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Monday, January 6, 2014

More on the New Year

During my sabbatical week, I thought a lot about what I want 2014 to look like - trying to be reasonable as well as aspirational.

That meant that things like "Abolish all unwanted change in my life" didn't make the list, but thoughts of finding a better life pace and keeping focus on the right things in my life at the right time did.

You see, I felt like I was in a pretty good place, life-wise, in late spring through mid-summer. I'd moved past the "still slightly stupid newer employee" point. Kelly's thumb was completely rehabbed. I hadn't fallen or otherwise become injured while running. I'd found time to go on a long-ish vacation. Then, suddenly, it wasn't as ok. I felt busy. Very very busy.

The kind of busy where you have to make a list that is practically tattooed to your body so that you don't forget what you need to do.

The kind of busy where you view any free moment as a moment to tackle something else on The List.

The kind of busy where you start taking sleeping aids because it's difficult to unwind at night, making staying alert and focused the next day a real challenge.

That kind of busy is not.good.

It was obvious that I needed a reset. But pondering what type of reset was required was what occupied my thoughts during my downtime. Eventually, it occurred to me that what I was enjoying most about my downtime was exactly what I needed to reset.

I loved spending uninterrupted time with Kelly. I also enjoyed spending time with both of our families for the holidays. Family needs to become a bigger priority.

I loved going for longer runs, letting my legs take me where I felt like going. Running without my watch at times so I could just be in the moment instead of focused on the "rules" of my run. Yet I also felt achy and stiff, and realized that last spring I'd stopped attending yoga. Fitness needs become a bigger priority.

I loved playing in the kitchen (my term for fiddling around making whatever I feel like making). I cooked fun new recipes, old favorites and a feast for our family Christmas. Most importantly, I had time to cook for pleasure, rather than sustenance. Making time to cook good food needs to be a priority.

I loved having time to read my Bible without the time-pressure of finishing my readings during my train commute. We also spent good time with our church family. Faith needs to retake its place as a priority.

Essentially, what I realized needed resetting was Shannah. My blogger bio says that I'm trying to balance family, fun and faith. Yet these are all the things, plus a few more, that need resetting.

Hello. That means my very essence needs resetting.

However, I don't think that I've stopped doing any of the things I mentioned above. I think I've just stopped enjoying doing them because I was hurrying here, hurrying there - moving from one thing to the next to the next without pausing to enjoy the now.

That's why my single 2014 New Year's resolution is to be INTENTIONAL.

I don't care if I do it all, or do it best. I just want to do what I should do when I need to do it and be ok with letting the other stuff go - the not as important, the not right now, the maybe next year.

I believe that intentionality is a gift that you can give yourself without letting go of the desire to excel in what you do.

It's the gift of being yourself in a way that brings you joy.

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