Stepping Up

Today I found it more difficult to get started. Not by much, but it took me a minute. The past few days, my fingers have been on fire, dancing across the keyboard and building the narrative of my life. It has been cathartic and deeply therapeutic. Wildly beneficial, both to my physical and mental health. I have been sleeping better, more productive at work, and more at peace. So why is stepping up daily so difficult?

For me, it’s a matter of saying no. I’m not particularly good at it. In fact, I suck at it. Students come to me with problems, and I love to solve them. It’s been the effort of years in the case of my students to step back and stop doing that for them. I get much more – and so do they- when the solution is collaborative. But even in that respect I tend to take on too much, expect too much, of my time. If it can’t be perfect, why bother even trying in the first place?

Then there are all the pieces that make your life worth living: time with friends and family, time to work out, time to meditate, time to eat and sleep properly. Time to balance. One by one, the demands of the day overwhelm me and, despite know how much it positively impacts me, I walk away from the keyboard.

It’s in these moments that I am struggling to remind myself that it’s for my family, for my friends, and for myself that I need to take this time. Stepping up isn’t about me puffing up my chest to author a novel, or to get published in a magazine. I might never reach those goals and that should never, for one instant, negate the need to write.

The joys in life are not found by accident, but through the challenge of those moments that are most worth the struggle.

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