Let’s say I have a dream. Not one that requires a fairy and a wand, but more like I’ve felt a change in the wind and I need to tighten my sail. Oh, I’ll still arrive at the next shore in the end, but I could make all the difference to the quality of that arriving, if I made a correction or two.
Well that’s fine. In the bag you might say. After all, my big and agile brain has come to this conclusion. I can just sit back now and watch it happen.
As the day begins I am a veritable bounce of good intentions. I go about my list of tasks in the way I usually go about my list of tasks, but this time my step is lighter and my inner movie is definitely Disney. I reel in the line of hours, wind them around my spool. Done.
Ahead of me, I can see the old habit coming closer. It’s part of the pattern, of course, so it will come closer and closer until it is right in my face and looking at me expectantly.
This is when I begin to tell myself that the whole commitment thing is pointless. Who’s looking anyway? Who cares? I am still dashing along with verve and vigour, sails full, ahead of the game, aren’t I?
But I know different. So how to make this change, that’s the question, and the answer is, baby steps. I just need to correct my sail once, just once, and then to feel the shift and tell myself, Well Done!
Then, do it again the next day.
People we admire are always those who overcome themselves. We all know what it is to be ‘ok’, doing away, not bad, and other such beige states of being. We also, I think, imagine that those who overcome themselves, and therefore the mountains that block out their sun, are just lucky.
Lucky Schmucky. No such thing.
You don’t get through to the Olympic team by luck, nor to Wimbledon, nor to the finals of The Voice.
What those ‘lucky’ people chose to do was to tighten their sails every single day and often during it. They pushed themselves when others sat back in the sun with a pint pondering the meaning of life. Over long lonely hours, they kept practising over and over and over again until they stepped out into the light with a Da-dah! and we all marvelled at their superhuman-ness, something each one of them would deny with a derisive snort.
I may not want to play at Wimbledon, join the Olympic team or sing on TV, but there will be something in my life I just know I want to change, if only that fairy would appear with her wand and make it happen. If I do nothing, nobody will know. But I will. And when the fat lady sings, will I know that at least I tried?
We found an acorn and planted it in the woods, just pushed it into the soft peaty floor and moved on.
So did the acorn. Now, it’s shade from the sun and shelter in a rain shower.