No matter what we are all moving in some direction and will end up at some destination. Often our destinations can be loosely based on an idea such as “I’d like to get into better physical shape by March.” This idea is based around attaining some form of betterness through physical activity but has no clear destination. Other destinations are more apparent and thought out such as “I’d like to visit all fifty US States between July of 2019 and July of 2021 and must stay in each state for twenty-four hours to count it as visited.” That is a well-defined goal with a timeline and sub defined goal to make the experience equally measured.
Tonight I want to share about a destination I am currently working towards. It’s a project in my backyard that has been staring me in the face daily since we moved in. Repairing the weather-worn pergola in our back yard so that we dare to invite guests over for summer bbq’s and I can have an outdoor space to read, write, and lounge about. This is a very selfish goal that I want to complete so that I can reap all the rewards. As I have been working towards repairing the floor I have realized this is going to be a larger project than expected.
I have been surprised each time I remove a few more rotted floorboards from the base of the pergola how much water damage has taken place where I couldn’t see until the floorboards were gone. As of right now, I will need to remove the entire base of the pergola and start over again. Is this what I had expected when starting this project? Not at all. Is it something that needs to be done to guarantee quality and extended use and satisfaction? Yes, and when the work is all done it’ll be even more relaxing to relax under something I repaired/built with my own hand(Not a typo).
Our lives and our journeys never tend to go as planned, there are always bumps in the roads that may require a few extra steps to reach our desired destination. We are always in control of how we react to these extra steps or unprecedented situations we are placed in our decision on how to act will shape how we move forward. Whatever your destination may be, decided today that a few detours along the way can’t hurt your progress toward where you want to be.
As a young sixth grade student in rural America, I wanted to be a part of the yearly school musical. In fact, little did I know I wanted to be a part of my middle schools first play / musical. I auditioned for and got the role of a cabinet member in the Annie musical. I had exactly one line and I performed that line near perfectly as I can remember. My acting career was off to a good start and a great finish as I have never acted again since that play.
I look back fondly on my time as a cast member in my school play. It was a simple goal to become an actor in a play and I took the steps to join the play and act. That’s the main message of tonight’s writing, think it and start to act. I have always enjoyed being a person who is known to act, to set their mind to something and get it done. These days one of the most important things that we can do is set a goal and get after it.
I was recently listening to a podcast that touched on the best thing we can do is take opportunities to learn a skill and act on that newly learned skill. That is the best way that we can learn mastery of the skill, just by doing it and seeing the outcome we can better learn the subject matter and improve the ability we have to reach the desired outcome we seek. Just by doing we can become masters of the skillsets we desire to have.
Once we feel competent in these skills we can then teach others how to do them and improve our skills as we go. The best way to learn and retain information is to teach others what you know and how to gain results, Whether that is creating a podcast, woodworking, or sewing a skill learned and shared is a benefit that comes around full circle.
Starting today, take the opportunity to act on your vision and get things done.
We try weekly to bathe our dog June, there are times we skip a week and there are times when she gets multiple baths. It all depends on how dirty our dog is after playing outside, and how ambitious we are feeling. Today was the day to bathe the beast and help her smell a little better.
Every time we try to trick our dog into jumping into the tub she catches on to what we are doing then tries to evade us at all costs. She runs around the house as if it is a game of tag, with her heart and mind set on avoiding the suds of cleanliness. Once we are able to catch her and talk her into climbing into the tub she sits down in the back of the tub as far away from the showerheads reach as she can.
June hangs her head in defeat while she is bathed and seems to hate every minute of the bath. As soon as we are finished with her bath she shakes twice in the tub, then leaps from the tub and is ready to zoom around the house scattering water wherever she goes. We’ve trained her to run to the living room and roll around on a blanket, which she does with more stoke than a Fin taking a winter swim then dashing back to the sauna. As much as our pup pretends to hate baths she does enjoy the ten minutes after when she rolls around and dries off on the blanket.
The reason I share this story of the weekly dog bath is that many of us are like my dog, we dislike the tasks that will improve our quality of life but are often energetic after we buckle down and do what needs to be done. It’s never easy to dive into a challenge, we have to build ourselves up to the task often playing a little tag till we get there. Yet, once we commit to the idea and just do the thing, we are rewarded with good feelings all around for accomplishing the tasks.
As often as we can my dog and I go out hiking in the mountains and hills near our house. As soon as I mention the phrase “Let’s hike” my dog immediately runs to the door and begins an impatient session of whining to go and running to me as I prepare to venture out. Once we get in the car she eagerly awaits our adventure with her paws on the center console and eyes peeled on the road. Once we arrive at our destination she begins a little dance to get out and begin smelling everything, running to and fro, and keeping her stoke high. June lives her best day ever each time we go out.
That’s one of the best things about having a dog is that every moment seems to be the happiest moment she has ever had. Whenever go out she lives those minutes with bliss as she experiences the world around her. I think we could all take a life lesson from dogs by living our best days every day and every opportunity to do something is an opportunity to smile and be fully invested in what we are doing.
Too many people drag themselves from one place to another and go through the expected motions we lack enthusiasm as we go along and often do not enjoy our lives. We need to enjoy our lives more, by finding a better life balance that allows us to do the things we want to more often. Whatever we enjoy doing we need to find time to do it. Allowing ourselves to become distracted with too many other things that a corporate society demands of us. We need to spend less time following the rules for life that others have created for us and more time creating the life we know we want to live and actually believe in living.
Be like a dog heading out to hike and live your best day ever every day.