Jul 15, 2017

Long Run Wisdom...

I tend to think I have about 25% more thoughts than average, floating around in my mind. So I love my long runs, because they give me a lot of time to sift through some of the stuff that gets built up in there.

This week I was thinking about where I am at work, and home, and in life. That is, generally a season of high joy and life, but also a season of work and growth. One of my favorite things right now is listening to a few favorite podcasts about purposeful living, leadership development, and those sorts of things. I listen to people who have a need to be building or creating things. They find inspiration sometimes in the most unusual places, and if they go without a task or project for too long they get all twitchy and have to find some sort of job to do. Their default is 'action.' 

Sometimes this makes me a little nervous because I think my default might be 'iPhone games.' To be clear: not creating games for iPhones, but sitting on any empty surface and playing Secret Society on my phone (it's really fun if you like hidden pictures and puzzles; you should try it).

Playing games doesn't really accomplish much work, but it challenges my brain in a fun way, and gives a bit of very pretty distraction from the things that overwhelm me. I love learning for learning's sake, but when it comes time to implement what I'm learning, it feels a little overwhelming.  Hard work is hard, yo. So I get nervous about finding my own purposeful living and leadership development, and I worry unreasonably about stunting myself with games instead of doing hard work, and learning and growing.

Therefore, while I ran I talked myself down from the ledges of unreason. First off, I thought about how this July has been particularly busy, with shuttling kids to and from camp, and everyday life stuff, and forgetting to carve out a little breathing space. My friend Elizabeth's family always seems to have a crazy May, and I didn't think our July looked particularly packed, except on this end of things it is. And busy-ness, at least for me, tends to skew my perspective.

Second, I remembered this is not a new pattern for me. I have a history of a) loving learning SO MUCH that I just keep letting new information into my brain, and maybe forget to leave a little space for processing info I need to turn into something else, like actions or recommendations, or work, or what have you, and b) getting to a place where I'm just challenged enough that I get a little bit freaked out and want to drop it all and move to some place tropical. Also c) forgetting to carve out a little breathing space.

The thing I love about thinking on my runs is that things become much clearer. Going back, I noticed all the things I mentioned above are not new problems, and they're also not big problems that need sweeping solutions. They're little challenges to be met, a little at a time. 

Here is the wisdom I gleaned from my long run this week:

1) This next week is CHOCK FULL of commitments, and it will be difficult. It will probably hurt a little bit, but it will be done in a week. And it will be worth it, as I told myself when I made said commitments, especially if I really go for it instead of backing away or half-a$$ing it in fear.

2) As a result of ALL the commitments this next week, there will also be pockets of by-myself time that aren't usually there, which I can use to chip away at some of the lingering ticky-tack tasks I want to get out of the way. 

3) I don't have to be the most brilliant or most anything. I just have to show up and do my best with what I've been assigned. 

4) The things I'm doing now are preparing me for what is next. I have no idea which things are preparing me for what, in what ways, or what they will even look like. All I know is that if I can be a good steward of my awesomeness now, it will grow by some measure. And growing in awesomeness is my goal (by God's grace). 

5) I really do need to keep trying to carve out some breathing space, if nothing else to catch up on Doctor Who

When I get stressed and want to move someplace tropical, I start thinking about how I would afford to eat and live. Things I could do on remote or by some jet-set arrangement. I don't know what it would look like, but I do know that it probably won't involve playing phone games. So I'd better get to this other stuff so I can work on that...

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