03 March 2010

Lesson #15: I decide who gets out of bed in the AM.

So I blogged the other day about Good Works, and I mentioned that sometimes nice has a barometer.  Sometimes, we get bogged down in life -- our choices, our perceptions, our relationships, our own circumstances, the conflict between what we want and what we have.  All of these things create tension, and it can weigh on a person.  All of these things, and/or their root causes, need to be addressed in order to have a balanced life.

But I did realize that saying... 'well, I'm having a bad day, so I can only be this nice/decent' is kind of a cop-out.  At the time, I was trying to focus on how it's the little things we do that can become big.  I think I fell into a trap, with the suggestion that our circumstances are an excuse to justify our actions or omissions.

Mark, another triathlete, said a really interesting thing to me a few months ago.  We were talking about finding the motivation to get to and complete early am workouts.  Because face it, sometimes it's hard.  He explained that he was in control of who got out of bed in the morning.  Sometimes it was the fat guy.  Sometimes it was the athlete.  But in the moment when he rolled into wakefulness, it was his choice to commit to the things that were important to him, the things that he used to define himself as a person.  That choice renewed his commitment to that aspect of his life that he values.

I can't even begin to talk about how this thought has carried me through recent times, when I was sad, or depressed, or in pain, and I knew I could get out of bed that person, be that person throughout the day... or I could choose to be someone else, something closer to the person I wanted to become.  I was in control of who I was, which in turn dictated how I acted.  Because the Me that got out of bed determined to have a good day would not react the same to people as the Me who got out of bed under a cloud.  This has kept me out of some dark places - depression, self-pity, etc.

But the last month or so, I've forgotten this lesson.  Or at least, given up asserting it.  I've broken my steady pattern.  I've surrendered to all the mental noise, thoughts and feelings, whatever's popped into my head in the morning, instead of finding a center, deciding what I wanted, and proceeding through the day.  I've let circumstances and attachments control me, more than I wanted to admit.

I'm ready to go back, which is why this is Lesson #15.  I have the power to commit, every day, to the people and the things that are important to me, that are part of how I define myself.  I control my outlook, and my response to the day.  This lesson is now written and kept next to my bed, so I can keep remembering it.  I can get up for workouts.  I can decide that I am going to wake up to a positive day, and focus on now, and the life I choose to live.

And then, every once in a while, if the Athlete in me tells me to roll over and go back to sleep... I'll know when I should listen to her.

No comments:

Post a Comment