Back in the Trenches – well maybe not yet

All silliness aside, well, maybe not

aaaallllllll silliness…

Hey, let’s not take life too seriously. Life dishes out enough serious stuff, right? Okay so, I took the day off Wednesday to just do nothing. Fried my brain with study. too friedCramming way too much information into your brain faster than your brain can keep up causes mental overload.  And there’s only one solution. Give your brain a chance to catch up. When I was in my mid-thirties I went back to college. With a full time schedule and a seven course work load in an accelerated program my poor middle-aged brain had to run full throttle to keep up with the work load. On top of it I was in an art program which meant in addition to general courses I had to be creative on demand. I managed to get through pretty well. Oh, did I mention that I had four children all in grade school, my youngest had just entered kindergarten. Boys, active, ADHD boys. Pheew, thankfully those years are behind me.

Sorry, I had a bit of a flashback there.

woman taking selfie
Photo by Edu Carvalho on Pexels.com

I think I threw up a little. Sorry, I’m back. Now that I am sixty years old, you would think that I would take it easy on what little brain matter that survived raising a family. You’d think so wouldn’t you? Maybe I’m a glutton for punishment. Reading and studying is a part of my heritage. giphyMy grandfather loved not only reading, he loved learning. So did my mom. Grandpa wouldn’t just read a book, he studied it. He would ponder over the subject. We would talk, discuss and debate the subject. it was great fun. Okay, fine!!! We argued. Happy now? We argued. We argued subjects that didn’t really matter to either of us, for the sole purpose that Grandpa was reading some book. Our best arguments were religious dogma.

gpa
Grandpa Johnny

Grandpa had a Catholic background. He adhered to certain beliefs, when it suit him. He could avoid female entanglements because he said- the church wouldn’t let him because he had been divorced. The truth was that Grandpa didn’t want a woman telling him to take a bath or what shirt to wear. But when he played his cards right doctrine worked when excuses backed him into a corner. Anyway,…

I digress — Back to me

I didn’t decide to start a new career. I wasn’t super ambitious. I’m not really. I wasn’t necessarily looking for something to do. I could easily spend my days wandering around smelling flowers and drinking tea while the rest of the world buzzes by. But it seems that the God has other plans for me. Since I made the commitment to follow the Spirit of the Lord I will go with His plan rather than mine. My plan would mean relaxation and what I see as well deserved lazy days. But God says, “I’m not finished with you yet.”

Screen Shot 2020-01-17 at 9.13.19 AMI started this blog a year ago to facilitate writing for an audience. I’m working on a book. I knew when I took on the project that it would be a sizeable undertaking. At the same time I thought one year would be sufficient time to complete the project. It wasn’t. I spent much of last year writing. But it wasn’t writing the book. It was my blog and a couple of rather short books on the prophetic significance of the Peh Decade. Visit my prophetic site for available downloads.

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bird s eye view photography of road in the middle of desert

I spent the early part of 2019 fracturing the grey cells on how one would write a thesis or dissertation. I was looking for a structured format. I figured the structure would help me stay on track. But then the winds began to blow and my way was obscured. Or at least it felt that way. God’s timeline and ours often looks quite different. What I thought would be a straight shot to the finish line ended up being a divine interruption as I spent my time on other endeavors. Following the Spirit is not logical. It’s a spiritual journey. And the Spirit moves like the wind. It blows wherever it desires. The wind of the Spirit has a habit of kicking up a bit of dust. What we thought was going to be a straight shot ends up with more curves than we ever imagined.

arizona asphalt beautiful blue sky

And then when we least expect it the way is made clear and we are able to go forward. What I didn’t realize a year ago was that I didn’t have all the information I needed. There were major holes in my data, so to speak. I didn’t know what I didn’t know. While I might not have the whole picture I have enough to now move forward. I don’t know exactly when I will complete this new project. I’m not in a rush. I couldn’t have worked on this project last year. I didn’t know how unready I was.

Building With New Material

One thing I am doing differently this year is that I am scheduling in lots of self care. I am balancing things out. I’ve been retired for quite a while. I’m used to not having a schedule. When I get overwhelmed, instead of stubbornly breaking my neck to move forward I’m going to take a breath, readjust, take a break and then move forward one step at a time.

Screen Shot 2020-01-17 at 11.03.43 AMTIME OUT

I’ve built a couple of new things into my day. One thing is a timer on my computer. It interrupts me once an hour for about 5 seconds. It’s a mental cue. Five seconds may not seem like a lot. It’s not. It’s just long enough for me to sit up straight, and do a couple of stretches. It’s enough to change posture, stretch a muscle or two. Sometimes it’s enough to remind me that my coffee is getting cold.

black hardbound book on the top of the book

TOUCHY FEELY

Another thing I’ve done is gone back to an old fashioned datebook. I’m very tactile. I like the feel of a physical book in my hand. I tons of several audio books and ebooks, but when I want to unwind it is always with a good old fashioned book. I’ve tried using my digital calendar and it’s great for audio reminders, but as far as tracking my day forget it. That’s just not me. I function better when my tools suit me rather than me trying to contort myself to accommodate a tool.

animal big blur breed
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Get in the Box!

Another strategy I’ve put in place is strong boundaries. I have set limits rather than deadlines for the different projects I’m working on. I work great with deadlines but some projects are big and need special handling. Since the book I’m working on has the potential to become a beast I only work it for the first three days of the week. Provided of course that I haven’t burned out the brain cells in two days. Never mind that. Putting a leash on the beast helps to keep the project from taking over everything else. The book is my Great Dane puppy. One thing I know about big dogs. You have to train them when they are puppies or you will never be able to control them once they are full grown. Right now my project is a puppy. Like all Great Dane puppies it is growing very large very quickly. And if I don’t get a grip on it now, it very likely consume all my resources and dominate everything else. And we can’t have that. That’s no fun. And if it’s not fun, on some level, I won’t do it. The subject matter is heavy but that doesn’t mean the  project has to be a drudge.

STOP AND HAVE A GOOD HEARTY LAUGH

muppets
from – The Muppet Movie 1979

Laughter is good medicine. Getting regular doses of laughter increases endorphins. It has been shown to lead to reductions in stress hormones such as cortisol and epinephrine. The release of endorphins can relieve some physical pain. Laughter also boosts the number of antibody-producing cells and enhances the effectiveness of T-cells, leading to a stronger immune system. So in the midst of life don’t forget to have a bit of fun.

Watching silly cartoons on YouTube might not be your thing. Find your thing. Grab a few like minded people and have yourself a hoot.

“To understand a joke we have to belong to that community of understanding. If we feel we belong to that community of understanding, of getting the joke, you will laugh at anything that reinforces your sense of belonging to that group. Jokes connect us. They embrace us. And in sheer gratitude for that embrace our mouths open, our chests fill with air, and our bodies do something utterly extraordinary. They make a noise that no other creature has or will ever make in the entire history of the universe, —laughter.”  [On laughter | Anthony McCarten | TEDxMünchen]

Just in case you need some help getting started try this.

 

 

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND EVERYBODY

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