L ife doesn’t ever stop does it?
No matter how much I think in my head, if I just get this done today and this done tomorrow, then I will get this done and that, and then I will get to the weekend and get this amount of downtime and this amount of rest.
And then life happens.
And yet I keep making my plans and my lists.
Is anyone else out there a perpetual planner? You would think with the number of failed plans or diverted plans or completely missed plans that I would give up my never ending hobby and choose something a little more satisfying…
But that would mean conquering my never ending penchant for wanting to control my future, to protect myself from more loss, to avoid those things I fear the worst.
And yet, today I am wondering perhaps I am missing something. Perhaps I am so focused on getting somewhere or tomorrow’s problems, that I am missing out on the importance of today.
Right here and right now.
For example, today I had every intention of getting up and having a routine.
The same intention I have been having for weeks.
You know that perfect morning routine where I wake up feeling rested, wander over to the coffee pot, turn on some relaxing music, slowly sip on my cup of coffee as I watch the sunrise, get in an invigorating morning run, do some morning yoga, shower, do my hair and makeup with plenty of time to spare, eat breakfast at home, have time to pick up my little place, and walk out the door to work with a jaunt in my step knowing that not only am I going to be on time but I am on it this morning….
Yah…. in the real world it looks like….
Alarm goes off at 6:00. Dear god it looks dark and cold out and I can’t even think straight. Lets try 6:45. Cat starts scurrying around the room wanting attention. I ignore her. 6:30 roles around, well I obviously haven’t gotten extra sleep in and I am not going to go run feeling tired, so screw that plan. I’ll run after work today. Ok I have time to sleep longer. Set alarm for 7:30. Finally fall back asleep around 6:45. 7:30 alarm goes off and I am dead to the world. Snooze button now gets hit till 8:00 AM. 8:10 AM as I am laying in bed finally awake perusing Facebook and instagram like I have all the time in the world. 8:15. Crap I’ve got to get ready. What will be the fastest? Shower. Dry hair. Half way. Brush teeth. Scramble to put together an outfit. Throw rejects everywhere. 8:40. DRATS. Makeup now. 8:50 … check litter box, food, and cats water. grab purse. Throw oatmeal to go in the purse. grab ID. pet cat’s head. grab keys. scramble out the door.
The thing is, I often find my whole day going like that. I have this perfect world planned out in my head, where everything is timed perfectly, and I get to everything and everyone on my list — and then reality actually happens and very little of what I pictured does.
But then again, if I did do it all according to plan, I might miss the beautiful moments big and small that life brings my way every day.
Like today when I was watching my cousin’s kids, when we were sitting outside and a nearby radio came on and the kids and I proceeded to have a dance-like-no-one-is-watching moment.
Or like today when my sister drove through Little Rock and we got to do dinner spur the moment as a family.
Or like today when instead of spending the rest of my evening doing homework or catching up on writing early, or any other number of the items on my list I got to spend a few hours with my aunt who I’m living with and hear stories about her sister — my grandmother that I never met.
So today I am stopping. I am being grateful for this day. For my family near and far. For memories. For all the good and the bad and everything in between.
And for today’s Townhall, instead of giving you lists of material to check out. I am giving you three links that really spoke to me this week for different reasons exactly where I was at and in that moment.
Look, there are a hundred million blogs on the Internet.
Why should you read this one?
Read it because living in the tension of faith and doubt is hard and lonely, and it shouldn’t be.
Read this blog when you’re not ready to go back to church. Read it if you’re looking for a church – a place,your people – and it’s breaking your heart. Read it as you sort out your baggage and try to figure things out.
There is no Band-Aid Jesus here. Only real, broken hearts, somehow — miraculously — not crumbling into dust.
Come to this space when you find yourself at that narrow edge between cynicism and hope, looking for a way to move forward, not sure at all what it is. ~ Addie Zierman
This blog spoke to me, as it reminded me to think about and remember why I started this blog, why I love writing, and that I am not the only one out there who started with all these plans and vision of the perfect blog trajectory, only to find it change. I felt like I stepped into the shallow end of the pool this summer, was getting somewhere, and then boom missed the transition and life dumped me into the deep end. So I am still struggling to regain my footing.
Certainly we should all say yes to some things that are inconvenient or not on the top of our list of how we’d like to spend our time. I’m not talking about trying to pawn off narcissism as a virtue. I’m just suggesting that sometimes we say yes for really stupid reasons and then spend our time or energy on things that rob us from being able to say yes to things that are actually ours to do and care about. ~ Nadia Bolz-Weber
Nadia always knows how to speak straight to the heart, with no qualms whatsoever. Her frank and candid truth though is something I needed to hear. I am sometimes the worst person about saying no when I should and saying yes when I should say no. This also plays into that perpetual lifestyle of trying to plan anything and everything so I can fit it all in.
When I feel the impulse to scroll through images and updates about other people’s lives, what I’m finding is under that impulse to scroll is a desire to connect.
Technology absolutely can connect us. I don’t believe that it’s inherently isolating or inherently loneliness-inducing. Strictly speaking, technology by definition is neutral. It’s up to each of us to decide how we want to interact with it. ~ Shauna Niequist
Last but not least, I really appreciated Shauna’s post this week because using technology to connect is something I do and have to do to keep up with loved ones and friends near and far. I haven’t seen my husband now in over two months. If we didn’t have iPhones with iMessage and FaceTime I don’t know what we would do. When I think about how my mother-in-law and women before me did this lifestyle with only letters and maybe one rare 10 min. phone call through the base operator — I can’t even comprehend it.
Given my family is spread out over the country, I can’t imagine how I wouldn’t keep up with all of them either without texting, phone calls, Skype, FaceTime, group texts, Instagram, Facebook, and more.
My friends? Hello Facebook messenger, and Instagram to give me a tiny window so I still feel like I am a part of their lives.
With long distance being such a prevalent aspect to many of my relationships, utilizing that technology to truly connect becomes a challenge. Sometimes its easier to hide behind Facebook and Instagram stalking than making the effort to schedule a time to chat.
I think Shauna was right though, we need to be utilizing technology in our favor to really connect moreso than using it as a mask to conveniently hide a safe distance behind.
- What is a moment today that caught you by surprise that you feel up to sharing?
- How do you balance utilizing planning, organization, and lists through your life in a healthy way versus using them as a coping tool to try to feel a sense of control?
- How do you use technology to connect with people around you?
- Lastly, I would love some feedback from readers and bloggers.
- As I am trying to gain new footing, with a different posting schedule… I have found myself struggling to figure out what of me is the most important aspects to continue to develop here.
- Which stories of mine or overall themes would be more interesting to hear about?
- What have you connected with the most so far?
Any thoughts from you all would be greatly appreciated.
Looking forward to hearing them.