What you do today can improve all your tomorrows. – Ralph Marston
A few days ago, my laptop computer alerted me that there were important updates waiting.
I grumbled, but I get it.
These updates keep my computer safe while adding improved functionality and providing new features. But the updates put a dent in my writing time because they take so long to install.
With a sigh of exasperation, I closed Word ®, shut down my browser and selected Update. After the screen flashed a few times, a message informed me of the progress: Keep your PC on until this is done. Installing update 1 of 8.
So, I waited.
Watching as the number on the left increased in value, gave me a few moments to clear my mind and think.
There are many times when I’m running so fast that I don’t take time to consider how I’m feeling, what I need or how I’m doing. My laptop inspired me to think about the updates I need.
Update 1 of 8
It’s been years since I’ve read a book for pleasure. With cooler weather on the way, it sounds refreshing to buy a paperback and read it on my deck so I can take in the fresh air while getting lost in a good story.
Update 2 of 8
Mary Beth started the Body for Life program a couple of weeks ago. Seeing her focused on improving her physical health has made me consider my own well-being. Even though I exercise four to five times a week, I know I can do more to take care of this 53-year-old body like getting more sleep, eating less sugar and more vegetables. I think I’ll tag along with my wife and find more ways to be healthier.
Update 3 of 8
People tell me I’m a kind person. While I think that’s true, I know that I could be kinder to myself. Giving myself a break when I fall short, loving me as much as I love others and being mindful of self-limiting thoughts can help quiet the inner critic, which will bring more kindness to me.
Update 4 of 8
I live inside my comfort zone too much. Routine and structure soothes me, but it doesn’t help my dreams come alive. There are projects I want to do like finishing a book, starting a consulting service and dipping my toes in public speaking. Rather than trying to do all of these things at once, I want to pick one and then change my routine so I can complete it.
Update 5 of 8
After my brother died four years ago, I changed. My positive attitude became diluted by anger and guilt. Perhaps the most obvious effect of his death is I smile less. I want to find that smile and show it to the world – and to myself – more often.
Update 6 of 8
I’ve been blessed to have so much abundance like a great marriage, quality relationships with my children and a successful career. But these things don’t make me worry less. I worry about my family’s finances, I worry about not being appreciated enough and I worry about the unknown problem dropping into my lap without warning. Sometimes the worry takes a bigger place in my heart than the abundance. So, I need to find a way to give more energy to the abundance and less attention to the things I can’t control.
Update 7 of 8
There’s still so much I want to do before it’s too late. I want to see a baseball game at Fenway Park. I want to go to Italy with Mary Beth. And I want to leave a body of work behind that’s my legacy; my gift to my family and to the world. I want my spirit to be awake more often and not pass up the chance to do the things that would stir my soul.
Update 8 of 8
Regret can stick to me like a half-eaten lollipop between two couch cushions. Guilt, shame and resentment is the toxic trio that can keep me from enjoying what I have right now. But every day I have the choice to make amends and to leave the past behind. Letting go of the past – and the mistakes made there – needs to keep happening.
When the number on the left reached the same value as the number on the right, I received this message: Your PC needs to restart to finishing installing updates.
I clicked the Restart button. In a few moments, my laptop would be safer with improved functionality and new features.
It’s my turn now.
Important updates are waiting.