What do you show up for?

In December our community was hit with an unusual blast of winter snow. Some report up to 11 inches fell in less than a day. This pretty much shuts this Southern town down. In the quiet of the early morning, when I knew that there was no need to get out of stretchy pants, comb my hair or shower, I sat by the fire and thought about a recent article I had read and its implications for the future of the world. Or at least, the future of Northern Virginia. Here’s what I wrote:

Calls poured into Arlington Country’s police department this week. The reason was unexpected. The local Cheesecake Factory was giving away 40,000 pieces of their signature cheesecake to celebrate their anniversary. The promotion clogged roads, a fistfight broke out, one person was hospitalized and another charged with disorderly conduct. All for a free slice of cheesecake.

It makes me wonder on this snowing Virginia morning, snuggling with my grand dog in front of a cozy fire - what do I show up for? What would be compelling enough to torpedo me out of this recliner and into the cold. What would be worth getting jammed up in traffic and willfully breaking out in “fisiticuffs” (a quote from the AP article), all in the pursuit of...what?

I love cheesecake; but don’t you think that most of the people who entered the fray could have afforded to pay for one piece of cheesecake without all the hassle? I wonder if the great cheesecake grab of December 2018 was more about winning than noshing. It would be easy to enter into the competition. The victory was assured. All participants had to do was show up.

What am I willing to show up for? What does it cost me? What am I willing to pay?

In Brene Brown’s newest book Dare to Lead she writes, “The courage to be vulnerable is not about winning or losing, it’s about the courage to show up when you can’t predict or control the outcome.”

Resolutions, the ones that I suspect really matter, need to be more about vulnerability and courage than they are about winning or losing. But most of my resolutions are about achieving; striving; beating; having; acquiring. If that’s the case, if I can extrapolate from Brown’s perspective, the trouble with my resolutions is about what I’ve chosen to be resolute about and why I have chosen that particular resolution.

Could that be a problem you struggle with too?

To be continued...