This morning I woke up to a request from my 17 year old son's girlfriend of more than two years. She had a fitness class assignment and was looking for five people (of whom, Sherry and I ended up being two) to answer a series of questions. I answered the five questions before 4 AM (I was up early after an exhausting week and weekend and having gone to sleep very early on Sunday night). When I told her I hoped the answers were not too long but that fitness is something I care a lot about she answered that she knew I care a lot about fitness.
While Kelsey knows that I care about fitness, I'm not sure if she has any appreciation for how fast I run. She simply knows that fitness matters to me. Parenthetically, on this day when I ran four miles, after my ten fastest miles by myself on Saturday, I found that I was running four of the slowest by myself in a long time.
Leaving the time behind, having a teen thinking of me for being really into fitness brings me to today's thought or lesson or whatever I might call it on the road to better. That is to appreciate the gifts I have for a while. Build them up? Yes. But for a while just take the gifts and don't try to build or learn new ones.
Am I saying the proverbial, "You can't teach an old dog new tricks?" No. In fact I think there is still a lot for me to learn in a wide variety of areas.
What I am saying is that I am known for some things. I am known because I have proven that I am good at them. I have proven that I can stick with them. And I know I can continue to improve and get better at them. But it is good just to stick with them. Deepen rather than widen my talents. Grow what I have rather than diversify. So many different ways of expressing what I am thinking.
So what am I known for? Breads. Administration. Running. Teaching. Those initials could be read as BART. (Although I'm not sure I want to think of the Simpsons when it comes to considering what I am known for) Or BRAT, I suppose, although that term would be even less something I would want to have associated with me.
I suppose you could add marriage and parenting. Not that I am perfect at either of those (or any of the first four). Or even close on any. Just known.
For example, being married at age 22 and staying married for 21 years so far and having three successful boys (each in his own way) are things that make a positive impression on people. Running the Boston marathon makes an impression. Success with bread and my job make an impression.
So moving ahead, I look forward to strengthening and deepening. Growing--but controlled growth. My road to better is a planned and deliberate road to better making use of the assets I already have when I take the time to think about it.