Small Steps

There's a guitar in a black case sitting upstairs in our guest room. There's a sewing machine, I received as a gift for Christmas years ago, at my parents house. At least, I think that's where it is?

There are words and chapters in folders on my computer, written in pages and journals, pages I keep saying will be put together and made into a book one day.

You see, I tend to be a thinker and dreamer more than a doer.  I'm really good at starting things but not so awesome at finishing them [hence loving to cook but never seeming to love the dishes].

I'll start working on a project and then see something shiny and run towards it or become hungry, and suddenly the act of opening the fridge reminds me of a whole different thing I wanted to do, which reminds me of that other thing, and that other thing....

Anyone else out there?

By the end, I am standing in the kitchen, holding a broom, sandwich, and pen wondering, "What was I working on again?"

When January 1st came around, as quickly as she does, I knew it was time to stop treating my resolutions the same way.  I felt deep in my gut that something, someone [me] needed to change her ways a little.

And it starts with a whole new word: steps.

I needed to get rid of "resolutions" because resolution felt so impersonal, so unattainable and something completely out of my reach.

But steps?  I take steps everyday.  I know steps.  Steps are familiar.  Steps are already part of my daily routine.

Writing these steps, for me, means being honest.  Honest about what I can actually do, right now in this point of time, and what may need to wait.

It means being really, really specific.

This might sound extreme.  But I think I need extreme.  I think I need a little discipline.

Because it's not enough for me to write: run a half-marathon [this one will not be happening this year].  I need to write down what I am going to do, each and everyday to get there.  I need to write down when I'll go running and for how long.  I need to take a good look at things and figure out what I might need to postpone or cancel or say no too to prepare // if this run means so much to me.

I have too many unread books on my nightstand not to be extreme.

I decided to pick three areas of my life to take steps in.

While I could have probably picked 10 or more, I made a choice to pick just three.  Because, I have a sneaky feeling, more than three might just turn into another unread book.

I decided to break these three down into smaller parts, parts I can live with. And I've decided in three months I'll reassess.  I'll count my steps, I'll see what needs moving around, what needs more work, what became easier.  And what, if anything, needs to be scratched off the list.

This is a trial friends, I am taking new steps in this.  And I hope, if you need it, it encourages you to do the same.

Alright ya'll, here we go.  Let's get walking.

Relationships.

I hold my people near and dear to my heart.  I love coffee dates and dinner dates and an ever revolving door of guests.  But there is someone I want to spend more time with, more dates with - Matthew.

As we left church on Sunday, a sweet lady was giddy to hear we've been married just shy of 4 months and as we parted ways, she told us to enjoy this honeymoon season, what a sweet time it is.

And she's right, it is such a sweet season.

And that's just it - it's a season.  Because one day, life is going to be much busier and louder and messier.  One day, after all the chaos and meals and soccer practice [see what I did there love?] we'll fall on the couch, look up at each other and say, "Hey babe, it's good to see you".

We try to hold true to one date night each week but so often we fill it with something else.  I want to honor that time, honor this sweet season.

Thought bubble:  I just got this book for Christmas.  It's beautiful folks, I highly recommend it as a gift to any couple you know - in whatever stage of life they might be in.  I'm actually giving a copy to my sister as a baby shower gift.  And I think, it might really help inspire us to think of more fun, creative, tasty dates.  But, I 'd love more ideas!  Got any that wont break the bank?  Please share.  

Spiritual.

Matthew and I are starting a Bible book club.  Want to join?  I love book clubs and have been itching to join one or start one since we've moved.  I was in one when I lived in New Haven and it was one of my favorite nights of the month.  Because so often it involved really good food and lots of wine.

I've tried a Bible reading plan and it failed.  But a Bible book club?  I think I could get into that.

Our plan is to have reading goals every 2 weeks.  And then, once we make it there, we'll talk about it and break it down.  Then we'll set our goal for the next two weeks or catch up where we might have fallen behind.

Because this is the thing about steps.  Sometimes, you take one step forward just to take two steps back.  And that is okay. Because it's not about how far you go it's about getting up to move again.  

This area involves another step.  I want to pray for people when they ask me too and when they don't.  This means, writing on my calendar each day of the week who or what I want to pray for.  I can pray for a whole slew of other things in a day too, while I am walking or driving or about to go to sleep.  But at least this way, on the days I get distracted by shiny things or recipes on pinterest, I'll know I prayed for at least one person.

Health.

I want to sweat at least 3 times a week.  I feel better when I do.  I feel better when I am moving, when I wake up a little earlier just to go on the elliptical for 20 minutes.  This means again, marking down when I'll go to the gym or checking the weather ahead of time and deciding, alright, on Tuesday, I'm bundling up and going for a jog.  No excuses lady.

Mental health is just as important folks.  And for me, writing makes me feel good.  As my schedule changes in the upcoming weeks I want to make time for it.  I want to designate at least 1 morning a week for writing, writing about anything. So often I wait until a big idea comes.  I want to just let go and write.

Maybe it means asking a dear friend, who enjoys writing too, if she'll come over and sit with me in the morning.  I'll make us coffee, we'll light a candle and just write together.  Any takers?

Whew.   I think that's enough about me folks.  I want to know about you and your steps or goals or plans.  How do you make things stick?  What motivates you?  What practices keep you going?

Happy New Year.  I hope it's a sweet one so far.