entire idea of normal and turned it upside down. Control is what we do not have right now and it is truly showing the character of a nation. We cannot go outside of our homes, or shouldn’t, and that is where the control in our lives exists. Controlling our exposure to the virus means doing our part to stay isolated.

I don’t know if “wanting control” is normal but it creates comfort because when you are “in control” you are not a victim of other environments. Having the choice is a pivotal characteristic of control. When you can choose, you have control. It is where we don’t have choice that we find ourselves victimized. I don’t want to be anyone’s victim and that has as much to do with how I react to those things that I do not have control over as having control. I guess it is fair then to say that having or wanting control over all things is “normal” because ultimately no one can take away your control.

Ironically outside of this time in our lives where everything is about the virus that is holding us prisoner as a nation you always ultimately have control. Taking control is about responsibility. Where do you assume responsibility? Where do you surrender? Ultimately you decide and that is control regardless of environment.

Life as I control it – L.

Self-Conclusion…Live NOW

An interesting response came the other night from Gary. I was sitting on the couch watching TV and working on my laptop. As I was shutting my laptop down and closing the recliner to get up I said to Gary “I really need to get my life together!”. To this Gary literally laughed out loud and said, “If you need to get YOUR life together we are all in trouble”. He actually made me laugh at the ridiculousness of the statement! To this brief, comical encounter I offer you the last of the Self-Series.

I often pontificate on the life I have and if it is indeed the life I want. I do this because I am of the belief that we are the ultimate creators of our life through our choices. We come into this world alone and we leave it presumably alone and yet how we live is so frequently dependent on others. Seems an oxymoron of statements. The reality is that even as we live with others we are on our own in defining life as we live it.

We are all so busy making it happen for everyone else. But what about the canvas that is your own life? As Oprah says, “You alone are painting your own canvas, thought by thought, choice by choice.”

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/finding-true-love/201910/what-i-learned-being-oprah

I feel that I have become an expert at creating the blueprints that define the life I want to live and then creating or architecting that existence. Unless I am tired, distracted, happy, sad, content, etc. You name it and it has the ability to throw me off of the plan and leave me with all of the pieces and parts that I attempted to set in motion lying around me. Pulling from my recent “Self-Series” it would seem that self-discipline, self-motivation and a bit of self-control could solve for any distraction, yet here I sit.

My ability to summon the self-discipline/motivation/control can certainly push beyond my mood or state of being in the short-term. It is the long-haul that is put to the test when the only consequence is yourself. If I am not letting anyone else down then why does it matter if I don’t run, write, read, sleep, _____________. But the reality is that letting myself down is the worst thing I could do because I matter and what matters to me, matters.

The life I want requires many things from the “self” but most importantly the result of the life I want is to feel satisfied with what I am doing, who I am and how I live it. The only way to do this is to not be dependent on others or situations. You have to be willing to live despite it all. I used to say “I will be happy when_________”, “Things will be perfect when_______.”, you fill in the blanks. And then I got to __________ and nothing changed relative to my happiness beyond what it already was prior to the condition I was summoning.

Today, this weekend and even some of last week, I was living my “best” life. Life fulfilled with those that matter most, doing the things that matter to me and finding value in that simplicity. Don’t make it harder than it has to be, live it simply. Live it without conditions and live it now, right where you are…today, this minute…now.

Live as I see it – L.

Discipline you either have it or you don’t…right?

As I came home very late tonight from a very long day at work I was debating if I “had it in me” to do my scheduled run. Before I could even contemplate it, I was changing into workout clothes…it’s discipline, right? Sometimes it’s obsessive, sometimes unrelenting and sometimes crushing…yea that describes discipline in all forms. The point is that I did the run, despite any number of excuses that I could have come up with and have been very justified in honoring; I did the run. It is self-discipline, it drives me.

Discipline is the requirement for the reward. If you want anything bad enough you have to have the discipline to persevere. This is more than simply doing “it”. It is doing “it” when you are tired, sick, sore; it is doing “it” when don’t want to even better than when you do! Tonight’s run was supposed to be a relaxed pace however I pushed to the max of that pace and came out with my fastest yet; on a night after working 11 hours being away from my home for 13 hours…I had my fastest pace in almost two weeks.

I have always been someone that loves rules. Give me a set of rules and I will follow them to the letter. That is why I was the BEST dieter EVER!! I could follow a diet to the letter; measuring every ounce, counting every calorie until I didn’t…and then it was the complete opposite of discipline! It was debauchery at its finest. I could lose the weight like a BOSS but I would gain it back like a BEAST.

When I think about my level of discipline I realize that it does not apply to all things equally. For example, speeding…hmm…I definitely do not follow speed limits but I do keep two hands on the wheel at 9 and 3 and keep my eyes on the road (most of the time). I am sitting here trying to think of what else I am utterly undisciplined at in life and I really cannot think of much as it is a core value of mine.

This is not to suggest that having discipline is premium to lacking discipline. Lacking discipline allows spontaneity and creates a space where things that otherwise would not be possible can and are; this is the place imagination is piqued and dreams are realized. It is the box, right? We are told to stay in our box, our sandbox, stay in our lane; you name it…don’t wander. But when you do…this is where change happens. There were a few times I wandered and the reward was exponentially better.

Last year when I took on my first half-marathon of the season I was trained to do intervals; run/walk, run/walk, run/walk…but something came over me and pushed me to just run and run and run and 13.1 miles later I was crossing a FINISH LINE never having stopped once. It was beyond my wildest comprehension and it was because despite my training and discipline to follow the plan I did what felt right and just ran. The reality is that it was because of the discipline in my training that it was even possible. It was my Forrest Gump moment!

My level of discipline is forceful. I push myself beyond my comfort-level and that is why I get results beyond my expectations. I also sometimes get more than what I bargained for but in the end I always get a result. I am not suggesting this is the “way” but it is a “way”, it is my “way”. The issue if there were to be one is that when I am not following my discipline I feel like I am failing. It is a tremendous amount of pressure to put on oneself but I am hungry for the rules as heartily as I am for the reward.

As I am getting older I am trying to find the gray in my world of black and white; the wander in my world of guardrails and the space outside of the box as this is where the joy lies. Discipline is control and lack of it is surrender… L.

Life by my rules – L.