My little brother, when we were young, liked to come up behind me when I was busy with other things, kick me, push me, or just plain bug me, and then skip away giggling. It was annoying at the time, but hind sight has that thing it does…
The last two weeks were tough for me. I was completely overwhelmed with everything. The list of things piling up, piled higher. Work was more stressful that it should have been. My personal life was more stressful than it should have been. My personal demons were clawing at my back. I felt like I was drowning. I felt like nothing was going right. At one point, I stopped in the middle of doing three different things, and for the life me, I just couldn’t remember why I was trying as hard as I was. What was I trying to accomplish again? Why was it so important? What’s the harm in just giving up?
That feeling stayed with me for a few days. People told me I looked tired, and I was tired. Tired right down into the very soul of my existence. My uphill trek had gained me no ground. I felt like a fraud, spouting off bullshit phrases about working hard, being positive, and progress being progress.
I almost didn’t make it, but I dragged myself to the first yearly meeting of my writing group, and had my battery recharged a bit when I received applause for the upcoming book launch and by being with those wonderful, creative people. And then had it charged a bit more when I learned I had come in third for the poetry writing contest.
The next day I went to my publishers office, and held the proof copy of my book in hand. I saw the pictures, the text, and my name on the cover. It was one of those ‘Holy shit, I did it!’ kind of moments.
Progress is kind of like my little brother. It arrives quietly without ceremony or a parade. It sneaks up on you when your busy doing other things, kicks your ass, and skips away giggling because of the trick it played on you. Hindsight being what it is, I still think he’s a jerk.
Over the last two years, I’ve re-written my life. I’ve bought rental property and renovated it. I’ve started two businesses. I’ve gotten a book published, and am working on more. I’ve done so many new things, learned so many things, and grown in so many ways. Sometimes we all need a kick in the ass to remind us to look behind us for a moment.
Work hard and don’t be an asshole.
Stay positive. And if you can’t be positive, smile till you are.
Progress is progress, no matter how small.