The Summer Olympic Games 2012 have hijacked my life completely. No longer is my TV background noise providing a soundtrack of sorts for my various activities like writing, drawing and cooking. No, I am riveted to the television screen and cannot seem to get anything else accomplished while these games are on. I have mixed feelings about them ending in a week.
I have memories of previous games, going back to my childhood. But I have to say, I have never been as captivated by them as I am this year. Is it because the U S is so strong, and is garnering so many medals? Is it because my country is in trouble and needs a positive event to renew its sense of optimism and it needs an event to be patriotic in the face of adversity? I am intensely proud of our accomplishments in London. It makes me feel good to be able to say we come from the same country, this Michael Phelps, Gabby Douglas, and this Ryan Lochte. We are countrymen with pride and patriotism unbounded.
A recurring thought I have as I watch the games is what is it like to be that good at something? What must it be like to stand in the world’s eye and have your moment after years of preparation?
I am involved in several activities that are preparatory for the future. I am writing, and paying my dues on the road to publication. I am learning the art of drawing with colored pencil aspiring to be an artist. I am losing 150 pounds which will take years at 1 and 2 pounds of loss a week. So I am laying the ground work for accomplishments that while not as grand as Olympic competition are as important to me as that medal is to the athlete. Someday in the future I will stand on my self-created podium and claim my prize, my own byline, a contest won, a new wardrobe, the sale of a drawing.
We all need to be pursuing goals and dreams. We need to work towards something greater than our present reality. It is what gives us a reason for waking in the morning. It provides us with goals to mark the passing of time and the rise in our accomplishments. We have a sense of purpose. We feel good when we hit a benchmark and we learn when we fall short; all of it to aspire to a better place in our life. Just like the athletes we are riveted to this summer.
These two weeks are like an intensive motivational retreat. We tune in, learn the athletes stories, watch them win, or not. We can extract life lessons from the experience, or we can choose to take it as an exercise in reality TV and not give it much thought. For those of us inspired, we are surrounded by challenges realized and the culmination of preparation with some luck thrown in, and we have something to aspire to. If we doubt ourselves following a dream, all we have to do is tune in and see that dreams can come true with work and perseverance.
For me, this love affair with dreams and goals came late in life. This year they are fueling a mid- life transformation. In four years, when the next summer games are played in Brazil, I will be enjoying a new body and a new life.
What about you, are the games making an impact on you? What do they mean to you? What fuels your goals and aspirations?