Wednesday, January 1, 2014

One Foot in Front of the Other


“Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up.”

Dean Karnazes


“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.”

 Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running





It’s almost 2014 here in California.   I’m alone so I should be using my time wisely.  The wisest use of my time is to spend it writing.  What a great way to end one year and start a new one.  A friend said I shouldn’t spend this time alone, but my mailbox wasn’t exactly stuffed with invitations to parties and I really don’t mind being here.  Honestly, I do feel a little lonely, but only a little.  (Happy New Year!)
If I must be alone, I don’t mind, because my Muse is with me.   If she is with me, I never have to be alone.  It’s now the beginning of a new year.  Yes, I feel a little sad spending it alone, but by the time I finish this blog, that sadness will be gone.  I’m not going to make any resolutions because, with the help of my Muse, I wrote my one-year goals down in September.  I have nine months to reach them.  A couple of them look pretty difficult, but none of them seem impossible. 
More than anything else for this calendar year, I want to reach all of my goals.  Then I want to create new ones.    I want to keep my goals in front of me every day.  I know what an uphill battle this is, not only to reach my goals, but simply to stay focused on them.  The good news is that at this time last year I had no written goals.  I had nothing in front of me, literally or figuratively.  It was this way for years.  Now I have something in front of me, literally and figuratively.   My goals are difficult, but having difficult goals is far better than having no goals at all.
So for this calendar year, I have to Get Started and Keep Going every day.  I need to be vigilant and I need to stay content.  I need to be determined and I need to stay peaceful.  I need to strive for a better life and I need to be grateful for what I have.  Yes, those seemed contradictory, but they are all true.  If I lose one side of the coin, I lose the whole coin.  If I remember to start and end each day with God, gratitude and goals, I should have a successful year. 
One night, several years ago, I had been running regularly.  I was enjoying it, but on this particular night, I was having a hard time.  Perhaps I was tired.  Perhaps I hadn’t eaten enough.  This wasn’t my first night running so I’m not sure why it was so hard; it just was.  I wanted to stop.  I was close to home and I knew I could stop and just walk.  But for some reason I wouldn’t.  I kept putting one foot in front of the other.  I pictured all my heroes, real and imaginary, and I knew they wouldn’t want me to give up.  I felt like someone was depending on me, though I had no idea who.  So I kept going.  One foot in front of the other.    Keep going.  Don’t stop.  So I kept going.  I didn’t stop.  I had to keep going.  Someone was depending on me. 
The person who was depending on me was me.  I didn’t know it then, but I realize now that if I could overcome this obstacle, I had a greater chance of overcoming greater obstacles and doing greater things with my life.  That’s what happened.  I overcame.  I overcame that night and for many nights to come.  In overcoming I began doing things I had never done before.  I reached new horizons.  The next year and a half, though not without difficulties, was one of the most productive and joyful periods of my life. 
Then, perhaps because I didn’t understand the principles of Get Started and Keep Going, I stopped running.  I don't even know why.  Perhaps I got tired.  Or bored.  I don't know.   And I soon lost all my momentum and all my joy.  In the last year, though not without difficulties, I have picked up the pace again.  That’s why I’m writing.  That’s why I’m making it a little bit hard on myself.  I am depending on me.  So are others.  Every time I move toward my goal, I increase my chances of helping those I love and perhaps those I don’t know.  I increase my chances of getting my house on the beach.  I stopped before, but I don’t have to stop now.  I don’t ever have to stop. 
I have a lot of work to do to reach 500 blogs and by using this time well, I just got a little closer. I just had to Get Started and Keep Going…and put one foot in front of the other.