So, you haven’t heard from me in a few days. Have I fallen off the wagon? Have I achieved all my goals and moved on? Have I been abducted by aliens?
Nope, none of the above! There’s a nasty cold and flu going around, which I caught a few days ago. Since then, I’ve been barfing, spitting, coughing, blowing and whining about my sore throat. I feel like death asked me for the next dance!
I know it’s only a flu/cold. It’s not the bubonic plague or yellow fever or even malaria! And yet…last night when I was up at 3 am on my couch rocking back and forth, wanting desperately to sleep, but not being able to, I just wanted someone to shoot me in the head and put me out of my misery! It felt like I wouldn’t survive the night. It felt like my husband would come down in the morning to my stiff upright corpse, still in mid-rock!!
But isn’t that the way pain is? Pain is pain is pain! One pain is not worse than another. If you have a fractured leg in three places and you’re waist-deep in a cast, and then someone comes along in stiletto heels and stands on your toe, THAT’S going to be the worst pain EVER! Even though the broken leg is far more technically serious, it’s the immediate pain of someone stomping on your foot that’s the most important in that moment.
You can see too, how this relates to emotional pain. If you’ve had a lot of terrible trauma in your life, but your boyfriend/girlfriend has just broken up with you, this new loss will be the overwhelming one.
So what has this all got to do with the Do-Over Project? When you try to restart your life, there will be a lot false starts. A lot of sputtering for a time. Even some barfing, blowing and whining! Change, like an illness or a broken leg, is painful. Healing/growing is a process. No one said it was going to be easy–or smooth.
It also teaches me/you to turn every set back into a positive lesson. Can you do that? Can you take any negative and turn it into a positive?
What have I learned? What I realize is that being sick is a distraction. I could say, “Well, I’m a week behind my training schedule now. I won’t be able to catch up in time. I’ll just drop it.”
I see people do this all the time. They find an excuse to let their dreams die. It might even be a damn good excuse, like “I have children to raise”! It’s not that that isn’t a truth and a complication to pursuing your dreams. Maybe you have to put your dream on hold for a while or it morphs into something else, but you still need to have a dream. The real tragedy is when you rationalize your decaying dream with something like, “that dream was childish anyway.” That’s when your spirit dies.
We all need dreams. We all need to pursue dreams. We all need to know that anything that takes us away from the path to our dreams, whether it’s a flu/cold or a broken leg or even child-rearing, is a distraction.
Having written down my goals, the distractions don’t seem to control me as much. I have a very clear objective and, even though I’m disappointed that this flu/cold has put me “behind schedule,” it won’t deter me from the finish line. I just need to take care of myself and continue pursuing the goals I’m able to work on (even when I’m sick a kitten video is a sure-fire way to bring joy to my day!).
This is not an all or nothing process. Just keep at it.