Day 976 – Thankful for Moments of Clarity In Which We Define Ourselves, Part II

Quick note – yes, the picture is the same as yesterday and that’s totally on purpose… you’ll quickly understand why.

Most days I find something throughout the day that really jumps out at me and sticks out as the topic for my blog.  It isn’t very often, but sometimes the thoughts that are still rattling through my brain from the previous blog create that topic for me.  It’s interesting how taking time to think like this has helped me consider some things on a different level than I normally would have in the past.  Where something may have been a fleeting thought it’s now getting the time and attention to grow into something with deeper roots that provides more insight.  Today is one of those days.

As I laid in bed last night I chuckled to myself as I thought about my blog from yesterday.  The choice of picture was a little difficult to pin down.  I kind of wanted to put in a picture of a video clip from the episode, but that didn’t quite fit.  After some thought I was going to use a picture of “Big Mike” from 2007 to highlight the transformation, but that just didn’t feel right either.  After some consideration I went with the picture of Becky and I after we completed our first marathon together.  It was a perfect example of moment that most likely wouldn’t have happened had I not had that moment of clarity in Nashville.  The funny thing is that it is the picture itself that led to today’s post.

In that moment there is a huge look of joy on my face.  We completed our goal and it felt amazing!!!  It was so much better and more meaningful completing it with Becky than when I’d finished marathons on my own.  Within hours I started to fall into a state of sadness.  Over the six months prior to the race Becky and I had spent so much time together training and talking about the marathon.  We had a common goal and vision that we were working towards and it provided a sense of joined vision and purpose for me.  After the successfully completing the marathon the purpose had been completed.  The dream was done.  The vision was reached.  All that remained was a deep emptiness, a great void where that awesome dream had once remained.  It was the strangest thing, but I just felt empty.  How weird, here I am supposed to be elated about reaching our goal yet I’m feeling down.  That moment was one that stuck with me and offered up a moment of clarity to me once I had time to fully let it ferment in my brain and soul…

What I learned from that one moment was that I had put too much energy into the goal itself.  The goal was where I had put the importance and it was the only thing that mattered.  In the process of pushing towards the goal I completely forgot to be thankful for the journey that it took to get there.  For some reason I was thankful only for the accomplishment of the goal and felt sad that there wasn’t something next.  There wasn’t a next high to fill the void.  In some ways, this was an incredible way for me to start learning to handle loss appropriately.  When I net it out now, the goal had been reached and was now gone.  I was mourning that shared goal we had as it no longer existed.  Instead of being grateful for the experience I felt only loss.  I felt horrible!  

Funny how as I now type and process this even more deeply, I hear the words of Pastor Reiff when we Dad was in the hospital…  “Be thankful for the time you’ve had…”  He totally nailed it!  I’d moved on to mourning instead of pausing to remember and be thankful for the experiences and journey Becky and I had to get to our goal.  It wasn’t until Becky and some friends helped me change my perspective to the right direction that finally was happy again.  When I think of this picture now I only partially think of the goal itself, most of my focus is on all of the time Becky and I spent together working towards making that moment.

As I look back I learned so much from that one moment.  In that moment I initially chose mourning for what was lost.  After time and help I was able to switch my mindset to being thankful for what I’d had.  The moment itself was not good or bad in of itself, I put the context to it.  Initially I chose poorly, thankfully I adjusted my mindset to the right place.  Moving forward I’ve remembered this lesson and use this moment as a reminder to enjoy the journey and not the destination…  to be thankful for what I have, not what is lost.  So much learning from one moment…  So much that I may had missed and not thought as deeply about had I not taken the time to express my thoughts last night…


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