Starting over on a project or commitment always seems daunting.
I was thinking about this as I was handling the Ugh! of starting to publish again after getting back from a week-long trip in support of a friend’s vision quest and I was completely unplugged for almost the whole time. By completely unplugged, I mean no cell coverage, no data, and no electronics (except for the time I had to set my iPhone to get me up at 2:45am for my firewatch shift).
I had set an intention in May to keep blogging daily like I did in April, but, in retrospect, May through June were the worst possible months for me to set such an intention. Between anniversaries, birthdays, conferences, two separate off-grid trips for vision quest, split-testing content delivery services, and a full client load (for which I am grateful), there was simply too much going on to maintain daily blogging.
Actually, that’s not true. The writing never takes me that long and I always enjoy it when I’m in it. I hate losing the groove and having to start it all over again. The few days I’m “off” provides just enough time for me to get rusty all over again.
But it’s not like I’m rusty because I’ve lost a technical skill. I’m rusty on my guitar because I haven’t been playing it as much recently and I don’t have the muscle memory and callouses. Writing isn’t quite like that for me – it’s a native form of expression on par with speaking for me, albeit slower but clearer and more concise.
The hard part, then, is starting the conversation anew. To walk in “out of the blue” and just start talking.
But we’re always starting the conversation anew. Every morning, we start new conversations with our loved ones. We have the opportunity to start a new conversation with ourselves and the world at large.
What’s true of conversations is true of everything else. We return to yesterday’s projects, no matter what state they’re in, so we can push them forward however far we can today. We return to yesterday’s goals and plans and recommit, revise, or abandon as the case fits.
The chief difference between those days in which we’re in the groove and those in which we feel the dread of starting all over again is the story about the work that we tell ourselves.
A far more supportive story about starting over is that we get to start over rather than we have to start over. (Tweet this.) Each day we’re here breathing, helping, learning, stumbling, and loving is a gift that many people who woke up yesterday didn’t get today.
That day of not getting to start over comes for us all. But, until then, let’s make the best of the opportunity given to us, starting today 🙂
Will Morris says
I liked this article a lot. It is pretty true, you get a new chance everyday and get the chance to be better than you were the day before; the choice is up to you. We can either recommit, revise, or abandon. Nicely put.
Charlie, what a refreshing perspective on the frustrating situation of starting anew.
This post also reminds me to forgive ourselves from time to time when we miss a day in our work.