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The Scoreboard

Maybe you used to keep score for yourself.

In your 20s and 30s things were easier. They were simpler, too. You’d decide to do something, think about when you wanted to get it done, and more or less that was probably it. Done and done.

And every time, you’d step up to the scoreboard to put another “W” in the books.

But gradually, things changed. Your schedule got busier. Your family grew. Your plate got really full, all of the time.

Maybe you started waking up tired more often than refreshed. Your joints and muscles started to ache. Things you used to love doing started to feel like they came with two or three barriers to easy entry.

And at some point, you came to believe that the only possible thing to do at the scoreboard was to write a big “L” on that day’s slate. You got pretty good at feeling that way about yourself.

You came to believe that’s all you could do. You came to believe that’s who you were now. The person who says “I can’t.” The person who says “I don’t.”

The person who shies away from conversations. The person who doesn’t think they have another dance in them.

The person who can go chapter and verse about everything they’re doing wrong, but has a hard time believing they’re capable of doing anything right again.

So you stopped playing.

This isn’t theoretical for me. I know. I have been there. Couch time, spent bottles, food wrappers, failed plans, skipped workouts, avoidance, and fear. I’ve been there.

And I know that as deep as that hole feels, as black as that dark goes, there’s another way.

Your job in life isn’t to stand at the ledger to track all of your failures. Leave that to the wind.

You don’t have to be the person who only writes “L” up on the scoreboard. Not anymore.

One day at a time, one “small good thing” at a time in the words of Raymond Carver, you can start putting up wins.

That’s enough. That’s all there is, in fact.

And you can do it.

One thing. As small as you can get it: that’s your first W.

And it won’t be your last.

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