Show Up for Life
Let me begin by asking if you truly know what your dream is and if it is actually attainable by you.
Fill in the blanks: I want to ____ by/on ____.
If you play an instrument, that statement might be “I want to play Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight Sonata’ without making any errors by my recital.” Now you can work to accomplish an attainable goal.
If you are an athlete, that statement might read “I want to hit a home run in tonight’s game.” – NO, This goal relies on the idea that the pitcher will deliver the perfect pitch for you, but you just might be the player he has decided to walk. This goal relies on someone else. It would be better for that athlete to say, “I want to play the best game I can.”
I want to be a doctor when I grow up. -No, do we ever really grow up? Do you? It would be better to word this goal as follows: “When I graduate from high school, I want to pursue a career as a doctor (or a career in medicine).
SHOWING UP FOR LIFE AS A CHILD
As a kid, I never got away with staying home from school. Even if I was tired or not feeling my best, staying home was not an option.
Instead, Mom would expect me to rise (probably not shine on some days) and get dressed. I was never allowed to wear jeans or pants to school. (Think the 1960s and 1970s.) I would wear either a dress or a skirt and top, but never pants. This meant that I also wear panty hose and something other than sneakers on my feet. If you asked my mom why, she would explain it with you feel how you dress.
Unless I was sick, I never spent an entire day in my pajamas. Sundays found me dressed up (no matter how late I had stayed out on a Saturday night or how late I had stayed up doing homework on a Saturday night or how much homework I still needed to do that Sunday) and attending Sunday morning church services – with dinner out after (my grandmother’s addition). After school and on Saturdays and Sunday afternoons, I was allowed jeans and pants.
I got up and got dressed and showed up for life.
SHOWING UP FOR LIFE AS AN ADULT
It was easy (ok, some days maybe not) to show up for life when I was teaching: the alarm required me to get out of bed – and then it was my kids, I had to be at work by a certain time, there was an unwritten dress code – I had to look like an adult and not one of the students, I had to know what I was talking about for each of the courses I taught. Then, when I finally got home, I would change clothes into something comfortable – but not pajamas, those would come later in the evening or sometimes not till bedtime. Summers found me taking courses or taking my kids to activities that they were involved in.
As I moved into retirement from teaching and into the life of a writer, I have realized that on days when I stay in pajamas most of the time or dress in jeans and shirts meant to work in the shop or on the yard that I don’t really show up for life. I don’t feel like cooking; I don’t feel like cleaning; I don’t feel like writing; I don’t feel like practicing; I don’t feel like crafting; and I don’t feel like learning something new.
WHY AM I TELLING YOU THIS?
Getting up and getting dressed helps you show up for life. You are putting in the effort associated with the direction of your goal(s).
Yes, I know it is psychological. But it is a psychological motivation that works for me. And can work for you.
I have dreams: Dreams of playing my violin better. Dreams of writing with more regularity. Dreams of being read by more people.
But when I don’t dress for success and show up for life, how can I fight for my dreams.
How about you? Are you getting up, dressing for the day, and showing up for life?
Thanks for reading.