All For Naught

“What do you daydream about?”

This was a question posted in a Facebook group that I am a member of over the weekend; the question was posed by a woman whose podcast I am an avid listener of.

She went on to provide the first answer to the question, that her daydream was owning a lake home.

I read that response and I stopped short.

For years, owning a lake home was my daydream.

My husband and I spent hours of time and energy scrolling real estate sites while our own home was on the market.

I sat in front of the very home that we purchased, long before we had even put in an offer, and thought about what life would be like living there. I would drink coffee on the back deck every morning, overlooking the lake. I envisioned rolling out my yoga mat and creating a meditation space in the room with the large picture window. I thought about the evening kayaking I could do with my girls.

It wasn’t until this weekend, when I forced myself to sit down on our dock while our girls swam around with their friends that it struck me; I haven’t truly embraced or acknowledged this accomplishment.

My husband and I achieved our dream of owning a home on the lake. We purchased our home in January; we’ve been living in it part time since then, full time for a few weeks now. I have done exactly none of those things I dreamed about doing here.

I have occupied my time within my real life daydream with checking mundane, trivial things off of the same daily To Do checklists. Not celebrating it, not embracing it, not living the life that I dreamed about having.

This mindset is so easy to crawl into; once something that we want is achieved, we waste little time on truly celebrating it before we’re on to the next thing.

The biggest goal on my Year Compass plan for 2018 was purchasing a lake home; when I sat down to start my Year Compass, our home at the time was under contract. I honestly don’t know that I truly believed that purchasing a house on the lake was something we could accomplish. Yet I sit here today, in a space that I yearned for, knowing that it was what I wanted with every inch of my being, and every day I have occupied it since I have taken it for granted. I haven’t truly embraced or celebrated it. I have drowned the achievement in the details of life.

What accomplishments have you achieved, and then glossed over, only to move on to another?

Take some time and look at where you are. Think about the moments that have gotten you here. Think about what you have now, that you wished for one, two, five years ago. The achievements that should have brought you joy, that you worked so hard towards and were so patient for, that you embraced and then easily tossed aside for the next dream.

Have your daydreams and work to make them a reality, but make sure you stop to enjoy the reality you have created before, during and after you’ve achieved the next, and the next. Each and every accomplishment is a step in knowing that you can do and make anything you desire a reality, but it’s all for naught if you don’t recognize and appreciate where you are and what it took to get there before you make the next leap.

Don’t let your daydreams become a reality, only to never acknowledge how significant that really is.

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This is Your Ride

I’ve seen this message pop up on the stationary bike at the gym dozens of times. It was there again today, reminding me…

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This ride is yours, and yours alone. Sure, there are plenty of people riding along with you, but what happens in your head is yours. What you chase, the effort you put in, the thrill of the accomplishment or the weight of defeat when you come up short is yours.

Some rides may look a lot alike, others may vary in intensity, view and vehicle. The prize is not necessarily the same for all, although we all have our eye on one. It doesn’t matter if your neighbor, your mother, your brother, your sister, your best friend, your competitor or your boss are on the same track; you have to get through your course, on your time, on your own ambition and your own determination. You have to conquer your skill before you can move on to the next level, and that only comes with the work that you’re willing to put in to get there. You have to stay true to the rider that you are, and push towards the one that you want to become.

You’ve got to want to take off the training wheels.

What does the ride look like to you? Are you pushing yourself, getting the most you can out of it, or are you coasting along, not really working at digging any deeper, developing or growing any further? Are you taking the time to listen to your thoughts along the way, or are you consistently drowning them out with the noise? Do you ride the same ride every time you get on the seat, or are you challenging yourself with new and more difficult levels every once in awhile? Are you confident in your awareness of when to push yourself, and when to take the scenic route when you need to? Are you taking the actions necessary to get to the place those riders who are better than you are at? Are you surrounding yourself with riders who will support you, ride along with you and push you to get to that place? And when they’re not looking, are you working just as hard?

Are you taking rides that scare you?

When you fall, do you stay down, or do you hop right back up again? Do you use the scars you earn along the way as fuel, or as a weight that you carry, reminding you of your failures?

Life is just like learning how to ride a bike. And this is your ride.

Holding the Applause

It can be really easy to get addicted to achieving. There is always more to accomplish.

Checked off a box in one area? Great, there’s six more things over here that need doing too.

Typically, when something gets checked off one of my lists (because of course there are multiple) I go back and add more things. Or, when I accomplish a particularly large or scary goal, I get a bit of an adrenaline rush and before I can reflect on my success, I start thinking bigger.

Whether it’s finishing a creative project, washing everyone’s bedding in a weekend, taking another step toward or even launching your own business, our personal accomplishments are typically ours and ours alone. However, rather than acknowledge or celebrate them, we simply turn and say “OK, what’s next?”

We need to hold space for the pause. Time to reflect, acknowledge what we’ve taken on, completed or overcome. We need to be less stingy about giving ourselves a pat on the back.

Recognize your accomplishments. Celebrate them.

There will be days where you’re the only one standing in the audience. There will be other times when you are fortunate enough to have others supporting your efforts along the way.

There’s only one voice cheering that should matter, that should be the loudest, that should last the longest, and that will carry you through on the days where success falls just out of reach.

Your own.

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