I was cleaning my room yesterday and I came across a piece of paper I hadn't seen in a long time. It was an Injury Report form dated 07/23/2007 detailing an injury I incurred while working at a children's shelter in Salt Lake City. I had been playing soccer with one of the children when a (well placed) kick sent the ball flying directly at a sensitive area lower than my stomach.
This type of injury doesn't normally require a form to be filled out. The pain will usually subside within a few agonizing minutes. This time, it didn't. I had my supervisor fill out the form to ensure I could receive workman's compensation should I require medical attention for my injury. Fortunately, by the next day the pain was gone and the only thing I had to remind me of the injury was this form.
What got me thinking was the date on the form. July 23, 2007. Nearly a year ago. Pretty darn close. I started thinking about where I was, what I was doing and who I was a year ago and then comparing it to where I am today, what I am doing and who I am now.
Life's a little different when you start growing up. In elementary school you are measured by what grade you are in. One year you're in the 5th grade and the next you're in the 6th grade. That is a quantifiable difference. You can measure progress and development fairly simply that way.
In grade school, students have the goal of finishing school. That goal is easily tracked by grades. When you are in 6th grade, you have six years of schooling completed and need to make it to 12 to finish high school. You know exactly how far you've come and how much further you have to go. Progress is tracked and is measured.
As an adult, things are different. It's not as easy to measure progress towards goals.
Does development and growth slow down when you get older? Does learning slow down? What have I done in the last year to grow and develop as a person?
I haven't done a lot of changing since last year. I'm essentially the same person this year as I was last. I like the same things, wear the same clothes, listen to the same music, eat the same foods, have the same habits, play the same games, enjoy the same sports...I'm no different now than I was at this time last year. That's a problem.
Don't get me wrong, I like myself...a lot. I think I'm a great guy and I think most people that know me think the same. Maybe it's my inflated ego that leads me to think this, but so be it. Having said that, there are still some things about myself that I would like to change. There is growth and development I would like to experience. But the question is, what have I done to experience that growth and development?
I guess not all things are the same. Within the last two weeks I've discovered the joy that are ankle socks. In the past, I've looked down on ankle socks and thought they weren't "cool". After a fair amount of persuasion and the realization that I can't wear calf socks with non-athletic shorts without looking pretty stupid, I decided to give the ankle socks a try. I bought a six pack of socks, figuring that'd be enough to give me the full ankle sock experience.
Wow. Just wow. I am a convert. Ankle socks have all the comfort and then some of the calf length socks I'm accustomed to. I've worn them just about every day since I bought them. I no longer have only one pack, I now have several packs of them. They're easier to wash, fold and store because they have less material than the longer socks. They're fashionable for summer time wear, but you can wear them in cooler weather also. They work well for playing sports and exercising. In short, they are the ultimate sock and I wish I'd found them sooner.
I may not have made huge changes this last year, but I have discovered ankle socks, and that's a start.