Only 10 days left until tough Mudder. I can run farther than ever before. I can do exercises that used to make me feel like I would puke. I can do real push-ups in sets of 20 instead of sets of three (seriously). I have surpassed my expectations.
Yet still I feel like I should have trained smarter and harder.
This is the commanding feeling that accompanies most of my undertakings.
I am more productive than I have ever been in my life. But I still feel like I waste a tremendous amount of time and need some lessons in productivity.
One of my favorite things to do is sing. But I still don't make time to seriously practice or to learn songs. I just live day to day planning to one day make more of an effort.
I enjoy drawing. My daughter successfully identified almost all the animals I sketched for her yesterday. The cat, the dog, the monkey, the rooster, the mouse... Yet she thought the horse was a zebra. Forgivable, as they are the same shape. Even with my doodling abilities I still feel like I could be so much better if I had taken the time to sharpen my skills even a little.
I can cook. But not proficiently enough for my husband to love my cooking. I can write. But not well enough to pursue a career. My faith is stronger than ever. But I still battle the idea that God has a lot in store for me.
In the past I could definitely say that my self-critical attitude would unfortunately lead to giving up or sabotaging my progress. Allowing myself to get distracted from what really matters. Losing my focus.
Hmmm. Maybe I still do that. I work hard at something in devoted spurts but never consistently. I am quite an amateur when it comes to consistency. And my daughter is an additional easy decoy when I feel like rerouting my attention. Who wouldn't want to make a cutie laugh or snuggle a sweetheart or watch a little munchkin learn, even when there are other things that need to be done? Not that she is to blame. Before her I would drop what I was doing to go for a hike with the dog. For me, procrastination is an easy task.
With a big goal like Tough Mudder it has been easier to keep my sight on the prize. I don't want to hurt myself on the 10 miles of obstacles, so I keep running and stretching and strength training. In 11 days from now, though, will I be able to keep it up? Will I be able to motivate myself with only the goal of health and strength? I absolutely guarantee it will be harder than it has been. Solid goals are great at enabling focus.
I need some deadlines. Some incentives. Like regular planned dinner company to ensure I don't slack on necessary housework (When did I last clean dining room floor?). Or I don't slack on cooking (Dinner tomorrow? How about scrambled eggs?). I need to progress from a spur-of-the-moment blog that 5 or 6 people may read to something that will require more commitment and research and editing. I need to study the word of God so I can walk into all that he has for my life.
My sponge-brained daughter should be enough motivation. I want to expose her to people and culture. I want her to witness hard work and taking responsibility for ones future. I want her to learn to cook and take care of herself. I want her to have a positive relationship with God. And just telling her about all these things will mean nothing. I must do.
Do when I am scared. Do when I am discouraged. Do when I am tired (Why am I still up?). Do when I am frustrated. Do when I simply don't want to.
And when I don't meet my hopes of what I want to produce (as I most certainly will fall short), I need to forgive myself and move on. I can't undo time lost with any amount of regret. Regret will just continue to suck away the present. But I can learn and move forward.
Because I want to work toward the things that span a lifetime and eternity. Not just the things that are 10 days away.