The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

fall-1072821_1920

 

It’s been a month since I published my last blog post.

A hot, smokey, crazy-busy month.

Still no excuse.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I’m just NOT a summer person. It’s not the heat. I revel in a trip to Mexico and love soaking up the rays on a beach.

I think it’s the lack of structure.

Yep. Fall, for me. is the most wonderful time of the year. Anyone else agree?

I never got the whole New Year’s resolutions thing – January? Nah. September seems to be the best time to make a change. I have a few changes I want to implement in the next (best!) season.

Be gentler with myself. Now, I don’t mean be weak or undisciplined. I mean, own up and recognize that beating myself up over things isn’t going to improve matters. Walk softly into the next season. Be at rest. Believe that the person God made me is enough.

Be healthy. I’ve spent over 30 years on a diet. I’m not kidding. And let me tell you, it’s not about discipline or protein or fat or eating grapefruit every day of your life. I’m tired. Really, really tired. And what I want isn’t to be “thin” – meaning the societal image of what I should be. Rather I want to be healthy. I want to go on long walks and breathtaking hikes. I want to swim until my legs and my arms can’t go another lap. I want to eat colourful food. I want to cook beautiful meals. I want to share those meals with people I love. I want to be messy and create things. I want to glow and be a walking example of God’s gorgeous creation.

Be love (and be loved). I’ve wanted love for most of my life. Romantic or platonic. I’ve wanted to be accepted for who I am. Yet, God reminds me from time to time that love needs to come from within. I need to love myself. Just as I am. Flaws and fat and crinkly little lines around my eyes. When I’m angry and depressed or shaking with anxiety. I am still fearfully and wonderfully made. And in turn, I desire to love. Love with abandon. Generously. Even recklessly. To be a beacon to those who believe love has passed them by or rejected them. Love completely. All.

Lofty goals? Perhaps, but I can embrace these deeper than concrete rules for success – not that there’s anything wrong with them – but for me, sensitive, silly me? I’ve learned to walk a bit more softly through this world. Knowing I’m sinful and often broken and alway, always learning.

So, onward to autumn. Softly and tenderly, Jesus is calling me into His deepest grace.

 

Advertisements

Summer

Ah, summer.

My most un-favourite time of the year. I don’t know what it is, but something about the heat and sunshine doesn’t do it for me. I’m pretty sure I have the opposite of seasonal affective disorder. Instead of lack of light triggering the blues, it’s the abundance.

Honestly? It’s just something I try to get through every year.

So where does this leave me now? In the beginning of July? Do I continue and be content with riding it out, or do I try to work through the general malaise summer seems to bring out in me?

No Zero Days.

I came across a post on Reddit this week – I’d like to attribute it to the author, however no info was attached. Regardless, a commenter left a response for a young man who was dealing with depression and anxiety. The gist of it was “no zero days” – basically do something every day. Even if it’s only a walk around the block, one push up, one sentence written, one sketch. Do something, even minuscule, to help you on route to your dream/s.  Never go to sleep, no matter how depressed you are, without doing one small thing in the direction of your dreams.

No Zero Days.

This deeply affected me – so much so that I promised myself that to get through this summer I would have no zero days.

But what of the dreams/goals? I admit, disappointment has worn me out. I currently have barely an inking of dreaming left. What if I pretend for now? What would I long for?

  • Art – an artistic life. Freedom to explore colour and shape and form. And the discipline to increase my skills.
  • Writing – memoir, non-fiction, fiction. Communicate the God-given talents and tasks God has blessed me with.
  • Fitness – a healthy weight along with a strong body. Endurance, flexibility,
  • Relationship – a man to be my “person” – have my back in stressful times and vice versa. To share a home. A passion for Christ. A dual obedient spirit

That’s it for now.

Maybe it’s because it’s summer or I’m over-tired, but none of those things get me from 0-60 in 10 seconds. For now though, I can work on this list. No zero days.

 

 

Balance: This One’s For Me (but feel free to read it anyway)

rock-1209443_1920This is one of those weeks I want to post a cool video and leave it at that. Or maybe a meme.

Truth be told I’ve been reading a lot about writing for the past week and a half. I’m a bit terrified.

1000 words per day. Minimum.

Ouch.

I have never been the most disciplined person. In certain things I can be quite rigid and routine – sleep for instance. (My much maligned university “sleep goals” have continued for 20 plus years.) I’m good at being a member of the working class: arrive on time, do the job well, go home, repeat. Don’t even get me started on cleaning – OCD in recovery, here! What I’m not consistent at is reaching goals.

This past week I was reminded of several personal dreams/goals:

  • Health – achieve a healthy lifestyle of eating right and exercising regularly. (also: thinner!)
  • Complete my degree.
  • Write a book. (Note I said “write” – whether I publish or not is a completely different thing.)

All three are absolutely within my power. There is not one thing that can stop me from reaching these goals. Well. There is one thing…

I can be a bit “easy” on myself. I suppose that’s a nice way of saying I am somewhat lazy -sometimes. Or maybe it’s not so much laziness as entitlement:

“I worked so hard today, I deserve a 4000 calories Starbucks specialty coffee!” (I’m also prone to hyperbole.)

“Singleness sucks!  I am going to waste my time on Reddit rather than writing my daily 1000 words. I need some me time!”

“Ugh. My boss sucked this week. I can put off studying for a few hours/days/weeks. I’m too stressed.”

I’m not content with these excuses anymore. I know myself. I know there will be days I’ll need to put away the goals and engage in self-care. Yet, I also recognize I am strong, courageous and capable of realizing my dreams. So my hope is:

  • Gym – every week day; 2 days with the personal trainer from, well you know where… (I love you, Ray – wink, wink!)
  • Lectures and papers and evaluations – Oh my!!!
  • 1000 words per day/5 days per week. (See Carolyn See’s “Making A Literary Life”)

I recognize that my issues haven’t been completely been about laziness or entitlement. It’s been more about balance and planning. Plan meals and workouts. Balance rest and relaxation with a writing practice (I am currently writing from my comfy bed!) Listen to course lectures whist on the treadmill. It’s doable – let’s see if I can put this into practice long-term.

Prayer:

God, I’ve never been the most disciplined person. At least when it comes to personal goals. It’s always felt like something has been pushing against me when I’ve tried to move forward with my dreams. But You are the God over the universe, so You can certainly help me achieve greater discipline in my life. I ask for balance – that I will listen to my life and walk out my hopes with Your help. And in Your will. Amen.

(If any readers have made it to the end of this personal post, please feel free to help keep me accountable! Community is so important when it comes to any life change – ah, but that’s a post for another day! Cheers!)