Simplify

Posted on September 11, 2013

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I haven’t written a post here in a while. I can’t apologize for that because it has been a conscious choice. I am doing so not only because I have found that there is enough momentum and energy in my heart overflowing, in need of an outlet.

Life his been very busy lately. Work is ramping up this month to the organization’s annual meeting and I’m trying to learn old traditions in a new role. It isn’t always easy and it isn’t always smooth.

I’ve also been working out a lot. Twice a day actually. Once at noon and then again when I get home from work, right before dinner. I don’t know exactly why I started doing this, only that now that I have I find myself more at peace…with myself.

I’ve also been forcing myself (and yes, when my schedule-minded self kicks in, it does require real mental force) to do “morning pages” as my journaling. The idea is that the first thing you do every morning is write, long-hand, for three full pages, as fast and unedited as you can. I’ve been keeping a journal for years and thought this would be no problem. I usually wrote two pages anyway, what would change if I wrote a third?

A lot it turns out.

There is something about pushing myself to a third pages that discovers ideas, thoughts, and possibilities. It is the third page where I find myself writing reminders to call so-and-so, even if it doesn’t really make sense for me to do so. Then when I do, something unexpected and amazing happens (sometimes).

A third page. A second workout.

Both of these things are part of an informal process I do every few years. I seem to tear apart my life in a re-evaluation of my priorities. In the past I’ve thinned my wardrobe. I’ve given up Facebook for a month. I’ve stopped eating meat. I’ve set running and writing goals. I’ve decided to go back to seminary (twice now). I’ve look at relationships and cut people out and begun earnest attempts to add people in.  Life is too short to waste it on things that don’t really matter to me. Or things that are good but not true to the person I want to be.

There are many good TV shows I would love to watch. My blogroll is overflowing with amazing content. I wish we had a family garden, composted, volunteered at church more, cleaned the house more, kept in touch with friends more frequently, and yes, as of recently, done my weekly post for this blog.

But these things take energy and time. And sometimes I need to burn away the paper wrapping of my life to get down to the iron steel adamantium core of my life. It turns out my life is basically four things.

1. Exercising

2. Writing

3. Reading

4. Spending time with my family and a few close friends

I wish #4 was #1, but it isn’t. This is because I can’t do number 4 well unless I’ve done numbers 1-3. If I don’t do number 1 I’m not tons of fun to be around. Same goes for 2 or 3.

So that’s it. I feel like the last few weeks (couple of months) have been a time of boiling away many things that don’t matter as much, creating spaces in my life that I am only now beginning to fill up again. I’ll admit that it feels good to write this post and I think I’ll resume my weekly schedule.

I’m curious what your four things would be. Not what they should be. (1. God 2. Bible 3. Prayer. 4 Church) but what they really are.

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The photo on this post if from an accident we were in recently. Someone under the influence of some kind of drug cross over two lanes and smashed into us, then drove away. The family (kids, wife and sister) were in the car, but everyone walked away unharmed. I include it because the experience had a way of making me understand what was important and what wasn’t.

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Posted in: Family, Patience