Utah quarter with a 2007 date

Daily Prompt: Buffalo Nickel

In response to the Daily Post writing prompt on February 24, 2013.

Prompt: Dig through your couch cushions, your purse, or the floor of your car and look at the year printed on the first coin you find. What were you doing that year?

There are two dates on the coin that I found (pictured above – yay! a quarter!). The first is 1896, the year that Utah became a state. The second is 2007.

Dates serve as markers within the linear conception of time. Seemingly frozen, they serve to remind us of events. However, most change doesn’t occur instantly – it happens over time – and this fixed and static view can conceal the natural flow of events that result in the events that are marked.

As I look back, 2007 was a normal year of work and family, and at first glance there isn’t much exciting to report. There are no significant markers. No births, deaths, adoptions, job changes, or other notes that jump out as significant changes or accomplishments.

If we perform a quick search on Wikipedia, we learn that Utah became a state in 1896, but that the process of becoming a state started much earlier. In a similar way, 2007 can be seen as a year that served as a precursor for changes that are etched in the learnrunwrite timeline. Two items that run almost continuously throughout 2007 are:

  1. An interest in expanding my career
  2. An ever-growing midsection 

A little more about each:

Career Expansion – in 2007 I became restless in my then-current role and started to explore career possibilities beyond the boundaries of my role within the organization. I started to network, openly exploring career options throughout the company. I took a few classes and explored different possibilities. Ultimately I landed a new job in 2008.

While the job change falls neatly within the 2008 timeline, the work that made it possible began in 2007.

Midsection Growth – I gained a lot of weight in 2007, or maybe from birth until 2007, but it really became noticeable in 2007. And though it took me a long time realize it, in April of 2008 I started running for the first time since high school. I did this because I needed to lose weight and start living a healthier lifestyle.

Some of the actions I took included starting a run-walk-run program, run 1 minute, walk 2 minutes; run 2 minutes, walk 1 minute, etc… until I could run for 30 minutes without walking. I read, The Courage to Start, by John “The Penguin” Bingham, and other running books.  And eventually, I joined a local running group that led me to the completion of my first marathon in 2009.

It might sound strange, but I believe that had I not packed on the pounds throughout 2007, I’d bet that I don’t start running in 2008.  2007 set the conditions required to initiate change!

So, even when it seems like nothing cool is happening and you feel like your life is boring, remember that you don’t run a marathon all at once.  It happens one step at a time.  And sometimes that means we might not have the large, exciting, shiny milestones to etch into our timelines, but if we keep working toward our goals they will come.

What long-term goals are you working toward?

6 thoughts on “Daily Prompt: Buffalo Nickel

    1. Chris Post author

      Thanks for the kind words! I tried to find something more appealing than, “I sat around all year eating pizza and gaining weight while wishing I had a different job.” 🙂

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