Every day in our life's journey holds its own special treasures, if we have eyes to see...

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Different Shades of Change

In case nobody else has noticed, I'll risk stating the obvious: change is not all that easy. Starting is not too bad--exciting even, at times. But that grueling backstretch where the sparkle has faded, where we often lose touch with the "why" behind the change, and we're more conscious roughness of the road ahead than the distance we've come? That part is not fun.

New, fun thing of the day? Haircut.
In my previous blog entry, I introduced my New Year's quest to do one fun new thing each day. Well, I'd love to report 100% achievement in that realm, but reality puts my score at a hopeful 30%. I'm tempted to look at the 70% of the days that I have not even remembered to think about doing something new. But I've decided that one of the new and fun things I'm going to take on is to look at what I have accomplished so far rather than what still lies before me. Because really, if I look at it that way, I've made a great start--one month in, and I've gone from hardly ever intentionally planning something both new and fun, to doing it 30% of the time. That's like improving by 1% per day! Theoretically, if I keep going like this, by December I will be operating at 120%!

Sometimes an inch takes a long time to travel.
But even as I type that, I realize I need to change. Change the way I look at changing. Change is not measured by all or nothing, black and white. Change has many different shades. So--what if instead of focusing on the distance we still need to go, we all looked at how far we've come in the areas we still need to change? It would not surprise me that if we  drop the role of chief slavedriver and critic and begin to cheer ourselves on, we would begin to realize just how versatile and amazing we actually are, not all the ways we fall short. And in doing so, vision and courage would fuel us to run our race with even more determination.

Focusing on our failures leads to discouragement and robs the days of joy and our hearts of hope. But to look at
Cool water.
ourselves and recognize how valiant and how enduring we are being in the backstretch--even if that only looks like standing still instead of laying down and giving up--that gives us strength to run another day. We'd do that for someone else. In fact, we'd be rushing to their side with cool water, holding their hand, running with them toward the finish line while shouting encouraging words like "You can do it!" "You're doing great!" and "You're almost there!"

Toots has her own style of running her marathon. Prone.
Let's do that for ourselves, shall we? Let's cheer for the 5%, the 10%, the 20% of change we have accomplished so far. Let's acknowledge how some of that change has been won by great effort, though to onlookers it might appear we are but inching along. Let's recognise how far we've come and how brave we've been along the way. Pour kindness upon these hearts of ours that are trying so hard to live life and love people well, even though we fall short. You and me--we're everyday heroes in our own private marathons. We applaud each other. Let's find at least one thing we've done right every day, and start applauding ourselves!


  1. Thank you for your wonderfully wise and timely words, my dear. I was so needing this! You have such a wonderful way of making things so much easier to see and think about and see the different angles I don't often see! Thanks for your inspiring words...... again! And great job, and "good show" :D ps I love the picture and look forward to getting to see your new hairstyle in person :}

  2. Thank you :-) Thanks for cheering me on! I was thinking of you as I wrote the blog, knowing how enduringly you run your race. Good show to you as well! And I'll see you soon :-)

  3. "Change has many different shades". Profoundly said. And so true. I think too often we look at wanting to change things we have no control over! So much better to work on changing our point of view.