Oh how our perceptions change.
I used to be fat so I couldn’t possibly do the things I wanted to do. Things like run. Play. Frolic in the snow. Roller skate. Play softball.
I used to think of myself as less than everyone else. I was a victim of my own beliefs. Bad things happened and it took me a long time to realize that I was the one that controlled how I allowed those bad things to affect/effect/control/not control me. But for a long time it stood straight in front of me, in my path, as an excuse.
I was a wife with duties that came before whatever it was I needed.
I was a mom with kids. So I couldn’t do things for me.
I was a working mom/wife and all things were important. More important than what I needed.
I was young.
I was not broken. But I used every excuse I could to live like I was. And when I lived by the excuse, I also sacrificed being better to those who deserved better from me.
Now, I can’t think of a single reason why I can’t do whatever it is I want to do.
Broken hip? Who says I can’t climb a mountain? Not me! So I did. (Maybe climbing is not a fair description. No, wait, at times I was on my hands and knees climbing. And it is a mountain.)
Titanium plate in my neck? Who says I can’t test for a black belt? Not me! So I did.
Two knee surgeries and loss of ligament control in one foot? Who says I can’t start running? Not me! So I did. (Please remember “running” is relative to not running.)
Two metal rods in my back? Who says I can’t ride my bike for hundreds of miles at a time? Not me! So I didn’t stop.
I nearly failed geometry and can’t figure the diameter of anything? Who says I can’t build a table? Not me! So I did. I just build them square.
I don’t have a clue about writing laws and punctuation policing? Who says I can’t write a blog? Not me! So I do. 🙂
I am looking at an upcoming number in my life that I don’t feel like I have earned yet. A year to mark the number of years I have been here does not feel like the number of years I have lived. I feel like I spent so many years not living because I made up, and used, every excuse I could – to control my life. Keep it safe. And stay hidden. To exist, without taking the trouble to be.
It’s not as if I suddenly turned in to a world class athlete. I’m not necessarily skilled at any of the things that I attempt. The joy is in trying, doing, getting better than I was when I started and knowing that I can get even better if I keep going. I remember the first time I finished three miles on a bicycle. Three entire miles.
And years later when I finished running three miles under 30 minutes after years of being told I could not run because my knees would be shattered.
I have no delusions about my skill levels. The level of skill is not what matters.
It’s finding the desires. The fires within. And stoking them.
But I also have no delusion about my abilities.
I can do. If I want to do. It doesn’t matter how good I am compared to someone else. It matters that if I want to do something I can try it. Do it. Enjoy it? Keep doing it and get better.
I discovered when I stopped making excuses that I had something that I had used as a weapon against myself when all along I could have been using it as a tool to improve my life. Discipline. Self discipline. I was disciplined in doing everything I was supposed to be doing in roles for others. And disciplined in keeping my self where I was.
And in becoming a better me I think I became a better person for those who deserved better from me.
I got a perception wake up call.
Today it happened again. I was watching a motivational video about some folks doing something. All different kinds of people doing all different skill levels of an activity. The skill level wasn’t the motivation. In observation the motivation was apparent: that they were all putting their energies in to doing something they wanted to be doing.
I could see the many different reasons in hundreds of faces of why they were all doing the same thing.
But there wasn’t one excuse standing in the way of any of them doing.
Amazing…..when I told myself I couldn’t or shouldn’t do something I created excuses. When the world, the circumstances, and the events outside of my control started trying to tell me I couldn’t do something… I was determined to find no excuse available and every reason why I most certainly could.
I could do what ever it is I wanted.
My perception changed from making excuses to finding, creating, and being a good enough reason to be.
And some day I hope to fill up all of those missed years with an over abundance of being now.
Because I have no excuses left.
And I’m not looking for any.