As I said in my debrief on Saturday, we are now halfway through the year 2018. I’m doing this post because I felt that a half-year’s reflection was warranted. So, here is where I stand.
I’m not going to go back and rehash my weekend debriefs and recall how I felt on each given Saturday. I just want to take a look at where I am now versus where I was in January. The reason I’m using this approach rather than an analysis of the week by week debriefs is pretty simple: I am looking at the long-term benefit of the things that I’m doing even if the week-over-week results were not always what I desired or intended.
This delineation matters. It would be one thing to look at each week and say “Okay, I’m down for two then up for one, down for another one, and up for another,” resulting in the discovery of possible patterns. But, I don’t think that that captures what I really want to share.What I really want to share today is much more straightforward than cycles that may or may not have a direct, identifiable correlation to my moods.
I want to share HOPE.
Midway through 2018, things aren’t perfect, but they are getting better. They are getting better so much so in fact, that I recently had one of the best conversations of my life, and that conversation was made possible due to incremental, consistent changes that developed as a direct result of ongoing choices to improve small facets of life, one at a time. Bottom line, I’ve spent the last six months doing very intentional work on myself, which has produced results that tangibly manifested in my being able to conduct an incredibly worthwhile conversation that may not have been possible months ago. Though statements that were made during the talk previously might have shut me down and made me withdraw, they now carry a sense of urgency regarding where I can make improvements as well as hope that things can actually improve. This is no small adjustment; rather, it’s a paradigm shift of such a monumental size that real difficulties provide opportunities for improvement rather than an excuse for self-abasement and surrender to despair.
I know, even when I try to simplify things I still make them terribly word. I’m sorry. It’s one of my faults, and I’m well aware of it. So let me try to share things in another way: if you are in a very tough spot and you are without hope, please be assured, things can improve. The improvements will be incremental; they will not make things immediately better; sometimes you will feel beaten and defeated, but even a small step will build some momentum and eventually–not quickly but gradually and through diligence–small steps can turn into a stride that will enable you to improve your life situation. Even in some very recent debriefs, I have felt low and defeated; however, when I think of where I am today versus where I was six months ago, I can only feel an overwhelming sense of accomplishment, not because everything is great and everything is in order, but rather because it feels that I’ve at least stopped the total and catastrophic problems that were imminent several months ago. Further, I appear to be on the path towards even more improvement in the months to come.
When I consider how the back half of the year could look if I can continue to do the things that are working, I am full of hope. If I maintain my present trajectory, who knows what the year-end assessment will be. My life in December could be not just different—but radically different—than it was in January. I truly and wholeheartedly believe this. Yes, things could be that good.
So please do not lose hope. Do not lose Hope. Wherever you are, however you are feeling beaten or dismayed, things can change. Oftentimes, they can change solely by your will to act and your willingness to course correct regardless of environmental changes or of the behavior of those around you.
After six months of putting in wrench time on myself and trying to improve, I can honestly say I have. You can too. Hold to that Hope.
I have been considering what kind of content to post here with regularity besides my weekly debriefs. In earnest, I have not made a definitive decision; however, I will say this: if by year-end, I find that things are as better as I imagine they could be, I’ll have some very real and practical things to begin sharing in 2019. I truly believe I am working towards that end. I think that’s part of the circling and wandering I’ve been doing.
Time will tell. And I’ll let you know what it says.
As always, thank you for reading. And journeying with me.