Today I will do what others won’t so tomorrow I can do what others can’t.
That’s what his shirt said, my 13-year-old. When my sister saw it, she said, “Yeah, you will. That shirt is so you.” Some hours later, the words were covered in his blood. He had twenty-one stitches holding together the forehead injury from a pickup game of basketball, and we made jokes about framing the shirt drenched in its telling illustration while I felt a little like everything was broken and would never be the same again. (It’s a reflex emotion – I go there when one of them is hurt beyond the aches and scrapes of a Band-Aid commercial.)
On Tuesday I took a webinar at work that taught me how to define my roles and establish the most important goals in each so I can learn to set aside time for those (the big rocks), so the gravel doesn’t get in my way and keep me from being extraordinary. It was very blood-on-the-shirt kind of stuff. I was definitely inspired. But I swear on all that is holy, the minute the webinar ended and I printed out my shiny little certificate, I slumped. Because a really cool illustration about what quadrant all our tasks fit into does not actually write my next book or market my memoir or keep up with my blog in the tiny hours left between work and baseball and supper and bed.
John will be in stitches several days. And every time I look at them, I will remind myself that to be extraordinary, you might have to bleed. And I’ll be totally up for it again. Because with all due respect to the webinar instructor, that tall boy who responded to his injury with the simple words, “Well, I better get this blood washed out of my shirt,” – that guy is my real motivation. He doesn’t need me to write books. He’ll continue to bleed whether I do or not. But it can’t hurt for me to strive as well. It seems like a really good start to tomorrow.
(The title of this post is from a One Republic song: I did it all / I owned every second that this world could give / Saw so many places and the things that I did / For every broken bone, I swear I lived.)