If Only I Were

I don’t know when it happened in my life. Or when it became a habit. Is it even worth asking?

When was it that my best stopped being good enough?

When you practice sitting meditation. A good portion of it. Is to get in touch with you. The pretty and the ugly. And to accept both. To abide.

Here’s the ugly. I’ve so wanted to be better than my best.

Isn’t that impossible?

So. When was it that I began to tell myself that I wasn’t good enough?

If only I were faster, smarter, taller, thinner.

If only I were better.

But. How can you be better than your best?

How can you constantly approach the day, somehow believing that you should be better than your best?

And so.

I ran 18 miles today. It took me longer than it used too. Back when my best was much better. Back when I didn’t even appreciate how fast I was. Even then, I thought I should be better. Faster.

Today. I know. I did my best. I gave it all I had. And now. I’m going to sit down. And figure out how to appreciate that.

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One thought on “If Only I Were

  1. Not to sound like an elder statesman, but I think one of life’s major mile markers is learning to accept, gracefully, that we can’t, as we age, do some of the physical things we did as younger folks. I still have dreams of running, chasing after fly balls and line drives; when I wake to the realization that I can’t anymore, it leaves me wistful, but the memories of when I could do it sustain me, and there’s a (hopeless) determination to appreciate it next time around. There’s a line, etched in my heart, from Toby Keith’s “As Good As I Once Was”; “I used to be hell on wheels/back when I was a younger man/Now my body says ‘You can’t do this, boy’/but my pride says ‘Oh yes you can!'” Life lesson from a country song…

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