My father used to say that intent wasn’t the same as getting things done.
Intentions are actions placed on pause; projections of what’s to come. They are not the same as those actions that are actually executed.
My lack of execution is all I could think about this morning.
You see friends, before I left home, I had every intention of publishing a post where I would inform you that I was on my way to Spain.
I had every intention of taking pictures of Roxy at the airport.
I had every intention of donning a disguise and setting off in search of Javier Bardem the minute I landed.
I had every intention of writing a whimsical post that would describe the hot Spanish sun and the blue-green hue of the Mediterranean Sea.
I had every intention.
But alas, such has not been the case.
On the day Roxy and I were supposed to fly, after waiting for more than five hours, we were informed that our flight had been canceled.
It appeared that the good French air traffic controllers had chosen that very day to go on strike.
Two days later, we again made the journey to the airport, and this time , while we were successful, we were surrounded by grumpy and irritated people who could only talk about the inconveniences they had sustained.
Perhaps it was the absorption of the negative energy that surrounded us or the cramped seat that did not allow for any leg room, what was responsible for putting me in a funk.
Yet the truth is that in a funk I have been for the past four days.
This morning, as I sat drinking my third cup of cafe con leche, patiently listening to my mother’s banter, I saw a man on the street below.
He must have been around 90 years of age.
He walked slowly but with purpose.
Carefully, he pushed his walker and dragged his left foot which desperately tried to keep pace with the one on the right. After taking only five steps, he stopped to wipe his brow with a handkerchief. He then paused for ten seconds before continuing on his way.
I watched him until he reached the end of the street.
Looking at the clock, I realized it had taken him twenty minutes to walk less than 200 yards.
A countless number of steps, 12 pauses, and three brow wipes later, he had made it to the end of the street.
As he turned the corner, I hung my head in shame.
Not merely intent, but execution, was what the elderly gent had accomplished on this warm Wednesday morning.
I was humbled.
Here I was, just four days into my vacation, sitting on the terrace complaining about my inability to walk the same way I had walked last summer.
Yes, I had every intention of attempting to regain my gait, of going from point A to B, yet here I sat, hosting my own pity party with only my mother in attendance.
Every great journey begins with the first step.
The old adage seemed to perfectly describe what the old man had started and I had yet to begin.
Feeling inspired, I donned a pair of old sneakers, my sunglasses, and a sun hat.
“Mamma,”I said, “grab your hat. Our search for Javier Bardem begins today!”
Pain be damned.
One way or another, one step at a time, I am determined to be reacquainted with my old self, to mimic the actions of the old man and reach the finish line.
I am determined to not allow excuses and self pity stand in the way of reaching my goal.
I smile to myself as I take the first step.
Do your actions stay at intent or do you get things done?