Just Show Up…

Posted by admin - 01/05/11 at 04:05 pm

Just show up.

Some days I wake up plain dog-tired.
I lack the customary zest and zeal that characterizes most mornings, for no apparent cause or reason.
If I had my druthers, I’d like nothing better than to roll back over and cozy up to my favorite pillow.

Instead, I drag the ol’ carcass into the kitchen to hunt up some comfort food, to see if I can incite a change of mood.
Nothing like a cholesterol-laden plate of eggs buttressed by two slabs of butter-smothered toast to lighten the spirit—and contribute to my general malaise.
Now, with a plump, full belly, I can add sluggish to my general state.
Talk about a winning combination!

Unfortunately, as for most of us, life doesn’t grant me the luxury of lounging at will.
Duty calls, as they say—the job, the kids, the deadline—whatever form that duty takes.
I have to find some way of banishing that glorious image of a sloth clinging wistfully to a log into the recesses of my imagination and get a move on.

Over the years, I’ve figured out a magic formula.
Trick number one to shifting our brain out of neutral and into gear is actually quite simple:
Just show up.

Find a way to drag your body to your station and man it.
Once in place, take one tiny, reluctant step at a time and embark.
In the absence of inspiration, nothing beats inertia faster than motion.

Much like the sun melts the daybreak dew, motion has a way of lifting the fog socked around the brain.
Mental gears begin to engage, creative sockets begrudgingly open, we start to fire on more than one cylinder.
As the fog turns to mist and evaporates, clarity takes hold.
“Hey, I do have a purpose, today. Time to move in that direction.”

Not every day can be a championship day.
More often than not, most of us take solace at even being on the playing field.
Beware of berating yourself.
Overachievers tend to ignore their humanity and underachievers crack the whip on their backs.

Give yourself a break.
Let yourself be human.
If it feels like a Krispy Kreme morning, have an extra cup of coffee to counteract the sugar.

When you pull out of your driveway, play your favorite song and play it really loud.
Sing along.
See if you can’t extract a hint of a smile from that scowl.
When you get into motion the world moves with you.

Funny how some of my best days start out in a thick haze.
The transition from “can’t get myself out of bed” to “okay, fine—one more day at the mill” to “wow, I think I’m liking what’s flowing” doesn’t always happen easily or painlessly.
Some days it doesn’t happen at all.

I know that I give myself the best possible chance when I take that one fundamental requirement:
I show up.

That’s A View From The Ridge…

2 Responses to “Just Show Up…”

  1. Ken Atchity says:
    May 18th, 2011 at 8:41 am

    Ridge, this is my favorite posting so far because it’s the kind of outright honesty everybody needs to here. Achievement and success aren’t all about feeling GREAT all the time. I can tell you that I’ve often wondered about the speakers I hear who pretend like they’re ALWAYS at the top of their game, when, in fact, I believe we all have to get ourselves to the grindstone nearly every single morning–not leaping out of bed, but going through the motions until the sparks start flying. And they do, as you say, start flying once the positive energy of work takes over. It’s just if you’re not there, it won’t happen. So thanks for being honest that the biggest effort of all is putting all the cobwebs in your brain aside and just SHOWING UP. As a great baseball player once said, “Practice all the time. If you’re not practicing, someone else is out there practicing–and when he meets you, he will beat you.”

  2. Janice says:
    May 18th, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    This is EXACTLY what I needed to see, today. A big smile just spread across my face. Ridgely…thanks for the inspiration.


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