TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

January 20, 2014

Loaded down or loaded up


TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

CORBIN — Happy New Year!

2014 is off and running and quite honestly I feel like I am in a horse and buggy race and I wasn’t in the buggy when the race started!

There is absolutely nothing like trying to participate in the race and trying to run and catch up to get in the buggy seat. If you are feeling exhausted with me already, please allow me to say thanks for feeling my pain.

With all the planning that I do and organizing of events and activities, I do plan for down time. Traditionally it is called a vacation but I prefer to simply call it my time!

Yes, I do turn the phone off, I do not answer emails — no texting either. The only thing I can say for certain is that I will take a lot of pictures. With the creation of the digital camera and the ability to just delete, I am a picture taking crazy man.

With the exhausted feeling that has arrived so early in 2014, I am confident I will need to fall back on my “old rules of life.”

One of my “old rules of life” includes two full weeks of vacation and three weekend getaways. I have often been told that with my travel schedule, I am on vacation all the time because I am seeing different sights all the time.

I understand that line of thinking and I appreciate all the sights I get to see. The down side is leaving to drive somewhere in the early a.m. and then returning just as late as your early leaving hours can really zap your energy.

Not exactly my idea of a vacation.

I understand the value of seeing new sights and I am well known for stopping on the side of a road for a photo. Capturing the beauty of life and then sharing that photo is a practice I enjoy. Rivers, mountain views, railroads, old houses, fences, cars, rocks, stacks of wood, road signs, courthouses, trees and statues I appreciate.

Trying to run full-speed to catch back up with life where it ran off and left you, is never any fun. I have heard folks say it is OK if you lag behind or need to catch up. They suggest all that is necessary is to sprint full-speed, catch back up to the group and all will be fine.

In theory, the practice sounds like a plan that works. My experience has often been that when I sprint full-speed ahead attempting to regain my lost ground, I find myself totally out of breath, gasping for air and then falling even further behind because I couldn’t keep up with the pace even though I was able to regain the pace for a short time.

I first shared my exhaustion by giving the example of knowing I should have been sitting in the buggy seat when the race started. If we are honest, no matter how hard we try, without a miracle, or at least the horse stopping to let me climb aboard, it is highly unlikely this situation ends good.

I believe there are many moments in life where situations create an ever so gloomy outlook and the prospects of turning things around might appear to be hopeless. I have already said I feel this way already so the only question to ask is what is the answer?  

The answer is just the opposite of what the common perception or tendency to believe would be.

Running full-speed to only exhaust yourself is not the answer. The perception that you would need to work harder, fight to get ahead has merits, but that concept alone is full of failure too.

The tendency is to do whatever it takes to regain your position or status in the race. This too will leave you empty, along with exhausted and frustrated because of the lack of accomplishment in achieving your goals.

The answer is to reconsider your plans. Maybe competing is not the proper way to view your goals. Maybe you should be considering the concept of perfect timing in all things.

“Keeping up with the Jones Family” has never been a healthy choice. Giving yourself permission to run the race at our own pace would be a wise decision.

Having participated in marathon events, my goal from my beginning preparations have always been to simply finish the race.

No, God will not put more on us than we can bear. It is we that load ourselves down and not him. Until then...