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The power of yet

At UNC football games between the 3rd and 4th quarters, the opening of AC/DC’s “Hells Bells” sounds over the speakers. Fans rise, holding up four fingers on one hand, pounding arms in the air along to the beat, ushering in the final chance to clinch a win. If the Tar Heels are up, it’s a moment full of electricity. If they’re behind, there’s a palpable sense of urgency in the air. And if they’re getting annihilated? Well, it’s a moment when I want to go get popcorn and ice cream from the concessions, avoiding the tradition altogether.

Today is the start of the fourth quarter of 2021, and I am not sure I know anyone who’s winning going into it. The people I know, myself included, are *hoping* fall and pumpkin spiced lattes will calm our nerves and make us productive. A girl can dream, can't she?

One friend is behind where she wants to be with weight loss goals. Another friend with an autoimmune disease is in bed for the fourth day in a row, crippled by her symptoms. Our kids are behind where we want them to be because of Covid. And me? I can say with certainty that I’ll be batting 1-out-of-3 on my 2021 Bucket List. I will not be getting my racing license this year, nor will I be publishing my book.

And yet

Bit-by-bit I’ll get there. One of my greatest flaws is unrealistic expectations, especially when it comes to how much time I believe things should take. I knew when my friend and I put together my website in the first quarter of this year that both getting a racing license and publishing a book were lofty goals and dreams to put on a time-lined “Bucket List.”

While I’m waiting to hear back from one literary agent, I’m taking steps towards self-publishing the manuscript in spring 2022. I haven’t failed to accomplish my goal; it’s just been delayed. It’s going to take more time and effort on my part to sift through all the layers of work involved, and to think through a marketing plan that will get it into the hands of tween girls and their moms.

It’s the same with the racing license. I have done a lot of work towards getting it, but I don’t want to get a license yet. I still struggle with confidence and anxiety on track, and I want to make sure that my enthusiasm doesn’t get ahead of my skill. I must master heel-toe downshifting, too.

Instead of beating myself up for failing, I’m at peace knowing I’m going to get there, I’m just not there yet. When we get to the fourth quarter of anything in our lives, it’s easy to become paralyzed when our perfect plans fall short. While it is disappointing to set goals and not meet them, it’s also really important to be proud of the growth we see and progress we make. There are a lot of little wins along the way to the big ones. Speaking of UNC, Michael Jordan has said that setting short-term goals and working on little steps lead to the big successes. He would know.

If you’re stuck, or waiting, or your plans have been postponed or delayed, be encouraged and harness the power of yet. And if you need it, go get a pumpkin spiced latte, or some popcorn or ice cream to settle in for a long fourth quarter. With AC/DC cranked up, I’m right there with you.


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