Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Simplicity and Discipline

Every once in awhile I find myself longing for simplicity.  Just living my life with everything in its place, things somewhat mapped out, and with time to be able to stop and smell the roses so to speak.  Lately, I have been all kinds of complicated...with almost area of my life in some kind of disarray.  I don't mean SERIOUS disarray like those who are dealing with life or death issues or where law enforcement is involved.  I mean...just when I think I get something figured out...I apparently press "2" for Spanish and I know not what in the world is going on.  Figuratively speaking, of course.

I don't talk about work much as a general rule...and I'm not going to break that rule now...other than to say that where I work was recently merged with another bank.  There's all sorts of wonderful things about this...such as continued employment...but it takes time to figure out exactly what your new reality is going to look like.  A task that would be far simpler if I could pull it together in at least a few other areas of my life.

I won't delve into a whine-a-thon over what isn't perfect because relatively's all good.  I have (way more than) enough to eat, the bills are paid, and I get to do a lot of things that I want to do on top of having my needs met.  My children are great, my husband is wonderful, and my family is amazing.  I have my dog nearly housebroken (other than an unfortunate incident or three this past weekend which was - naturally - discovered by my mother, bless her heart) and the other one may or not be knocked up.  If she isn't...that's good...and if she is...well, that's fine too.  I'm sure I can find a great home for some shih tzu puppies...and it will give me something to do after Brian blows out of here in three weeks and leaves this nest empty.

Of course, the prospect of having an empty nest right now has its upside.  I mean, our living room has an extra couch and big chair sitting all up in there in addition to the furniture that normally is there.  It looks like the Island of Misfit Furniture, truth be told.  I also have extra furniture in my bedroom taking up space because prior to it we actually had space in there and thought we could bypass the whole storage facility thing.  Yeah, we managed that...but space?  No longer.

I won't even go into detail about the garage...other than to say that it is full of c-rap from various purgings of furniture and what-not from family, friends, and Big Dave's clients, plus what is normally in a garage that also serves as a storage facility for paint cans, brushes, extra pieces of sheetrock, and  the webs of a thousand spiders past and present.  Oh, and the cat.  Occasionally a wayward opossum or bird also joins the menagerie.

One of these days we're going to clear through that and convert that space to something useful like, I don't know...a GARAGE maybe?  Yeah, that would be nice.  But married to a handyman?  I'm not holding my breath.  There's no telling what he'll come home with that was given to him because he thought we might find a place for it and it was about to be hauled out to the curb.

In addition to the washer and dryer from a condo unit that don't work...we also have a fountain in our backyard that is beautiful and actually works, but it is just sitting out there about a foot deep of water (which has now turned a putrid shade of green) after the monsoon rain of the past two weeks.  Why it is out there where it is just hanging out by the pool out kind of in the middle of everything, I have no idea.  On the bright least it isn't in the garage.

We have the driveway undone (and in desperate need of gravel)...but until it is impossible to reach our house because one of the ruts swallows up a car or'll probably ride another six months.

Or six years.

On the money front...we are about as low on funds as we've been in about three years.  Not that Big Dave isn't working a lot...but that we've encountered some expenses and upgrades that were a wee bit unexpected.  That's on top of the expected expenses that Brian will be needing taken care of in three weeks.


Then there's the whole I've gotten out of control with the eating again and I'm afraid I'm going to have to go back to rehab.  I mean, Weight Watchers isn't really that bad...but I just don't know if I can take another stint there.  Maybe I'll try online this time.

Or maybe I'll just try something that I've heard about called "discipline."

For the past several weeks, I've been noticing the kid across the street work in his driveway on footwork, or running around the neighborhood.  When other kids are whining that they are bored...he's outside playing music with some serious bass and doing something remotely productive with his time.  He's a good kid...wears shorts that fit...and I haven't heard any words like "ho" coming out over the music he's playing while he works out.  So, I'm afraid I spend time looking outside to see what he's up to (shades of Mrs. Kravitz not Mrs. me) and being impressed that he's well acquainted with my long lost friend Mr. Discipline.

When you are disciplined, you have your eyes or sights on a goal and you work toward it.  You don't accept "no" for an answer and you certainly don't let anything lame get you down.  You laugh when you're told "it's impossible" and you live for the opportunity to get just a little bit better every day. The odd thing is...about three weeks into becomes comfortable and encouraging and nice.  It gives you more incentive to be a better version of yourself...and so you are.  You move forward and others start to notice that little light in you that is shining called "self confidence."  You inspire others with that light and it ignites some of those who see it and want some of that for themselves.  When you are all lit up like can do more for yourself, for others, for Jesus, for the general good, than you ever can while you are planning but not executing your plan...or eating the brownie bites instead of passing on them and just going to bed.  You'll make your financial goals because nothing is worth losing the feeling of control of your destiny, so to speak, in the ways that you can control...such as how much you spend and what you spend it on.

I need more discipline.

Way more.

I think that everything in my life that is out of control is because I've lost the joy of routine, of planning and executing, and of expecting the best of myself.  Every so often, it is okay to go through a season of serving others, or tuning out of responsibilities, or even of doing exactly what you want to do.  But as a long term strategy?  No.  Just no.

I don't know if I'll be as good as the neighbor kid and will get myself into the gym every day...but I will be trying to get through some of the other things in a more disciplined manner.  I'd like to try to add one thing each day and work through it and then move on to the next.  It may take a month to do some of this...or a year to do others...but if I just start least I'll be on the path.

Because I'm kind of at one of those points in the road of life where one direction takes you where you want to go, but it isn't going to be fun, easy, or even terribly scenic for awhile, but then it will eventually open up to a scene that is so breathtaking that you can hardly believe your good fortune.  The other is fun and laid-back and easy...but it never really gets any better.

I've been walking down the second road...I'm ready to walk the first.

Even if it means that discipline is involved.

Especially since my baby is flying the nest in three short weeks for the wilds of Huntsville.  It's time...but it still makes me realize that I need to be focused on something...and I'm not entirely sure that "something" is going to be a litter of shih tzus.  As awesome as that sounds.

And you never might actually be fun.

Yeah, no.

But I do know is more simple when you are disciplined.  You don't have to waste time thinking about what you'll have for dinner because the answer is "chicken and steamed vegetables" or "salad."  You don't have to wonder what you'll do after work because the answer is "the gym."  You don't have to entertain the thought of a shopping trip for fun because the answer to the budget-conscious is "no."  See?  Easier.

So, perhaps my desire for wanting simplicity is really a desire for a more disciplined life.  The two seem to go hand in hand.  And the God of order who created us left a whisper of that in each of us...even my son who would rather take paper plates off to college so he doesn't have to do dishes.

I'm so serious.

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