On Trudging the Road Forward

img_4456NaBloPoMo 2016, Letters to Patients, Day 21

To Patients Who Doubt Your Ability or Endurance:

Don’t give up!  Stay on the path!!

Holy COW, Day 21!!  That’s three whole weeks that I have managed to post every single day!  So it really is true, the more times you try, the more likely you are to succeed.

I tried NaBloPoMo last year with “November Gratitude Shorts.”  It felt scary at first, then stressful, then deflating.  Then this past April, I did my first A to Z Blogging Challenge.  I had the insight to warn my family that I would be busier, and then halfway through announced that I would basically stop cooking until it was over.  It was not nearly the slog of NGS, but I did feel quite overextended and anxious for many days that month.  I submitted the last one with 30 minutes to spare on April 30.

The evolution here is worth examining, as it parallels other endeavors in life—exercise, parenting, the cultivation of other relationships… When I counsel patients around health behavior change, I often hear, ‘I tried that before, it didn’t work.’  This is usually when I point out that ‘before’ was a very different time.  Then they concede that since then, their experience, circumstances, and priorities may have evolved, sometimes drastically so, and maybe ‘it’ might work this time, who knows?

If we live consciously, observantly, and mindfully, I believe that all of our experiences make us stronger.  Trials and learnings in one realm of life inevitably pertain to all others.  If we can manage to see and appreciate this, then the potential for application and personal growth expands exponentially.  How much more could we accomplish if we just allowed ourselves to pick up and keep going, not only expecting to fall along the way, but anticipating it with gladness for the learning?

So let’s lighten up on ourselves, shall we?  Even if you have tried many times to quit smoking, establish an exercise routine, ‘eat healthier’ (whatever that means for you), and then consistently gone back to old habits, don’t give up!  Stay on the path!  Keep moving forward!  Try something new, learn something new, integrate, and continue!  Life is so much more fun when we don’t take it all so seriously, no?

So now that I have bragged on Day 21, what do you bet things will fall apart as we approach the Thanksgiving weekend?  Oh well, we shall see!  Even if that’s the case, I already have some valuable lessons stashed away:

  1. Try not so schedule so many conferences and presentations during NaBloPoMo.
  2. 500 words and 60 minutes are very reasonable limits for daily posts.
  3. Definitely warn the family; set expectations in advance.
  4. Protect the sleep!!

Happy Monday, all—and here’s to trudging the path together!

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