Sunday, February 11, 2018

Thinking like an Olympian

Like our Olympic hopefuls, I am putting my best foot forward when performance is most critical (or in my case, the waking hours) in order to be my best self, keep the wheels of life turning (earn money, pay bills, taxes, have insurance, a roof over our heads, a car in the driveway, food on the table and recycle). Add in my job, family matters, community service, exercising (something I like to avoid unless it involves walking or swimming) and having any kind of social life- well, I am in awe of these talented individuals who have committed themselves tirelessly to training, regimens, goals, personal sacrifices and likely getting up early most days, concerned with their bodies, their talent and their nutrition, addressing their psychological ability to compete effectively by hiring the right coach, nutritionist, massage therapist, and agent to help them on their journey all the while traveling to compete in countless events to attain the status that has led them to be at the Olympics as a participant.

I'm not trying to get to the Olympics. For years I was happy to see my kids grow and mature to young adults capable of navigating the world on their own most of the time.  And like many empty nesters, my role has morphed to helpful bystander from full time caregiver.  So what is thinking like an Olympian for me now? Maybe it's doing what I dread at times, being responsible at all times and the grace to accept my self despite my shortcomings and pressing on no matter how nutty the going gets. 
Maybe an Olympic medal in civility, perseverance and clarity. That's a medal I would chase for sure.

with credit to the amazing Chang Lee of the NYTimes for the photo