December 15, 1997


I’ve got rhythm. My son the budding musician will tell you otherwise, but I know that I have it. It’s just a different kind of rhythm.

Actually I have rhythms - plural. I am talking about the rhythms of my life. If I only had one rhythm, life would be easy. It would be like setting the car on cruise control and sitting back and relaxing for the ride. But life is not always like that. Sometimes it is more like speeding with the foot pressed to the floor, the “pedal to the metal” way of life. At other times I cannot seem to get it out of first gear. And then there are those days of demolition derby.

If only I could choose. I would like to wake up in the morning and choose which kind of day it is going to be. I use to wake up and be disappointed if it was not going to be one of those cruise control days. I love those smooth days - no ups, no downs, just mellow. Of course, they hardly exist, so every day I would be disappointed.

I do not get to choose. Instead I am chosen. I have come to accept that my body and mind may have different ideas than I have. I may want to come roaring out into the day, but they say, “Whoa boy, take it easy. There is a rhythm going on here and try as you might to change it, you will not change it. Today is a first gear day. We need one whether you recognize it or not.”

I had a great week last week - five days of highly creative and productive living - pedal to the metal living. I just got things done! But then I crashed and here I am, three days later, still not back at that same level. Why not?

The question is not why not. The wrong question will lead to a useless answer. The question is what do I do with the information that my body is telling me. If my body is telling me I need to be in first gear, then the answer is that I need to be in first gear. I need to honor the rhythm. I need to stop fighting it and stop wishing to be in a different place.

There are no bad rhythms. You see a lot more of what is around you when you are driving in first gear. Things become clearer. I will not be as productive, but I will still get done what needs to be done. But more important than doing, I will be who I need to be. And who I am is the gas for tomorrow.

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