You know that corner around which Spring always seems to be hiding? We’ve finally turned it. Hallelujah and glory be. We’ve turned it. The first sign of spring ISN’T just the robins pecking at the barely thawed ground, but rather kids whooping it up joyfully on their bikes, winding their way around the enduring gray snow patches.
And every year, like all other parents, my husband and I spend the first couple of bike rides hollering reminders to our daughter of all that she forgot about bike-riding and bike safety.
She listens with barely-contained impatience. While she knows better than to “Mooo-oooom” me, I know she cannot wait until my back is turned to let go. To ride like the wind, every bump an affirmation of the daredevil inside. Some anthemic crescendo blaring in her head…feeling her own freedom.
But alas, there I am. Insisting that she not just practice the straightaways, but also her turning. Her signaling. Her stopping.
You see, she has already mastered the straightaways. She’s got it down pat. It feels good to do what you’re good at, to be sure. But those aren’t the muscles that need stretching.
It’s nailing the corners that will make her masterful (and keep her safe).
The same, of course, is true for us all.
Straightaways are grand. Open roads, no traffic, the wind in our hair. Nothing but spaaaaaaaaace to write and create. Feeling our own freedom.
But that’s not life, now, is it? There are always twists, turns, and blind corners. That’s okay—you anticipated them on the road to There. It’s your path, your process, your growth and your evolution.
In Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell speaks of the 10,000 hours required to become a world-class expert in anything. I say it’s 10,000 choices.
How you choose to navigate those turns is what will make every bit of difference here. When someone else’s needs rise up in front of your work, which way will you choose to turn? How will you choose to take the corners? Full speed or slowly and methodically?
Enjoy the straightaways, but master the corners.