I often ask myself this question, especially when I am in a public restroom and there’s a brand new roll of toilet paper in the somehow always-hidden dispenser. Where is the beginning and how long is it going to take me to figure this out with my pants around my ankles?
Life is known for throwing us a curveball or two on occasion and depending on the speed of the ball, we typically decide one of two things. We either face the ball head-on and hope we have enough skill to catch it, or we weave and bob to avoid it altogether.
I realize looking back on my life that there have been many “beginnings.” Relationships, the birth of children, new jobs, and friendships. The list of beginnings is really quite endless. The struggle with catching the ball is, “What do you do next after it’s in your mitt?” Do you pivot and change direction in your career? End a relationship that isn’t working? Allow yourself to mourn when your kids go away to college?
The bottom line is that personal growth is the byproduct of facing the ball, whichever way you decide to handle it. My personal favorite would be to let someone else get hit by the ball. But that isn’t growth, is it?
Every time we are faced with a decision, we have choices. That is what makes us who we are. If we were to sit down with a pad of paper and create a diagram of every decision we have made from every event in our lives, we would realize that there was always another choice, a different beginning. And realistically, we’d need a whole lot of paper. The gift we all hold is that WE are the creators of our journey. We are the decision-makers. All we need to do is choose our next beginning. Do we have a lot of false starts? Of course do! But that’s all part of our life adventure.
The start of something new isn’t always the most important part of any decision. Yes, it is important to DECIDE to begin, but really it’s the journey that creates the ball game. Every decision is an inning and it’s a forever game, not just nine innings. The game isn’t mapped out for us. It is the culmination of the decisions we make as we are faced with each play. Anyone who knows me would be astonished that I have made a baseball analogy to life, but it’s true.
The times we are living in are the most challenging of our lifetime. I think it has shined a light on what is most important to each of us. We all have goals and aspirations and some of it is for change or, rather, new beginnings. Dig out your pad of paper. Decide what is most important to you and create a new diagram from this moment. Where will your new decisions take you?
The greatest lesson I have learned is to embrace the beginnings. So, enjoy the journey, do the “wave” at the game. Eat some popcorn. Have some fun. Find your next beginning. And most importantly, don’t let the ball hit you in the face.