You know those thoughts that swirl around in your head, your mental to-do list? Get the car’s oil changed, handwash the two shirts still sitting at the bottom of the laundy basket, complete last year’s DIY project, be active regularly, train for a marathon, have a difficult conversation with a loved one… Some make take a few minutes. Others longer.
I have a Nike t-shirt that I wear periodically. Adorned with a pink Nike swoosh, it says, “The only way to finish is to start.” I bought this shirt when I first started running six years ago, and the message for me at the time was purely running related. I wanted to train for a marathon, and I just didn’t think I was capable. This shirt was to be the tangible and constant reminder to believe in myself.
While traveling through the grocery store last Tuesday, a kind-looking elderly woman was looking at me, staring in fact. I did the once over-was my zipper down? Did I have something in my teeth? Was toilet paper trailing from my shoe? I smiled. She smiled. She gently approached me and explained. “I have been watching you, mostly reading your shirt.” “Oh,” I quizically replied, wondering if she too had been a runner or better yet, still runs.
She explained that she knows about Nike and how the message is realted to sports. But, her wise words came next. She seemed wisftul as she uttered, “You know, the message on your shirt applies to so many things in our lives all very unrelated to any kind of sport.” I smiled and nodded to acknowledge her, then she walked away. I had to later wonder what these words meant to her in her long, long life.
You know, that wise, gentle woman in the grocery store is correct. What’s on your mental to-do list that just needs to get finished? Some may be such little matters. Others may be bigger, take longer, and require some courage. And, the only way to finish, is to start! How much better would you feel and how much sunshine would you find in your day if you’d start those projects so you can finish?
P.S. I did complete the first marathon, and keep this shirt as a reminder that sometimes I need to kick myself into gear. But, I think I prefer the deeper message shared with me from the wise lady at the supermarket! Wise words were not on my grocery list, and I walked away with something better than anything I could buy.