Saturday, October 10, 2015

Things I do. Things I don't do.

Shauna has written on this a few times (maybe a hundred times or only twice and I have happened to read the two... who's to say.) and it always challenges, encourages, calls me back to priorities while also reminding me that it's okay to let myself off the hook sometimes (the fact that I feel like I have to "let myself off the hook" is a red flag there... where is that pressure coming from? geez...)


Shauna makes two lists: Things I do and Things I don't do.  I've also started For the Love and Jen offers a similar concept referred to as On the beam and Off the beam.

Basically it's a priority and freedom concept... There are things in life that give me joy and life, or things I'm called to, or things I'm passionate about or things I just want to do or do better.... Then there are things that I put pressure on myself to do...things that maybe aren't life giving for me or things that I want to do mainly because other people do them or things that seem like I have to do them, but in reality I can be free from them.

Both lists, though, have to be thought about in regards to the season... We can make space for margin now but in 5 years if we have little babies running around, that will change. The point isn't to write this in stone and never do the "don't do" list, but to remind myself of grace and the things that bring me life.

So, after wanting to make this list for... what? 4 years? here it is.

Things I do/On the beam (not in a particular order)

  • Margin:  This one basically keeps both lists in check. I need margin. I need time in between meetings and down-time at home and quiet/ssshhhh time before running to the next thing.  I am a horrible human without margin.
  • Cook and Bake:  I love to cook. I am not the best cook, and I don't understand the science (yet) behind it all, but I can follow a recipe and I'm getting better. I like cooking. I like making the mess (and having Andrew help clean it up) and having flour on my yoga pants and smelling the deliciousness of our little kitchen fill up our home.
  • Clean our house:  This one stresses Andrew out because I can't rest until our house is clean (unless it's a super lazy/waller-ing day, and in that case the whole place could have an inch of dust on it and I'd like to sit and watch TV and never change clothes. What? Just me? oh well).  I like our home to be picked up. I like the laundry to be done and the dishes to be out of the sink. 
  • Time with family:  We live 2, 3, and 5 hours away from family... and I hate it. I wish I lived 12 mins down the road from my sister and parents and in-laws and nieces and nephews. I wish I could babysit on a random Tuesday while my sister ran to Kroger and I wish Saturdays involved more down-time and less rushing-out-to-get-back-home.  But... that's okay... we travel often on the weekends to be with family and that's just the season we are in.
  • Time with community, mentors, life-givers:  We spend time with people that are way smarter than us, have more life experience, and are willing to share it with us.  We spend time with our friends, around the dinner table and share what's good, and hard, and in between.  We go to house church and are open about where we are and desire to create a space where other people feel safe to do the same.
  • Read (life-giving and fiction): I like to read good books.  I'm not the smartest/book smartest. I don't get any joke about old books/movies or the Star Wars trilogy and I've never seen Dumb and Dumber. But I like to read good books. Life giving AND fiction... For a while I thought if I was reading, it had to be life-changing-self-help books... so I, naturally, did'n't read. But I like to read. I will fly through a book if it holds my attention (sorry, Andrew, for two weekends ago when I didn't talk to you for 37 hours because I was reading on the couch). 
  • Set the table: I set the table because I think it looks nice and it brings me joy to see it all dressed up. I don't do it for our guests, sorry, I do it for me. 
  • Create: I'm not the most creative or artistic, but I like to create things and color and draw and paint and design and print and get/send beautiful things in the mail or as a gift. I like to put things up in my house that I had a hand in creating. 
  • Grocery shop and meal plan: This one has seasons... but I like taking care of our tiny little family in this way. Sundays are Andrew's work day and my sabbath day (see next point), and the day I normally plan out our week.
  • Sabbath on Sundays:  As noted, Andrew works on Sundays and I am at home all day by myself. And I like that. I don't make plans, I don't see people, and I don't let myself feel guilty for taking 12 hours to be quiet and alone.
  • Talk on the phone: I like talking on the phone. I like calling my Dad every morning to check in and I like phone dates with my sister and Meredith to hear the latest.  I like getting a phone call that doesn't have a direct purpose and I like calling to hear someones voice when I am wondering about them.

Things I don't do/Off the beam (not in particular order)

  • Garden: I can't keep a plant alive for the life of me. Andrew gardens and he grows us tomato plants and I will pick off the dead leaves (because that's therapeutic and nice) but I don't garden and I will not be in charge of the living things outside.
  • Keep up with clothing trends:  I like stripes and plain things and I have to google outfit ideas. Yes, layers are nice. Yes, I have TOMS wedges because other people had them and I really like them. No, I don't shop consistently and when I do, I'm a Gap/Banana/OldNavy/JCrew (on a splurge day) fan.  I wear skinny jeans because that's what you're supposed to wear (though I jumped on that train about 1 year late) and if you see me in leg warmers/fedoras/cropped shirts or see me wearing a knot bun, please remind me that it's okay to wear stripes and baseball tees with jeans and Keds.
  • Give up every week night: This one takes the things I do away. So, if 4 nights are planned for us between class and work and church, then we don't make plans the other 3. 
  • Fill my work days with meetings: Unless absolutely planned for me and I have no control over it, I don't fill my day with meetings. Some are absolutely necessary and, actually, I like meetings... but if my whole day is spent planning and dreaming... and 0% of my day is spent doing and accomplishing.. then my gifts aren't being used well by me.
  • Clean the shower: Sorry, Andrew. I just can't. 
  • Stay connected to my phone at all times: I stink at texting sometimes. I read a message and never respond (Sorry, Julie) or I come back to my phone and read 19 messages (#108ForLife) and am sometimes horrible at catching up... but that's alright. I want to be better about not having my phone on me at all times and expecting other/expecting myself to be available to all people at all times.
  • Climb the ladder:  I'm not important. I want to work hard and I want to do good work that brings grace and peace to other people. I want to get to know our students and I want to pour life into people around me, while working hard... But I don't want to 'climb the ladder' and put more and more pressure on myself/others to do the same. 
  • Watch/read 'dark' things: I am 'garbage in-garbage out' and a sponge to all things around me... If I'm reading good things, it shows. If I watched Scandal for 24 hours straight, I assume all people are having an affair and I'm very leery of our government (#TGIT for life).  I can't watch shows that drop the F bomb every other word because then I start to think the F bomb every other moment and I don't want that. I can't read scary books because it makes me paranoid. So. There's that.
  • Expect other people to do my "Things I Do" list.. : This one is big. The above items are MY list. my list. not anyone else's and I refuse to put the above pressure on others, or judge people for cleaning their shower. I like these lists because they are mine and because they remind me of what I want my life to look like.

Sorry this was so long, and sorry almost every sentence starts with "I."
Happy Saturday :)