What Are You Built For?

I often joke about my built-for-the-farm physique.

I describe myself as ‘sturdy‘, which isn’t meant to be a negative. I am sturdy, tenacious and determined. When I decide to do something, I do it and you better get out of my way while I do it. Both my body and heart are strong and I can power through a lot of obstacles and ‘It just can’t be done!’ comments from others.

For the last month or so, I have found myself running through the motions of everyday life without much panache. The problem with everyday life is that is it EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Profound, I know.

The issue with my days are that each day has way too much ‘day‘ in them.

Alarm. Coffee. Read bible and journal. Write. Client emails. Work on new project I am creating with a friend. Breakfast. Gym. Lift heavy things. Sweat. Work like crazy on projects, tasks and coaching clients I love. Drive home. Cook things. Hang out with hubby and friends or go to an event. Get back to people wanting things from me who I want to help. Plan out next day. Clean things if I can stand up still. Prep food for next day. Set timed coffee pot. Sleep like a brick until my eyes pop open at 3:00 am for some inexplicable reason.

  • Repeat.

ship in portPhoto

I am constantly telling people to go out there and try things, to do something! To not sit around and just wait for life to happen, to be brave and dream and then chase down those scary dreams.

  • Dreams take work.

Another obvious statement.

During the past few months, I have learned something yet again. It is important to say no and to rest, to have breaks from the dream chasing. To have some time in port even if it seems counterintuitive and your saying ‘no’ makes other people unhappy.

Sign of the times in Donloree Land.

My life is going way too fast and I have  too much to do and I give crappy answers to the ‘How are you?’ question.

  • Running around like an idiot.
  • Very tired.
  • Overwhelmed and busy.
  • Unable to keep up on life.
  • Chasing too many dreams all at once – ack!
  • Gaining weight despite eating less and doing more.
  • Oh…ok…you know…
  • Busy. Ridiculously busy.

All of these answers suck, yet they keep coming out of my mouth because they are true. For the last three weeks I haven’t taken time to write much at all, despite with my early am wake up discipline meant to help me take the time to do the one thing I love most in the world.

Writing is good for my soul.

I had wanted to give myself a draft one of my memoir of my 20’s to myself for my birthday and I am hopelessly off course.

  • Time in port this past month would have been beneficial.

I am turning 34 in a few weeks, you would think I would be better at this by now.

Luckily for me, my propensity to say ‘yes‘ to things means I also get opportunities to do things that my heart sing. On Monday I was the kick off speaker for reading week at a local Junior High School.

They wanted an author and they got me.

Instead of talking about books, comma splices (which I mangle on a regular basis), metaphors or the writing process, I talked about becoming who you were created to be, dreaming great dreams, taking risks by trying new things and not hiding away your gifts.

You were created on purpose for a purpose. Find it and do it!

You were created on purpose for a purpose. Find it and do it!

One hundred and 150 pairs of eyes were on me while I shared awkward stories, made them laugh and gasp and read from my book.

My final encouragement and a pertinent personal reminder.

Maybe you want to be an author as well. Then write. Write things from your heart, blog, read and hang out with other wordy types. Find ways and outlets to write, even if it is scary. Be courageous in the face of fear and be ok with the fact that you’re not great yet. You are on the road to becoming great and your job, every single day, is to move your dream forward. Every single day, push until you fail and then the next day get up and try again.

Be more than ok with failure, in fact the path to success is lined with failure. When you fail, you get up and keep going.

Growth comes from attempting the impossible until it is possible and then finally accomplished.

So dream, do and don’t be discouraged!

In actuality, I have been in port because I am not doing what I was made to do and that is write.

When I am 75 I am going to wish I had spent more time writing and hanging out with amazing people, not waging war against the dust bunnies lurking under my bed.

What do you need to make time for despite the craziness of life? What are you built for?

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  1. It took me a long time to learn to say no but once you do, it’s actually very freeing. My usual answer these days is “let me think/pray about that and get back to you”. It’s not as harsh as no and it gives me time to decide what my answer really should be.

  2. In the 1980s, I watched an interview with a young comedian. This rising star was making a name for himself in comedy clubs and on college campuses. During the interview, the comedian was asked about life on the stand-up comedy circuit; the nightlife, drinking, the carousing, etc. He responded by telling the interviewer that he didn’t participate. He explained that after his sets each night, he simply went back to his hotel and wrote more jokes for at least one hour – no matter what. That was his discipline.

    Fast forward a decade into the mid-1990s. I was watching TV one evening, an early episode of Seinfeld, and it hit me. Right THERE was that same young comedian I had seen a decade earlier, who had spoken about writing as a discipline for one hour each evening. It was Jerry Seinfeld.

    In that moment I had learned an instant lesson that was 10 years in the making. Although Larry David, and a revolving team of writers contributed much to the Seinfeld dialogue, Seinfeld’s own writing was heavily relied upon through the active years of that show.

    Soon after this realization, I began writing daily. Mostly I wrote in my personal journal. I wrote poetry, song lyrics, and essays. A few years later came the first incarnation of my blog – before blogging even existed.

    Though exercise has been my drug of choice for most of my life, and will remain in my daily fold, writing is what does it for me now. I write for at least an hour every day, and on the weekends sometimes for hours at a time.

    As I look back and see how my writing has evolved since I began this daily process 15 years ago, I see that it’s far from perfect, but is noticeably better.

    I am reminded of this: whether it’s in growing the body, developing the mind, strengthening relationships, or seeking improvement in endeavor, the best way to advance is with the discipline of daily practice…

    • A little bit every single day makes a huge impact over time. I think about those monolith rocks in the desert which wind and sand have carved into something awesome to behold. It didn’t happen over a day, a month, a year or even a decade. Thank you for the reminder and encouragement.:)

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