Anyone who knows me knows that I love my wife, my family and my job. I feel very blessed in this life. By day, I work for the Marine Corps. I am no longer active duty; I served for eight years and change, and now enjoy working with the Marines as a civilian. I build things for the rifle range at Camp Lejeune, everything from targets and tables to benches and boxes. By night, depending on the day of the week, I do everything else. Mondays are “watch the kids and writing” night. Tuesday is Cub Scouts. Wednesday is my TV night (Myth-Busters rocks!). Thursday and Friday are filling- in-the-blank nights which could be anything from woodworking, to cleaning the house, to playing with the kids. The weekend is catch-up and family time.
I don’t think I am any more or less busy than anyone else. We all find things to fill in our day, be it emergencies (real or imagined), TV (“OMG! Did you see American Idol?!”), Hobbies, or whatever. The trick is to find balance with all of the things we do. I have always struggled with balancing my time and tasks. Sometimes I will be working so hard to get shape and lose weight that I have no time to do any woodwork. I might then get a commission, and back to the shop I go. Then, I realize how much I miss making sawdust, or that I am getting rusty on a skill and back to the shop I go (all the while, not setting foot on the treadmill). After a while of nothing but exercise, then nothing but woodwork, my kids start getting restless. They want to wrestle and play with their ol’man. The wife starts to wonder what happened to her husband, the house starts falling apart, stress creeps in and all hell breaks loose.
Last year, I was doing really well. I was getting fit, I had numerous commissions, and most importantly, I felt like a good husband and a good father. I decided it was time to start running again. I have never liked running, even when I was a triathlete. The only reason I did run was because there were no swim/bike combination races. I had to learn how to run to be competitive. The running carried over into the Marine Corps, where I still hated it, in the form of formation runs and physical fitness tests. I looked forward to getting out of the Marines, partly so I would never have to run again.
After getting out and becoming fat and happy for a few years, it was time to get back to my fighting weight. I lost a bunch of weight and felt great. Then I got lazy. I didn’t maintain it. It’s not like I couldn’t maintain it. I just didn’t. So I started up again. I borrowed P90X from a friend and had Tony Horton kick my ass for a while. I was doing great! I felt good, looked good (well, better anyway…), and decided it was time to start running. Why? Because I know it is good for me. Doing the difficult, challenging things makes us better people. I wanted to run, but this time, on my terms. Not because I had to as the final leg of a triathlon, or because Uncle Sam made me. I wanted to do it for me.
I looked around the internet for a running program that I thought be fit the bill. I am prone to shin splints so I wanted to make sure I started off slow. I ended up using the Couch-to-5k running plan. This was actually my second time using it. It is basically, interval training to build you up to running 3.1 miles after 6 weeks. Day 1 was great! I was outside, great weather, feeling good, and rocking music. Day 2 was a rest day, and I was still feeling good. Not much soreness, just some muscle fatigue. Day 3 was a fitness trail, over some logs, under some trees, and up and down hills. I was feeling great! The trail opened up to a dirt road and SNAP! Rolled my ankle. Bad. That boney bump on the outside of your ankle? On the ground. Limped back to my car cursing the whole way. Drove to the ER. Nothing broken. Torn ligaments. Physical Therapy: 3 months. Got better. Got lazy. Really lazy. I tried to stay productive while I was licking my wounds. Got a new lathe, did a few projects, and learned some new techniques. Mostly, I just sat around. I started reflecting. I took an honest look at my life and how everything fits together. Where am I now? What sucks? What rocks? What do I want/need/desire? How do I get there? Where is my beer…?
So here I am now.
Here is my goal:
I will balance my time. I will commit time to my wife, my family, my health and fitness and my woodwork. I will remember that I work for my family, not in spite of my family. I will dedicate time for diet and exercise because it is an investment (you don’t put a crappy blade in a Power Matic do ya?), and I will keep growing as a woodworker. I will not settle on “good enough.” I will step-up and start living and performing to my potential as a husband, father, friend, woodworker, and any other roll I happen to fill.
It is time to LIVE, not just exist.
RES FIRMA MITESCERE NESCIT
My website: http://www.projectwoodworks.com/page1.php
-- christopheralan http://www.projectwoodworks.com