Different years have brought differing themes. One year there were several, starting with Simplify and The Joy Is In The Journey. I didn’t say they were original — just good points of focus for where my life seemed to be headed. Some of them have turned into enduring life rules such as the two just mentioned. They are life rules No. 1 and No. 2.
In 2011, my theme was we were going to Separate the Men From the Boys. This applied to so many things, including our economy and the daily routines of life.
This year my theme was more focused. I decided it was time to pursue whatever represented my “A game,” being the best I could be. It was decidedly likely to be a journey rather than a destination. It might surprise you what some of the little things this theme has visited in my routines.
For instance, shaving is one of the things I would rather not do if it can at all be avoided. In years past, my scruffy face might have been seen many places on Saturdays and particularly ubiquitous on vacation days. At one point last summer I had made it about 10 days without shaving until my family became so mutinous it was better to remove the whiskers than listen to their protests.
None of us can really know if we are achieving at higher levels better than the feedback we get from our wives, children and mothers. Their observations are the most honest, however humiliating the honesty may be.
Being at the top of one’s game will mean something different to everyone. My weight-loss competition with Tyler City Manager Mark McDaniel put both of us on track to pursue our best. His “A Game” has higher standards than mine at this time (He lost 19 pounds from a starting weight of 166, I lost 15.5 from a starting weight of 283). Percentage-wise he killed me. So be it.
We both moved closer to our individual best with much more room for me to improve.
Mark is performing at a high level and I admire that. It would probably take me another year or two of really dedicated work to reach the level of his A game. Fortunately for me, pursuing mine is satisfying and challenging with its own levels of rewards. This time last year, I was 30 pounds heavier than I am right now.
Lest any of us boast, getting out of any good pattern is as easy as turning on a light switch, so it is important to be mindful we are constantly under attack by the tyranny of the urgent to throw us off track at any time.
Enough about my journey. What about yours. What thoughts would you offer about being in pursuit of your A Game?
Send your thoughts to “Finding my A Game” attn: isitjustme @tylerpaper.com or 410 W. Erwin, Tyler, Texas 75702 or by fax to 903-596-6344. As usual, prizes may be awarded for creativity, ingenuity and anything else deemed prizeworthy by our subjective panel.
The B.U.N.S Book Club meets next Sunday to review and discuss “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain. We will meet at Barnes & Noble on Broadway at 3 p.m. Please join us if you can and for the love of everything decent please try and read the book if you come.