I didn’t want to get out of bed this morning. It was 5.15, the sky was overcast, the air humid. I was sure I could smell a shower on the way and, contrary to the song lyric, I do not like walking in the rain, although I have been known to wish on the odd star in the Southern Cross Constellation.
I really wanted to stay in the bed, the lovely, lovely bed. The fan was blowing a cool breeze through the room, the sheets were soft and comforting. Dotty the Fanatical Cat had yet to perform her early morning dance of the seven-varieties-of-Dine-Feast-this-minute on my right shoulder.
So, I’d almost made the decision to walk tonight, after the sun sets – be skin care aware, grasshoppers – and then, something happened. I got up.
Call it motivation, call it respect for delayed gratification, call it fear of a narrowing left ventricle. I got up and off we went. But some days, I don’t make it. Some days I sign off, and I almost always regret it.
A famous athlete, Herb Elliott, said that the hardest part of training is getting out of bed every morning. The trick is in realising that most of us need just a little burst of extra grunt in order to rouse ourselves, but once we’re up, we’re up. The logic of the little burst applies to so many things in life.
Beginning, starting, having a go, being there, showing up. Waking up. Getting up.
Momentum. The little burst.
Those who show up get the prizes, whatever they may be: money and jobs, sure, but consider, too, satisfaction, consider the comfort of knowing you’ve done the thing you wanted to do but didn’t think you could. Consider the work, the art, as Seth Godin describes it, that will win you new life directions and career options.
Consider capturing the memoir moment.
Those who wake up and get up into their lives, those who actively choose to sign on to their lives, enjoy much better odds of, first of all, continuing and then, of finishing what they’ve begun.
It has to do with focus, mindful focus, as you create your memoir, your art, and your legacy now, and now, and now.
But ultimately, it’s your choice. Perhaps you’ll cruise past the SIGN ON banner the first few times around the paddock. Then, you might decide to take a look at who else is signing on, so you roll up at the appointed hour and mill about in the background, near the car for a quick getaway, among a handy stand of shady trees, so you’re almost invisible.
You pretend you’re just an onlooker, doing a bit of gardening – even though you hate gardening – checking out the last dandelion. Not that anyone’s asking. They’re all too busy queuing to sign on. Eventually, you think, and this is where what you think comes into its own – thoughts dictate actions and feelings – you think, What the hell, what harm can it do? With any luck that’s what you decide, because as some famous person’s humble father once said, You only regret what you don’t do, Jennifer.
Fear is often the biggest obstacle to signing on, even in the morning when all you need to do is pull yourself up and pivot sideways to greet the wonderful world of the vertical mammal. Ignore fear, try it once, and let the little burst guide your way.
Are we going to sign on or sign off? Now? Or now? How does now look?
Let’s do it, grasshoppers.
Remember: Memoir = Life = Now