On July 4th Eve (if there is such a thing) I was determined to stay up late because I wanted to sleep in late on Wednesday for the holiday. My plan seemed to be going smoothly until I randomly woke up at 6:45. I tried to go back to sleep, but I had this desire to get a run in before it got too hot. “Oh, you don’t need to run anymore,” I thought to myself. “You’ve been doing such a good job of exercising this year, take a break.” This is what prompted me to get out of bed and do a 3-mile run.
Why did that thought process have that effect on me? Because it is worrisome, and I think we give in to that kind of thought process far too easily and far too often. When we leave school at whatever level, we think, “Ah, well you’ve put in x number of years learning. That’s good enough.” When you exercise and start to lose weight, it’s so very easy to say, “Ah, well, you’ve more than worked out enough to earn this brownie sundae.” When your kids reach 18, you might have a fleeting thought that you’ve taken them to adulthood and so you’re done.
Factually, as soon as you start proclaiming to yourself that you’re done with one thing or the other, you are giving up on yourself. Think of it this way. After you leave school, have you learned everything in the world you could ever want to learn? After exercising for awhile and improving your eating habits, have you gotten into the best shape and the best mindset you could ever possibly achieve? My guess is probably not. There is always another author to read. There is always another field of study to explore. There is always a new exercise to try or a new level to test yourself on. Always.
Refusing to say “I’m done” is not about ambition. It’s about a commitment to living life to the fullest. It’s about leaving all of the doors open, and all of the windows, too, for that matter. It’s about remembering that you are human, imperfect but capable always of improving.
Yes, it’s true, I’ve been doing a lot of exercising since the beginning of the year and I’ve lost about ten pounds. But I still can’t easily complete a half-marathon. I still have a lot of Yoga and Zumba moves that I need to figure out, and then there’s a whole new layer of stuff I can’t even imagine trying to do right now. And besides, I’m not where I want to be fitness-wise yet. So I woke up and I ran.
What is something you have proclaimed you’re “done” with? Are you sure you’re done, or did you give in a little bit to that nagging voice that wanted you to quit? Maybe it’s time to revisit that skill or that field or that…whatever it is. Maybe it’s time to expand yourself. Maybe it’s time to recommit.
What do you think?
Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jonrg-bw/4664728923/ via Creative Commons