September 10. “Character is the total of thousands of small daily strivings to live up to the best that is in us.” (Lt. General Arthur Trudeau)
The “daily strivings” to live up to the best that is in us. By Trudeau’s view that is what shows character. After my reflection yesterday this is ringing with me. I will readily admit that I didn’t have a very good day yesterday. I spent time beating myself up for the weekend, but it was more than that. As I sat in a 6+ hour, mind-numbingly boring meeting, I was thinking about all the reasons I might be feeling “off”. The short list of reasons included:
- The events of the weekend that I wrote about yesterday
- The remaining work to be done on the home improvement project is weighing on me
- The weather is beginning to change, and I really don’t like Fall and Winter
- I peeked at the scale yesterday morning and was up from Friday
- Work stress is high for one project, and I am getting ready to transfer to a new position which is increasing my stress
- I hadn’t worked out or taken a long walk in more than a week
I texted my wife and she was very supportive. She encouraged me to go to the gym and get in a work out. Since my gym bag was packed, I followed her advice. I got in about 50 minutes of treadmill time before a blister started on my foot. Yeah, it was that kind of day.
I don’t want this post to turn into a diary of my woes, so I will stop there with the description of my day. The bottom line is this, I didn’t really strive much yesterday. I allowed myself a pity-party day.
I know that the best that is in me is much better than what’s been coming out in the last 4 or 5 days. I know I am better than this. If character is measured by the “daily strivings”, then yesterday wasn’t much of a character day for me, at least not if the earnestness of the strivings count for anything.
Today is a new day. As I am writing this blog it is still the pre-dawn time of the morning that I cherish for reflection. As I sit here in the quiet of the morning, I am thinking about my bullet point list from above, and about this quote. I can’t solve or eliminate the issues on my list. No matter what I do the weather will change, the past is done, and work stress is going to continue for a while. What I can do is change my attitude about them, and I can get my rear moving again in the direction I desire.
I am not going to sit here and proclaim that my mood will be great because I will it to be so. But I can commit to myself, and to anyone who reads this post, that I am not going to have a day of inaction. Despite the small blister, I plan to walk today. I am going to keep my shoulder to the wheel at work, and we are going to make strides on the project at home tonight. I don’t know if any of this will be the elixir that improves my mood, but I do know that I won’t just be sitting still.
My reflection today is on whether I am striving hard enough to bring out the best that is in me. In my most honest hour I know that I haven’t been in the past few days. Today I will start to turn that around and get back on track.