Progress is Process – II

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This is a bud from my Royal Star Magnolia tree in my front yard. This photo was taken in early spring, not this year. In the photo, you can actually see some full blooms in the background (to the upper right). In the upper left, another bud is in further development than this one.

Isn’t that just how life is? Some parts of our lives are fully blooming, while others are still being formulated. Still other parts of our lives may be beginning to bloom but are not fully there.

Where are you in all this? Can you identify what parts of you are in the particular stages? As for me, my life is actually probably in the middle stage. I am towards the upper edge of “middle-aged” and I’m in the “middle” of writing a novel. If I looked back at my life, I’ve accomplished a few things. I have a long-term marriage (27 years this December), no kids, but I do have a few long-term friendships. Yet, I’m at a point in my life where I’m not satisfied.

I’m not satisfied in resting on my laurels. I’m constantly learning, growing, and changing. I hope. I think if you were to ask my friends, they’d say I’ve changed some since they first knew me.

The point is: we need to keep progressing in our lives. Growth is process and growth is progress. I’ve heard it said that if we stop growing, we start losing what we know and have. I believe that’s true for every part of our lives. I have to keep learning, or I’ll lose the ability to learn. I have to keep growing spiritually, or I’ll lose the revelation I have. I have to continue to work my wrist, or I’ll lose the mobility and strength I’ve gained. Speaking of which, I’ve seen progress in an atrophied muscle on the side of my left hand.

If you look at your hands from the top, you’ll see muscles and tendons sort of “round out” the shape of your hand. A couple of months ago, my left hand’s shape ended at the bones. My physical therapist told me, when I asked about it, that the muscles had atrophied from non-use, but with work they’d come back. It took probably eight weeks after I first noticed it, before I noticed progress. It’s not all there yet – compared to my right hand – but there IS progress.

That’s what we need to focus on. Progress, not egress. I am determined to progress in all areas of my life.

What about you? Where do see progress in your life? Leave a comment and let me know.

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