Well, we are now 40 days into my year-long quest of growing a beard worthy of Duck Dynasty.
At the start of this great adventure, I posted some reasons why I’m growing a beard in the first place. And, as the facial follicles festively fill out, I’ve made a few observations about the whole process.
It’s amazing how, when you’re looking for simple life lessons, they seem to pop up in the most unusual circumstances. Like letting your hair grow.
In totally random order, here is some of the wisdom I’ve gleaned from the experience so far:
- Change and growth don’t happen overnight. It’s a process that you need to commit to, something that happens daily. Sometimes the change is so gradual, you don’t notice from day to day. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. Note your progress so you can look back over time to see the results.
- Change and growth can be uncomfortable. Any guy who has grown a beard can tell you about that stretch, a few days into it, where it starts to itch. Many guys will cave at this point and give up in the name of comfort. Only the truly committed will soldier through to see the reward.
- Change and growth won’t look good right away. Even the best beards started as unsightly stubble. Hey, you gotta start somewhere.
- Change and growth won’t appeal to everyone. You may get comments from others about how this new venture isn’t such a good idea. Some may have a valid point (not everyone can – or should – grow a beard). A few just might be jealous. Beard envy, anyone? Choose to get feedback from those you respect who will “tell it like it is”.
- Those who have been there will rally around you and offer encouragement. I’ve swapped plenty of beard stories with some great guys over the last few weeks, and don’t think I’ll ever tire of them. There’s a special bond among guys with beards, a kinship. A knowing nod and a smile that says, “Hey, me too!”
And a bonus thing I learned this past week – toddlers can stare for a very, very long time.
What changes have you been going through lately? What changes have you been putting off?