Thursday, August 1, 2013

It's All In Your Head

I've never been afraid to get dirty.  I was a play-in-the-mud kinda kid for a good chunk of my childhood.  Sure, I adored dress up and theater and all that, but I have distinct memories of climbing trees for hours and tearing through knee pads during my years on rec soccer teams. My favorite position was always goalie and I'd like to think I wasn't bad at it. At least I know I was tough. I wasn't afraid of getting hurt. Tender heart but a tough hide.
Somewhere along the way,  I realized I wasn't invincible.  It wasn't the day I cracked my nose by taking a softball and a bat to the face (lets just say...softball pitching clinics are a bitch when they run out of gear...and you're a catcher). You would think that would knock some sense into a kid, right? Nope. Even falling face first into gravel and throat first into a hot cookie sheet fresh out of a 300+ degree oven (now that's a crazy story for another day) didn't change my attitude for more than a few days. I wasn't a dare devil child, nor exceptionally accident prone. (The throat incident was just lots of bad timing lining I said, crazy story).
But I think it's safe to say I've always been very passionate, single minded, and nothing if not resilient.
As I started this fence building project, I had my doubts that I could do it myself. In fact, we talked about just hiring someone for a long time. Building a fence doesn't seem to complicated. Dig hole, fill with cement and post. Hammer nails and boards together and there you have it. A fence. I started today. Measured, dug holes, cemented 2 posts in... overall it's actually something I'm not too bad at. I'm glad to have acquired since muscle mass because roots aren't easy to dig through, even with my awesome post digger.
While I realize that I'm not invincible, I am learning that, as long as I stay open to learning new things, limits are really just self imposed assumptions.
Sure, I doubt I'll figure out the mechanics of time travel or discover the next Star Trek style transporter, but it's energizing (pun intended, Star Trek fans) to learn new things and to keep growing. Even if it's just how to build a cedar fence along my property line.
It's that concept, constantly introducing new projects, that I find invigorating. It keeps at bay the other dogs...
No, I don't mean literal "dogs".
Every man had 2 dogs inside him. Everyday they fight with each other for supremacy. Which dog wins? The one you feed the most. It's all about choice.
I can either feed the beast afraid of new challenges because I might just fail, the one who has trouble understanding the concept of patience, the one quick to jump to the resentment, excuses, and the blame game, OR, I can choose to feed the beast who constantly craves new horizons, who is excited by the prospect of learning, who embraces the possibility of failure and gets right back at it, who remembers how amazing it feels to achieve something unthinkable before, who is always looking for
a reason to celebrate the journey.
Lately, that last dog had been feasting.
Sure, minor construction and yard work might not be some people's ideas of a fun project, but I can already see my training paying off when it comes to hauling poles, mixing cement, carrying dry cement bags (which put my recently acquired Atlas Lift skills to work) and can't wait to throw a "Yards Done" party for friends, quietly steeped in the pride and knowledge that I didn't pay someone to do something I discovered I'm fully capable of.
That's gonna be one awesome party.

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