Doing Time in the Trenches? Five Nuggets To Survive.

spadeTime. It’s the one thing we all have in common. We either have oodles of it, or wish for more of the seconds and minutes that make up twenty-four hours in any given day.
Luxury, idle, wasted, marked, spent, captured, passing, boring, seized or whatever it’s all finite time. And it’s all we have.
To do whatever it is to get to where we’re going.
The old saying “use it wisely” springs to mind as one day morphs into the next on a step repeat cycle of work, running, writing, sleeping, feeding the cat, and me, and drinking a glass of wine.
As much as I moan about it – if I don’t show up every day to achieve one or all of those things I feel a tad hard done by. After all it’s all in the name of giving myself a shot of becoming a writer. A successful one at that.
Right now my dream seems elusive as I’m stuck in the trenches digging deep for time, words, sentence reconstructions, and motivation to get through a rewrite and another week of marathon training. It’s gritty, and quite frankly at times I just don’t get why I’m doing what I’m doing. The other f-word, fun has been redefined to eating a bag of chocolate covered pretzels while editing one word for another.
But time is all I have to live my dream.
Twenty odd years ago I would have run a gazillion miles away from such a schedule. I simply didn’t have the time, stamina, commitment or focus to even stop and think about what I really wanted to do. To be. To become.
I guess I’m a late developer. I needed some time and life experiences before I stopped living someone else’s life to live mine. It all sounds so lofty, so aspirational, and it is, but it takes time, lots of it, and good old-fashioned hard yakka.
I’m learning…to dream to believe to achieve, doesn’t magically happen after a good nights sleep. It takes time, hard work, commitment, and my new favorite thing – single-minded focus. Plus an unwavering self belief – your dream is yours to own and believe in. It will happen. In time.

Five Nuggets To Survive Time in the Trenches

1. Believe
Believe in you. Believe in the best possible outcome. It will happen.
2. It’s Temporary
Nothing lasts forever. Being stuck in the trenches doing oodles of writing, editing, thinking, creating, or whatever, can be tedious. But, nothing lasts forever. It’s only a matter of time before progress brings you out of the trenches and into the next phase.
3. Bite Size Chunks
Goal setting is one thing. Setting realistic goals is another. I call them, bite size chunks. Only do what you can do in the time you have available. Think quality of time over quantity of time.
4. Gnarly Days and Gold Nuggets
Even the worst days can shine a little brilliance. Look for the good.
On some of my longer training runs I feel horrible. Quitting lurks around every corner. But as it’s not an option I search for the positive…”another 30 minutes and I’m home.” It takes less time to get over the pain of 30 more minutes than of quitting.
5. Big Picture Thinking
Goal setting, visualization, dreaming, believing are book-ended with a beginning and end. While you’re slogging away somewhere in the middle, keep an eye on the big picture – let the ultimate purpose of why you’re doing what you’re doing be your motivation to keep going.

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