In this somewhat of a renaissance that I’ve been under (I’d like to coin it my quarter-life crisis – 23*4 = 92 = pretty good, long life), I felt it was a good time to set some goals for the summer. With that in mind, I’m inscribing them upon my blog, so that people who will never meet me in person can ask me and maybe leave the peirodic “hey, how are you doing with that?”. Here they are, divided into Mind, Body, and Spirit:
- Read classics – I’ve started to get into some of the classics of literature, because I think appreciating them helps one appreciate the rest of what goes in with words. For instance, if you can appreciate 1+1=2, you can then appreciate that maybe 1+1=3, because foundations count for something. To that end, here’s the list right now for the summer. I’m in no push to get them all done, but here’s the lineup:
- Fyodor Dostoevskvy – The Brothers Karamazov (I’m about 60 pages through)
- Geroge Eliot – Middlemarch
- Sinclair Lewis – The Jungle
- Walker Percy – The Moviegoer
- Diligently persue my Master’s degree – I was really frustrated throughout college with my own blasé attitude about grades. I did just enough to get by with a 3.29, which I figured was just enough to get me where I wanted to go. Looking back, that’s ludacris. I am a better student than what I put up, and for me to just wander through anything else is just plain disrespectful to myself and the institution. So, I’m planning on really trying on my Master’s Degree. Really reading, really taking notes, really being engaged in class. In many ways, these things I’m studying are things I love, so why not invest in them?
- Play the instruments I love – I don’t play my piano or trumpet any more. I bought a nice classics piano book (with Clair de Lune in it – one of the songs I’ve always wanted to learn how to play and be good enough to impress someone at a cocktail party by saying “oh, y’know, this is a little something I’ve picked up along the way”). I want to do this because I find losing gifts by attrition to be a sad reason.
- Be athletic in someway everyday – This should get easier once I get into my CCO routines. Beth Herman’s training for a half marathon, there will be frisbee everyday, and I see the reason not just to look good (although, dang, that’s a good reason), but that I want to be healthy, and that I would love to work out with the ROTC guys next year. If this pans out, I will be in the best shape I’ve ever been, and chances are will ever be. This is all a matter of inertia. Related is…
- Keep losing weight – I’ve probably lost 25 pounds this year, mostly because I don’t eat when I’m not hungry. I’m starting to see glimpses of a body I could have, and when that happens, the momentum gets going.
- Stay in balance with sleeping, watch what I eat and drink, care about my body – The more I’m in balance, the better things will feel. The better things feel, the more motivated I want to be in keeping the momentum, and it rolls and rolls and rolls. Inertia, baby!
- Continue to devote my 15 minutes in Scripture and prayer every morning – It’s my most critical rule of life, and something that waxes and wanes much too often. Loving God and being part of His community is wanting to have a conversation with Him – to talk and to listen. While I’m good at the talking, I’m learning to do the listening. This summer will be a great place to recommitt to my conversation with God.
- My Appreciation Journal – I have a moleskine journal that at the end of each day I put the #1 good thing I want to remember from the day. I thank God for it, and I close it. It reminds me of two things – one, that God is always good, and two that life is always good. Not easy, but good. I have no doubt that there will always be one good thing out of the day, even if I write “I woke up and saw the world again, and can go to sleep with the same”
- Let go – If there’s one thing that God has shown me over again over again, it would be living in the present moment and trusting fully in Him is what He wants, not trying to micromanage life. When I stopped trying to be the one controlling my life, God did, and it was good – maybe not easy, but good. Truly, that’s what I want.
To that end, I leave you with a portion of the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu. Tao Te Ching is the base of Taoism, and I feel that there’s something be learned in the pages. There’s a sense of God in it, and the more I skim it, the more I try to find Him in it:
…Therefore the sage produces without possessing,
Acts without expectations
And accomplishes without abiding in her accomplishments.
It is precisely because she does not abide in them
That they never leave her.
Good morning all.