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Ready? Set! Relax...

"Keep your pencils sharp!" said my teacher. In the first drawing class I've taken in a long time, the teacher kept repeating, "Keep your pencils sharp."

I appreciated his focus. He instructed us in drawing in many ways, introducing techniques, suggesting approaches, encouraging every single student regardless of experience or expertise, and bringing focus where I never would have thought to place it. And all the while, he kept admonishing us to keep our pencils sharp. In other words, whatever comes up, be ready.

From the Boy Scouts -- Be prepared -- to the Bible -- He will come as a thief in the night -- the warning about preparation is widespread and, in my opinion, well advised. Whether you're thinking of the afterlife or survival in a campground, or maybe just your next meeting at work, doing your prep work is a wise plan.

But there's only so much you can do to prepare. Yes. Learn the ropes. Know the plan. Practice the drill. But there comes a time when you have to know that you ARE prepared and that you cannot control every single thing. There will always be randomness in life, every life. You can count on it.

So, count on yourself to do your best and then, when your pencil point snaps off, or just gets dull from overuse and inattention, you'll be ready. Trust yourself. And then, go with the flow.

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