May 14, 2014

So Many Things, So Little Time...

In the past, oh, 6 months or so I’ve been loosely following Shauna Niequist. Daughter of Bill & Lynne Hybels, and a contributor to Donald Miller’s Storyline blog, she’s talked a lot of late about passion, and squeezing in passion amid even the busy young childhood years.  This really speaks to me as I continue to sort out life, and kids, and family, and such.

Well, today she posted here about how one goes about finding passion. While I have baggage about the word 'passion,' I think the process she wrote about is a really good idea, because while there are lots of things I enjoy dabbling in, I am acutely aware that each day has a limited time, and if I go chase rabbit trails it’s much harder than in the pre-kid years to go back and make up the missed things later. So some of what I’ve been mulling over lately is what are the things that I really love and really don’t want to do without, and what are the rabbit trails that can be put away, even if only for a while. And right away, I crossed off Jesus, which sounds horrible and anti-Christian, but it’s like asking people what books they would take on a desert island, and having everyone answer “Bible.” Yes, it’s probably the truth, but it doesn’t necessarily speak into the finer points of one’s personality.

So, to be clear: I love Jesus the most, and count on him for all things identity, salvation, and overall guidance in life and beyond. And thankfully he (or at least the Holy Spirit; I’m not fully clear on the mechanics of the Trinity) is with me no matter what I’m doing, so we’ll leave him as a very important assumed priority. Good? Good. 

Beyond that? Elizabeth Gilbert gave a really cool little TED talk, which made me think back to a conversation I had with my friend Weezer a few years ago, when she asked me what was the one thing in life that made me feel most alive and like myself (everyone should have a friend like Weezer who asks questions like that). And like I said, there are lots of things I enjoy dabbling in. I have a bit of a fear of missing out, so I’ll try most anything at least once, and I usually find something skillful or enjoyable about most things (among notable exceptions for me are knitting and sales; trust me on this, the entire world is better off when Skerrib is doing most anything other than those things). 

But as I said before, my list of “musts” has been whittled away over the years. I don’t read much grown-up fiction these days; not necessarily because I don’t enjoy it, but because when forced to choose I prefer non-fiction for myself, and I adore exploring kid-lit of all types with my crazies. Check. Music is really important to me, but outside of practicing for drumming, I don’t do much new cultivation of my listening repertoire (which makes me a little sad, but thankfully I can live somewhat vicariously through the Cat Daddy’s musical wanderings). Check.

Drumming itself has stayed on the list, as has writing, even though the frequency is greatly diminished. And back in the conversation with Weezer, I very nearly said “drumming” as my number one thing. But I didn’t, because there is one thing that edges out drumming (and writing), and that is running.

In the talk above, Gilbert talks about the one thing you would do, no matter what. No matter if anyone was watching, or even knew that you did it. And just to clarify, I love drumming and writing almost as much as running. Depending on the day it really can be a tough call. But when I think about bad days, where I am getting a lot of guff from my minions and am maybe even in a little pain from my back stuff, and probably overall just feeling like poo, nothing makes it better like pounding out a few miles. And on good days, nothing makes me a ball of cheesy grinning goo more than a good run. Writing is awesome for getting my thoughts out, but running helps me form the thoughts into something comprehensible; otherwise I'd sit down to write and come up with one word sentences and a lot of unfocused whining. So I guess running helps me whine with purpose. Or something.

Anyway, you likely already knew that about me and the running. So as it turns out, without meaning to, I've kind of followed Shauna's process for fitting it in, so perhaps I get a gold star or something. It seems like many of my thoughts these days are simply the sifting through things I know are already true, and deepening them somehow. Or rather maybe seeing my same old life expressed in new ways, or even just realizing that professionals like Donald Miller and Shauna Niequist are regular people too, trying to find their way and live a good story (TOTALLY swiped that from Donald Miller).

I suppose my encouragement to you today is to look at what is already in your life, and see what you are fitting in without necessarily realizing it.  There is SO MUCH I want to do and try, but when I look around and take stock a little, I see those things I've managed to squeeze in, and it both reassures me and helps me be deliberate about the things and people I love. 

And when in doubt, the pace isn't important. Just put one foot in front of the other and go...

1 comment:

ginadewitt said...

You are so right Kerri - we usually give ourselves (as moms of young kids) very little credit for what we accomplish, but instead move our focus to the next undone bullet on our to-do or to-become list. One foot in front of the other and it :)