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Living on the cusp of change.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Right now is my favorite time of year. It's the time of year that is defined by the "OFF" setting on the heat pump. The time when the temperature in the house is regulated by how many windows we open. Where I live, autumn is cool and beautiful and winter is not so harsh that you dread its coming. Festivals are going on somewhere every weekend and the holidays are just around the corner. It's a great time of the year to ride a motorcycle through the mountains because so much is changing.

When I started riding again, one of my wife's friends gave me a black leather jacket that her son used to wear. He had gotten married and given up riding. Since he really didn't need it anymore he asked his mother to find it a new home. When my wife handed it to me I looked at the size label and was a bit dismayed. I put it on and the zipper prominently displayed a two-inch gap. There was no way I could wear it. But my wife is an optimist and suggested that if I wanted to, I could be wearing that jacket in a month. I accepted her challenge, putting the jacket on a hanger and in the front of my closet. Every Saturday morning I would try it on. Every Saturday morning it was a little closer. I would put it back and think next week, next week. Four weeks went by. The jacket still didn't fit. Like I said, my wife is an optimist. It took six weeks. The ends of the zipper came together and it slid smoothly up to my neck. I wore it on a ride that morning. I still wear it on cool days when wind chill makes the air seem colder than it really is.

I tell that story because it's the origin of a little trick that my wife and I use these days. When either of us needs a little prompting to move forward with our program, we will go and pick out some new piece of clothing in one size smaller than we are used to wearing. Ladies, I've been shopping with my wife, I know that you can't find a blouse for $3.99 like guy's shirts. But you can get something nice at WalMart for less than $15. And having that little bit of anticipation, living with the thought of the first day you can wear your new whatever, that's motivation. It doesn't take much to get your emotions on board. And once you get emotional about the new you, the real new you is only a few days away. I know it, I've lived it, it works.

We wear a company uniform where I work. Every couple of years I get an allotment to purchase new shirts, pants, etc. I don't know what happened this time, but five of my new shirts didn't even come close to fitting. You know, individual sizing may vary, please see the onsite representative before ordering. My wife asked if I was sending them back. I couldn't because I had not seen the onsite rep prior to ordering and my new shirts were all embroidered with "Bill." So I put one on a hanger and hung it in the front of my closet. Yesterday I buttoned it up. I can't wear it to work yet. One sneeze and those buttons would put someone's eye out. But in two weeks it will be part of my daily wardrobe. I know this. I've already seen it.

The lesson learned for me is that it's more exciting living on the edge of change. Having a clear visualization of where you're going will help carry you there. Making little steps toward your goal, enjoy the moment, but always move forward.
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