I’ve been away from the blog for almost three weeks…you’d think I have a ton to say, but I’ve got other outlets for release so I won’t make you read half a novel in this blog post.
What a week this is turning out/going to be! First, I painted our kitchen and my office. Second, the Packers start training camp this week, technically Thursday (physicals and what not today). Third, the Olympics start Friday. All of these things have one thing in common-preparation or prep time.
Painting the kitchen and the office took quite a bit of prep time. In the kitchen, there was a layer of wallpaper and then two wallpaper borders over that at the top…not cool. At the office, I have a wall of wall board with four layers of wallpaper. Because it’s wall board, scoring and spraying glue remover was out of the question. Lots of scraping, elbow grease and sweat on that wall. Couldn’t get it all off, so now I have what I call a “textured wall”.
Packers training camp is prep time and I’m telling you what, there’s not a single U.S. Olympian competing over the course of the next couple of weeks that did not put in a ton of prep time. There was a Snickers commercial a few years ago…shoot, it might have been 15 years ago…with a soccer player kicking around a soccer ball talking about all he had to do for practice. He ends the commercial with the line, “I hate practicing, but I love to win”.
The interesting thing about prep time, though, is that results vary. Not every U.S. Olympian is going to medal. The Packers aren’t the only team heading to training camp this week and only one of 32 teams will win the Super Bowl (that one will, of course, be the Packers). You should see my “textured wall”. Prep time doesn’t guarantee perfection or even winning results, but it does help a team, athlete or painted wall look formidable/presentable.
We can all fool each other for an hour or two and make it look like we “have it together”. That was a common message preached in church on Sunday mornings when I was a kid. How many families were like mine frantically getting ready, looking for shoes, yelling at each other to get out of the bathroom or out of bed or into the car or whatever? Then we get to church, and everything was “perfect”. No problems at all…our clothes, smile and hair looked nice and we treated each other like angels. I’ve come to learn that many people do this…not just church going folks. Married couples going out to dinner with each other, moms at play groups, guys heading to the golf course…they all seem to “have it together” for the time that they are hanging out and some do, while the others are completely “messed up”. Maybe the couples argue all the time, maybe a mom constantly berates their kid, or maybe one of the guys struggles with alcoholism.
I guarantee you, though, the difference between those who actually “have it together” and those who don’t is prep time. Those who “have it together” in public are working on their marriages throughout the week. Whether it’s having a date night alone, calling each other during the work day or just talking to each other every day (you might be surprised at how many married couples don’t do that). Those who “have it together” in public are working on their relationship with their kids through out the week. Playing with them and giving fair and productive discipline at the right time. Those who “have it together” in public practice self-control and don’t let occasional pleasures become horrid addictions. I can go on and on with examples, but I think you get it.
Do you want to actually “have it together” instead of just playing the part around your friends? Take a lesson from a professional sports team, Olympians and a painted wall…put in the prep time during the week when no one else is around.