The high-pitched dee-dee-dee in quick succession jolts me from deep sleep. It's 4:20.
This is the time of day when all I can hear is the cliche tick-tock and low whirr of the refrigerator. I open my journal and write across the page, Fri., Nov. 4, 16, 4:30A.
My heart is full. My mind keeps rhythm with the refrigerator's motor. My inspiration "bucket" is running over.
My friend, Rhyse, keeps track of the days until Christmas, beginning with December 26th. In fact, he'll greet you with the update, a wave of his hand and broad smile, "51 days!" It's charming, really.
I'm counting days, too, only more like the bright orange mile markers in a long race. 57 days to resolve intentions.
I glance up at the piece of paper tacked to the wall behind my computer, "My Life As A Verb ~ Contribute. . ." followed by nine more verbs. I need to add an eleventh: Resolve.
We're in a season in which I feel woefully unprepared. A rookie at best.
It's scratchy. Like wearing a tight wool sweater and sitting next to the fireplace in an already warm room. At times, it's hard to breath.
It's exhilarating, too. Because, after all, in a moment or two, the mug of hot chocolate will be empty and it'll be time to go back out in the biting cold. No, better to leave the sweater on than to get too comfortable here in the lodge.
I find myself reminiscing most days about the past decade and how much has changed and where we're going.
"Integrity is the courage to meet the demands of reality," writes Dr. Henry Cloud in his book with those same words as the title. Integrity. Courage. Reality.
So I'm up at 4:20, sometimes 3:30, learning, practicing, writing, wondering, brainstorming. Mustering courage to meet the demands of reality.
And I catch myself chuckling uncertainty and discomfort because this season feels reckless. Like a risk at every turn. At the moment, I'm buried beneath commitments and failing more than succeeding. And I'm learning to go faster, which leaves me less time to go back and stall out in an attempt to edit my life.
Can you imagine if the producers and directors in the world paused to edit -- but then got stuck there, never implementing new ideas and moving forward with production? Yeh, me neither.
My cousin, (she'll probably go on to take the stage and fronts of boardrooms to equip and empower high-level leaders one day. . . right after she equips and empowers the five young men growing up in her home first), is a motivational example of the power of taking risks. "Take action," she says, even as she and her husband pour their energy into endeavors -- and adventures -- with eternal significance. It's as though rookie status doesn't show up on their radar. They live forward, take risks, and inspire people along the way.
Interesting discovery: it's fun writing a book. An aside is the incredible accountability it provides. Here I am, not the expert -- but an amateur stepping into this big adventure, resolving scribbles on a daily list, "gettin' after it," as Isaiah, my 19-year old says.
What about you? What are you doing these days in which you are a rookie and yet you're finding the courage to take risks? Let me know in the comments or reply to this email.