Its about time.
I remember very well the starting line of the New York City Marathon in 1999. It was my first race, I had nothing to ground the experience, no reference points that could help me gain bearings. It was all new and very exciting.
The night before the race I was like a kid at Christmas. I wanted to go to bed early so that I would be rested for the next day. Yet I found myself tossing and turning all night. At times I was counting the minutes on the clock. Time seemed to be crawling.
When a goal or a commitment is placed on a calendar it becomes solid, and then time moves you towards that event. Leading up to that day in November 1999 I had done the things that I needed to do to arrive at the start line. Once I was there I just had to go with the flow of the experience.
The energy level as I was corralled to my starting place on the Staten Island bridge along with 30,000 other runners was electric. As the minutes ticked down to the start time I kept thinking “This is it, this is about to happen, there is no turning back”. The final countdown began and then the starting gun sounded. At that moment I was in it, this significant life event was happening.
I was having similar feelings the first week of February 2011 when I was going to be entering a classroom as a volunteer teacher. The date was set and the time was approaching that I would walk into the classroom for this experience.
I have long enjoyed label substitutions for the feelings that emerge prior to these foreign experiences. Instead of saying “I’m nervous” I choose to say “I’m excited”. I feel by being in a positive state moving towards new life experiences helps me to foster the courage to move outside of my comfort zone.
In the same way that starting gun sounded in New York and I was caught up in another world experience, Three weeks ago I was in a Junior High close to my home in West Hillhurst and the class buzzer sounded, here I was. I was in it.
It is amazing that things that we may most hunger for, most desire and gain most satisfaction doing can become the things in our day that we do not attend to. Gaining this opportunity to be a volunteer teacher has been an extremely enriching experience. 1 hour two times a week I get to enter into a class room and teach kids subject matter that I feel is most important.
This time commitment could easily seem impossible amongst my various other commitments, yet I have quickly found that it is such service roles that add the greatest depth and substance to my life.
In a simialr way, making the time to write and share ideas , feelings and reflections on this Blog is an activity that can become compromised. Yet as I publish my posts there is something significant that happens in my heart and soul. There is a deep level of satisfaction as I sense that I am adding value to the world in some small way. After the task is complete very often it becomes the highlight of my day.