Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie

/Apple, peaches, pumpkin pie,

Who’s not ready, holler I.

Ready or not, here I come./

I had no idea this was a song during my hide-and-seek days with my daughters. I always thought this pre-seeking warning dated back to the early days of The Farmers’ Almanac.

Although we’ve moved from hide-and-seek to Scattergories, I think back to this chorus when I’m on the cusp of doing something hard. I’ve wondered if the threat was for the hider, seeker, or both parties.

I became a Dad for the first time when I was thirty, which is ancient through the lens of Little House on the Prairie, and just a bit younger than the average of thirty-one today. And I didn’t feel ready.

Don’t get me wrong, I was excited, but that’s not readiness. I was just getting comfortable with owning a dog. I wasn’t sure the universe was ready for me to raise a child. Sorry, I can’t blame this on the universe; it was the voice in my head.

Through parenthood, I’ve discovered that when we are on the cusp of something hard, we’ll never feel ready. It’s a tug-o-war of excitement and anxiety, simultaneously pulling hard, and the only way to end it is through action.

Whether we’re talking about writing a book, going after a promotion, having a difficult conversation, or doing anything hard, it’s common for a limiting thought to build into a complex system that holds us back from experiencing life as we desire.

We can be so good at downplaying our capacity. We doubt our strength, give fuel to our fear-based conspiracies, and numb ourselves before we get too close to the edge of something hard.

It’s in our relentless toing and froing or overthinking. We chase distractions, find clever ways to procrastinate, or make things more complicated than necessary. We know what to do, but we hesitate when it’s time to clip in.

I know it’s happened to me.

These are moments to pause, take a breath and reflect on who you are, see what’s inside, and appreciate that you have what it takes to shift the conversation, take your first step and start.

“Courage is like—it’s a habitus, a habit, a virtue: You get it by courageous acts. It’s like you learn to swim by swimming. You learn courage by couraging.” – Brené Brown

We get better at doing hard things by doing hard things. It’s a process that moves us from not feeling to choosing to be ready and trusting those around us who can offer support.

Feelings are fleeting by design. Watching them travel by like clouds in the sky is tempting, but over time, we begin to ache for something better, which might compel us to start because, ready or not, here comes life.

And if you want apples, peaches, or pumpkin pie, there’s no need to wait.

If you’re celebrating Father’s Day, Happy Father’s Day, and here’s something to listen to. If today is challenging and complex, I hope you’ll give yourself grace.

Until next week, have fun storming the castle!