Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Life Plan

I seem to have a big problem with follow through. I really love to make plans and get ideas and try to organize and set things up...but when it comes to following through and staying on time and track and getting things done, I fall behind. Which I'm okay with to a point...I know that I naturally move and work slower than lots of other people, so I don't let taking a little longer bother me too much. However, there's a difference between taking longer and putting it off, and I have a tendency to slip to the other side. lol So I'm making a real effort to get better at following through with things.

Sometimes I know that I lack follow through because of an insecurity or a bad habit. I want to move forward and do things that I don't know, I want to improve my style of life and be better...but it's hard to get away from the old habits, and it takes time. It's hard for me to win over my shyness and social anxiety, and I often let them win instead. All it takes to win is determination and time, and I've definitely got both. I know I'll continue to slip sometimes, but I won't let a slip be where I end. It's just so dang difficult some days! lol

"Self-discipline is the ability to make yourself do something you don’t necessarily want to do, to get a result you would really like to have.” -Andy Andrews

And so I'm going to make myself sit down and work through this little workbook I found by Michael Hyatt. (Here's the link if you want to read it for yourself - it's a pretty quick and easy read, and includes all the worksheets he uses: http://michaelhyatt.com/life-plan) I don't want to simply be reactive to life anymore...I don't want to live my life relying completely on when others can fit me into theirs, I don't want to feel like I have no idea what I'm working for or where I want to be anymore. So I'm being proactive, and I'm going to sit down and really think about my life and what I want from it, and what I want others to get from knowing me. I know things that are important to me...but all too often I don't manage to fit them into my daily life. I know things that should be important to me, that I make excuses for not doing. And so, step by step, I'm going to make the effort to get my life on a track that I want it to be on.

I'm going to be intentional with what I do in my life. It's going to be difficult, I'm sure, and it's going to take time to get rid of the bad habits and insecurities. But I've been working through these, or at the very least opening myself up to realizing them, for months now. I feel so emotionally vulnerable lately that it's almost driving me batty, but at the same time I welcome it, because it's better than feeling nothing. I've let myself crawl into my own little bubble for entirely too long now, closing myself off from wanting to feel anything other than a little happiness. It's time I let myself feel more happiness, and other emotions as well, knowing that nothing stays the same for long.

I got a little taste of this on Sunday, coming home from Oklahoma on Easter weekend. It was storming terribly all day, and as we were leaving Jon's parent's house, I knew we were trying to beat the next wave of the storms. The sky was dark and ridiculously full of lightening - and not the "oh cool" kind, the "holy crap that's scary looking" kind. lol I started to feel that something bad was going to happen. I kept praying that God would get us home safely and without incident, but I couldn't shake this scared feeling in my chest. And, lo and behold, I got a flat tire. Thankfully Jon wasn't far ahead of me, and he came back to find me and got my tire changed. We also got lucky that it wasn't raining at the time...we were right in the middle of two storms, one just finished and the other not quite started yet. The entire time, I kept waiting for lightening to strike a pole near us and shower us with sparks, or a car to hit some water on the road and swerve into us. It was definitely a test of my faith and my fears...I honestly feel that God was showing me just how powerful he is, and that even in the midst of the storm, he's got me protected. I was constantly searching for a peaceful feeling to wash over me, trying to trust Him and not let my paranoia and nervousness get the better of me. And I had to trust that I'd be able to get home on a spare tire in the midst of all the wind and lightening as well. I definitely thank God for putting Jon in my life...whenever I really need him to step in and be the man I need, he never fails me. He was a calming source for me, taking charge and getting the problem fixed and following me the rest of the way home to make sure nothing else went wrong. It certainly wasn't an experience I wanted to have that night, but I'm grateful for the showing of God's power and the presence of the man he's brought me. It really helped me feel like I was right where I was supposed to be.

Well, I suppose this is all for this rambling session. lol :) Just had to share some thoughts with the world, get them out onto e-paper. lol I hope every one of you who reads this is blessed today! Keep your eyes and hearts open...there's a lot going on in this world of ours that's easy to miss. :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Let the Rain

I suppose what I'm dealing with in my life right now is a transition period. Though I feel like I've been transitioning for entirely too long, that's where I believe I am. And I think it's why I feel so drained so easily most days.

I'm torn. I feel I'm meant to love myself whole-heartedly, to love myself good and bad, weak and strong. But I fail. All I can hear most days is how I'm failing...I need to be healthier, I need to be thinner, I need to be smarter, I need to be faster, I need to be stronger, I need to be better. I feel like everything in my life needs to be changed, revamped, made into a different person. How am I meant to love myself when all I can see are the ways I fall short?

For that matter, who decides if I'm falling short? Why do I let myself feel like others are constantly judging me? I know it goes on, but I also know that it's rarely as serious as I take it. When did I decide I was a failure at everything, and that I had to change to not be a failure? I want to please others too much. I want to be what they want me to be. And then I fight against this, because I want to be who I want me to be, I don't want my life run by the opinions of others. And yet I want to fit in, to be part of the group...but I don't want to sacrifice myself for it. And round and round it goes, resulting in...nothing. I can't move, because I can't agree in my own head about why I'm wanting to change and be different. And so I go nowhere, and keep having the same arguments with myself. I try to convince myself of the good I honestly see and want to cultivate, and seconds later the other voice in my head contradicts it, saying I'm really doing it for another reason, or that I'm just going to screw it up.

I have such a big problem with feeling like a failure, with screwing things up. I'm incredibly good at screwing things up. lol But I let that feeling of not wanting to mess up rule everything, and it's just not possible to never mess up. Making mistakes is part of learning, of improving, of getting to where you want to be. But I'm so terrified by it, so down-hearted when I do screw up, that I can't make progress. I have no idea how to fix this in myself. I don't know how to not care what others think of me, and I don't know how to stop caring if I make a mistake.

So much of what I feel I see too many sides of. It can be good to not want to mess up...but I take it too far, to where I scare myself out of doing anything I might mess up with someone else around. It can be good to want to make others happy and comfortable...but I take it too far, and let it rule what I do and how I act when sometimes it's not really me. I simply go too far.

Yet I can never seem to shake my determination to get back up and try again. Maybe I just really love to punish myself and make myself feel bad, I wouldn't be surprised. Or else I know deep inside that if I keep trying, keep moving, that eventually I'll get it right and the mistakes will stop. I kinda think it's a bit of both. lol And that, my friends, is what makes me a nutcase.

Let the Rain - Sara Bareilles

I wish I were pretty
I wish I were brave
If I owned this city
Then I'd make it behave

And if I were fearless
Then I'd speak my truth
And the world would hear this
That's what I wish I'd do, yeah

If my hands could hold them you'd see
I'd take all these secrets in me
And I'd move and mold them to be
Something I'd set free

I want to darken in the skies
Open the floodgates up
I want to change my mind
I want to be enough
I want the water in my eyes
I want to cry until the end of time

I want to let the rain come down
Make a brand new ground
Let the rain come down
Let the rain come down
Make a brand new ground
Let the rain come down tonight

I hold on to worry so tight
It's safe in here right next to my heart
Who now shouts at the top of her voice
Let me go, let me out, this is not my choice

And I always felt it before
That the world was filled with much more
Than the drowning soul I've learned to be
I just need the rain to remind me

I want to darken in the skies
Open the floodgates up
I want to change my mind
I want to be enough
I want the water in my eyes
I want to cry until the end of time

I want to let the rain come down
Make a brand new ground
Let the rain come down
Let the rain come down
Make a brand new ground
Let the rain come down

***************

Get it Right - Glee

What have I done? I wish I could run
Away from this ship goin' under
Just tryin' to help, hurt everyone
Now I feel the weight of the world is
On my shoulders

What can you do when your good isn't good enough?
When all that you touch tumbles down?
'Cause my best intentions keep making a mess of things
I just wanna fix it somehow

But how many it times will it take?
Oh, how many times will it take for me?
To get it right
To get it ri-igh-ight

Can I start again with my faith shaken?
'Cause I can't go back and undo this
I just have to stay and face my mistakes
But if I get stronger and wiser
I'll get through this

So I throw up my fist
I will punch in the air
And accept the truth that sometimes life isn't fair
Yeah, I'll send out a wish
Yeah, I'll send up a prayer
And finally, someone will see
How much I care!

What can you do when your good isn't good enough?
When all that you touch tumbles down?
'Cause my best intentions keep making a mess of things
I just wanna fix it somehow
But how many it times will it take?
Oh, how many times will it take for me?
To get it right
To get it ri-igh-ight

Monday, April 4, 2011

Count your Blessings...

Geez, what a day it's been. Heck, what a year it's been already. My poor brain and heart have been dealing with so much lately that they feel like they're about to give out. But life only lets us move forward, so forward I go, even though I wish I had a place I could go to just stop time and simply be for awhile. lol I always seem to start out with so much I want to write, and yet when I get ready to start my thoughts get so scrambled that only a portion of what I wanted to write comes out. Today will definitely be one of those times. lol But I need to get some of this out of my brain, so here we go.

I started out today thinking, as usual, and came across some information on writing out a life plan. This idea is really interesting to me, and it's definitely something I'm going to sit down and do. There have been lots of times in my life where I've tried to start something similar, but I never can seem to make it last. I can sit down and write out things that I can feel myself being pulled towards, things I really want for my life, and I can start making some plans for how to get there. But my self discipline has gotten seriously out of whack, and I can never make anything stick. But this guy has some good ideas for how to lay it all out and how to set some goals, so I'm gonna see if it won't help me really start sticking to things. (The book is free right now if anyone's interested...you just have to sign up for the mailing list. michaelhyatt.com)

I've come to the conclusion that I'm my own worst enemy. I can't seem to discipline myself, so I pick at myself and let myself change my mind and make bad choices. I'm the reason so many of my friendships have become quiet. I'm the one who keeps holding myself back and keeps me from being brave and trying new things and trying to improve my life. I'm the one who keeps picking at myself...right in front of anyone who cares to look at me. (And yes, this is a much bigger thing that I've let myself think...I really feel like it's borderline self mutilation, similar to cutting. Except that I only mess with scabs that happen to me naturally and I let it be obvious and simply blow it off. But I'm beginning to realize that this just might be something much deeper than I ever thought.) Why I do this, I still couldn't tell you. On any given day, I could give you a slew of ideas as to why, but I still haven't found that root. But I know it's me. I know I'm what's standing in my way from making things better for myself and others that I love. It's like I think I deserve it or something, though I couldn't tell you why I feel that way. Sooner or later I'm going to need to do some serious journaling and really get to the roots of why I stand in my own way...but I'm terribly afraid of doing this as well, since I know it's going to bring up a lot of pain and problems that I don't really want to deal with. But it needs to be done, because I can't keep living like I do. I want to be so much better than I am, and I feel like I could get there if I would just do the work...and as much as I try, that's where I fall short.

I've come to two conclusions in the past few days. 1) Until I can truly decide exactly where I stand when it comes to if there is a God or not, my life is going to keep feeling like I'm lost in a sea. 2) Moving to Dallas was probably one of the worst decisions I've ever made.

Quickly on #1 - this is something that will just take time. I've been honestly digging in deep for a few months now, and I'm starting to get some things straightened out in my mind, but until I keep digging and keep searching, I just won't know for sure. But it's going to continue to feel difficult for me until I can reach that final decision. Especially since I'm living with Jon, who's an adamant non-believer, and those that I really trust and open up to that are believers are all online...my balance is somewhat out of whack. But I'm getting there, and this is actually something I don't worry about too much. I feel pretty confident that if the God I've been thinking and reading of is true, he's going to keep finding ways to help me believe. Jon and I got into a nice heated debate on Friday about this, loud enough that the cop across the street knocked on the door and asked if everything was fine...but we came to a good point by the end of the night, acknowledging that though Jon loves everything about me except that I love the one thing he really doesn't like, I'm much more open-minded and like him than he thinks, even though I believe what he doesn't. I can feel that we're moving in a good direction, even though it's insanely difficult, and that keeps me holding on. All the prayers for if we're right together or not have always led me to staying together, so I know it's all going to work out for the best. It's just difficult. But then, lots of good things are.

As for #2....well there's lots of reasons for me feeling like this. I've moved away from my family and most of my friends, putting even more strain on those relationships than there already was. Jon has started working again which is great, but it means he ends up spending a few days at a time in Gainesville, which has been hard. He really needs to be closer to his family to continue to help him, and we're not that close right now. Plus, I've always felt a little uncomfortable staying on my own in Dallas, and today finally proved me right - our apartment was broken into. While Jon was home, no less. A stranger knocked on the door, and so he looked out but didn't answer it since he didn't know him, went to get in the shower...and came out to the front door wide open and our laptop, playstation, and his iphone were gone. One of our sweet cats got outside as well, though thankfully we found her pretty quick. But still...I'm feeling completely violated and vulnerable. However, I'm incredibly thankful that it was only those 3 things they took....my camera was right on the table, and we've got a nice TV, and Jon was in the shower the whole time, which could have turned out very badly for him. So Jon's ok, my sweet cats are ok, and the majority of our stuff is still safe, all of which I'm insanely thankful for. It's a big blow to lose our laptop and playstation and Jon's phone...there's so little that we actually own that's worth anything, and we use the heck out of them, so it seriously sucks that we're now without those. But much, much worse could've happened. Even still, I'm honestly going to be counting down days until our lease is up and we can move again. The only really nice thing to come from our moving to Dallas has been that for awhile, I was able to have a short commute to work. But our safety and our health and happiness mean much more to me than a short drive to and from work every day. So I'm ready to move and deal with the pain of finding a new place again and getting all our stuff moved.

Sorry this has been sort of rambling. There's lots going on in this little brain of mine, and it all connects somehow. Hopefully at least a small part of this made sense to someone. lol I at least feel a little better getting some of it out in the open. I would sure appreciate any comments or prayers you can send my way! I think it's pretty clear I need some help. lol :)