I’m savoring my early morning trek. The city besieged by icy rain, my phone said “28°.” Sidewalks treacherous. Just across the street from my building, the neighborhood Starbucks beckoned.
As I neaed the entrance, I decided to I keep going. Slowly I made my way to Open City at National Cathedral, a half-mile down the avenue. I trudged gingerly across the grounds of the huge church, an edifice that still inspires my awe. Though I’m not a fan of Neo-Gothic architecture, the 300-foot tall cathedral is remarkable.
The daily stream of visitors, and the building itself, remind me to not take its presence, no matter how familiar, for granted. A good lesson, indeed.
In the ice this morning, I actually had to strategize how to descend a rather high, 12-inch curb, which led to uneven pavers just outside the café. I plotted a path to the rear entrance, avoiding additional curbs.
Finally, I made it inside, the only customer. I was warmly greeted by the staff, mostly grad students, young men and women who recognize me as a regular. We chatted. I drank a couple cups of coffee and broke fast, remaining until the early afternoon thaw.
That I required a strategy to traverse the last fifteen feet to Open City made me smile.
Over coffee, earlier in the week, a good friend, Jahn, passionately advocated creating long and short-term strategies for my life.
We have similar circumstances. He too had an “amicable” divorce, married to a woman, who, like my ex-wife, is very successful, extremely capable, in short, a force of nature. Jahn began reading my blog recently. This was our first opportunity to talk since then.
Jahn convincingly articulated the value of developing strategy and tactics for my life goals. What do you want to accomplish in the next 90 days? Where do you want to be living in five years? How will you get there?
I’m reluctant to characterize part of this process as building a “bucket list.”The morbidity of that term is too pejorative.
One of the most remarkable aspects of my journey is I am no longer directionless. At my lowest point, I felt “finished.” I had no aspirations. I told my therapist, “I’m just waiting to die.”
Now, I feel like I’m driving the bus in Speed. I’m scared to slow down. I feel anxious when I think I’ve “wasted” a day not writing, not getting exercise, not taking care of my self.
When paralyzed by depression, “fixing” myself was scaling Everest. I couldn’t grasp the notion of a breaking the challenge into segments. I couldn’t imagine savoring small, even tiny victories, along the way. I was consumed with an all-or-nothing attitude. Unless I was planting my flag on the summit, nothing mattered.
I’m awed at how differently I feel today. How I’ve learned to savor small moments.
With dear friends, family, and many others, I longer feel alone on my journey. I no longer fear if I fall, I lack the wherewithal to get back up and get on my way.
Stay in Touch. Connect.