I have started this blog about four times now only to delete contents and start over. It has been a fluctuating work in process since I started this trek in January. I feel like I’m on a road trip which has gone off-road a bit. It’s like when we would make trips with my grandpa. We were headed to the Wisconsin Dells which was only a three-hour drive from our home. Inevitably however took us all day to get there because Grandpa had other stops in mind along the way. The stops were great. We always had fun. I was anxious to get to the campground. But Grandpa taught us that the journey getting there could be just as fun as the destination.
This journey has had as many stops and starts as the Griswold’s road trip to Wally World. And NO, I really don’t want to make a four-hour side trip to see the second largest ball of twine. I am relieved to report that I don’t have any dead bodies tied to the roof of the car. I might make it to my destination. Oh, I’m as sure as Clark Griswold that I’ll make it to my destination. And what seem like setbacks and misdirection today are what make for a really good story when the trip is over. So, if I’m going to laugh about this later I might as well laugh about it now. And I will laugh. I’m really not one to take mishaps too seriously. I used to. I don’t anymore. I have learned that many of times I saw something as a “mis-turn” turned out to be the right turn that led to me to right to where I needed to be all along.
One of my greatest flaws is that I can easily get sidetracked with details. Sometimes I get so zoned in on the details it takes a crowbar to pull me loose. Thankfully I take a few days off each week to reboot the brain and realign my priorities. Call it Shabbat. Call it a Call it the weekend. Call it a respite. Whatever the label we all need down time. I’ve been pushing it quite a bit lately. I have taken in a ton of information over the past few months. And one day off each week wasn’t enough. I’m not as young as I used to be. I’ll be sixty this year. I may have lost some of you with that but that’s okay at sixty you don’t care as much about who is following you as much as you care that you get where you’re going. And that has been my focus; getting where I’m going. I have a couple of projects that I am tackling this year. One of those projects is this blog. The other main project and my priority one is a book I am working on.
I have been using this blog to chronicle my progress and vent my frustrations, as well as deciding how I want to develop this blog going forward. For now it is a method for helping me to get used to writing for an audience. Since I don’t really have an audience yet I still feel like I’m just making journal entries. But that’s okay. I’m okay with that. I like purpose and focus. But all purpose and focus and no meandering and you can get overwhelmed and overly serious too quickly. That used to me. Not anymore.
I always had to have a strategy. I wanted to know how things were going to end before I even got started. I was stressed all the time. Not only did I stress myself out, but those around me too. So, yeah, I got into recovery for codependency, started therapy and equipped myself with some coping skills I didn’t learn growing up. So now when things get to be a bit much I take a day off, or in this case a few days off. After all, I’m not getting paid for this. I don’t have a deadline except for the self-imposed one.
I let myself relax. And after I’m relaxed I approach things from a different point of view. What if I didn’t HAVE to do this? Well, the truth is, I don’t have to. So why stress myself out with trying to cram things into my old brain that can only process bits of information at a time. You’d think I was cramming for an exam the way I’ve been pounding information into my brain. So, I cleaned out the closet. I cleared out an area in my work space that has been cluttered with junk for months. I watched a movie. I played video games. I ate ice cream. Actually, I ate a non dairy version of ice cream. The point is I didn’t DO any work on the book or the blog. I stopped strategizing and focusing. And, yeah, I spent time with Jesus. I just lived.
Just living, is my way of regrouping. I get into my life. You see, as a former workaholic working was my life. I didn’t have a life other than the work I did. That work may have been ministry but it was still work. It wasn’t the breathing in and out bit that non-workaholics do. I was driven. I spent time in prayer and meditation but it was ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS with purpose. It was ALWAYS driven.
I wasn’t ever not working on something. Then one day the Lord spoke to me and said, “Betty, what would you do if you had nothing to do?” I just about had a melt down. No, I didn’t JUST ABOUT have a melt down. I had a full-blown mental breakdown at the thought of NOT having a project or task. I was so project oriented that I had lost track of just being. I was work driven. So coming off the assembly line of being purpose driven wasn’t easy. But through Christ I was able to get off the treadmill of production. I got into my life, the life Christ died for. And I have been a happy little hamster ever since.
That doesn’t mean I don’t accomplish anything. I get plenty accomplished. I actually accomplish quite a bit. But what I do accomplish doesn’t come out of my need to accomplish something. It comes out of a place of having spent time with God and being filled with His presence. My focus isn’t accomplishment driven anymore. “Get ‘er done” isn’t my motto anymore. Yet, at times I find I am still vulnerable to slipping into old habits, even habits I broke over twenty years ago.
I like word pictures. And I love movies. I have reframed the mental picture around the projects I am working on. I’m going to be one of the kids in the backseat of the station wagon. I’m going to put on my headphones. I’m going to shut my eyes. I might even take a nap. But I’m not going to stress. We’ll get there when we get there. I don’t have to stress over which road I’m on or how many turns I’ve made so far. So, with that I’m gonna go. My ice cream is melting and my TV show is about to come on.
Have a good one,