Johnny Cash and the Big Dipper

Lately, at the end of the night, I walk out onto my back deck with my guitar and strum old Johnny Cash songs, taking in the Big Dipper that sits just above the horizon. 

It has become my favorite way to unwind because there is little road noise, the stars are extra bright and the sky is extra dark. And because Johnny Cash. 

Despite years of resisting the purchase of a house, I’ve found myself in the past few weeks truly embracing all that we’ve gained. Five acres of quiet, a house with great character and history, and a hot water heater that melted less than a month after moving in.

Cheers to homeowning.

But prior to buying the house, all I could think about was what I would lose.

I don’t like feeling tied down. I’m a wanderer at heart and I relish the idea of picking up and moving whenever I'm tired of a job or a place. In my twenties, I lived all over the country and changed jobs like…well…like it was my job :-)

So every time Sheila suggested buying a house, I’d counter that we should move into an airstream and live on the beach in San Diego. Or that perhaps it was time to go back to Pittsburgh. Or that I heard Portland, Oregon was really nice - and that Colorado was my favorite place ever. 

And she'd suggest that I....well...I'll leave that to your imagination. 

When it comes to making certain changes, it’s easy to hyper-focus on only one piece of the puzzle. 

In the fitness industry, most clients hyper-focus on what’s not happening - the results they are not getting. When we invest time and energy into something, we expect results. 

But what results are we looking for? 

Me: Are you sleeping better?

Client: Yes. Do you see these batwing thingys under my arm? My kids play hide and seek with these.

Me: How's your energy level?

Client: Amazing! Why have I not lost a pound? d  

A few years ago, when I was home in Pennsylvania, I told my four-year old niece that she was getting tall. And she ran over to the wall, put her hand above her head and exclaimed:

"I know! I'm almost up to my hand!"

Throw the measuring stick away. Ok?

Look for what is happening. What you are gaining. Strength. Community. Friendships. Fun. Forearms that your niece and nephew do chin ups on.  

Don't hyper-focus on what's not happening - or what you haven't done. Every single person reading this post has done something to be proud of. I'm certain of it.

If you are going to the gym every day wondering why you bother to keep showing up when the scale hasn't moved, take a step back.

Compared to a year ago, what have you gained? How about six months ago? How about 30 days ago? 

What have you gained? 

If we hold our head up to our hands, we will always be tall enough.