Construction sites are like little presents. The structure is surrounded by scaffolding and an obscuring facade. Within the facade something new is built, and eventually the scaffolding is removed.
But that’s not the end of the process. From the outside the structure looks complete. But inside, the work continues for a while longer.
You can see where I’m going here.
The building construction process is similar to the process of being alive, and trying to make the best version of yourself. You appear new and ready for another level.
Losing 45 pounds, for instance.
You can say the right things, even profound things every once in awhile. Perhaps even help a few other people.
But it isn’t until challenges arrive that you really find out how changed you are.
I spent a few days in Vegas this past week, and I failed in a lot of different ways.
I slept too late and didn’t meditate. I went to a wedding and spent 80% of the conversations talking about myself. I let a season-ending collapse by the Thunder sully my mood for far too long. I ate a lot of (good) food and drank a lot of good drinks. I broke my promise to myself to post something six days a week on this blog.
In other words, it was kind of like my old, pessimistic self. Not as bad, but a test I failed nonetheless.
As I’ve said before, nothing happens in a quick montage. And sometimes Apollo Creed whoops Rocky’s ass in the title bout.
This wasn’t an ass whooping. I think I acquitted myself well enough. To most people I seemed as new and improved as ever.
But I let myself down.
And I had a few moments of self-doubt. It occurred to me that lazy, self-centered behavior still feels comfortable, like an old pair of pajama pants. Maybe all of this personal development BS is just that, and I’m deluding myself.
The good news is I can recognize that now. I have personal expectations and standards. I don’t need someone else to tell me I’m slipping – though that helps.
Tomorrow I’ll hit reset. I’ll meditate in the morning. I’ll be warm and positive to the people around me. I’ll read something informative or helpful instead of Reddit or Facebook. I’ll mourn the Thunder loss but enjoy a couple months of sports desert before taking OU football too damn seriously in September.
Today’s a gift. If you’re reading this, you’ve been given the gift. You can use it to build something. I’m going to as well.
(Image courtesy of bill lapp)