To-do lists

Today was a busy work day. It was the kind of day that my to-do kept growing faster than I could get things accomplished. It got me thinking about to-do lists.

I love to-do lists. I work with a constant to-do list on a legal pad, I think it’s a holdover from my days at a pr agency.

In the past, I really hated not getting to everything on my list on the day I wanted it done. But, recently I’ve really worked on not getting overwhelmed by everything and focusing on how much I have gotten done and not all the things left to do.

I still need to-do lists. They are such a help to keep my mind organized and complete my tasks at work or home efficiently, but I know I’m not earning any favor if I don’t check off all the boxes. It also helps to add a few tasks I’ve already accomplished but that never made the list to make me smile and maybe think I’m a little crazy. You do that too, right?

Ch-Ch Changes

I have never loved changes. I have never loved surprises (those are just changes you didn’t know about ahead of time). I have never loved moving. I hate goodbyes.

I am too easily able to find my comfortable spot. I make my little plot in life: a job, an apartment, a daily routine, but is this really what I want my life to be? Is it really what it should be?

In this season of waiting to hear back from PhD programs for Taylor, I feel my impending excitement over the possibility of leaving Tallahassee. After almost six (!) years, it feels like it might finally be time to move on.

I also feel my building terror. I feel like it took me at least five years to really get into the groove here. I finally feel like I found my comfortable spot, which I am sure means it’s time to move. To give up the comfort, and to start a new adventure. Maybe this time I’ll actually learn to embrace the adventure and enjoy it.

It is altogether quite possible that we won’t leave at all, that I will spend the next three years, like I spent the last two, in the same little comfortable spot in Tallahassee. But now, unlike two years ago, I know that I’m actually ready for the changes that might be coming. I know that two extra years in Tallahassee brought me much more joy and challenged me more.

I’m ready to find a new spot, even if it is in Tallahassee. I’m ready for more changes for the first time in my life, even if it means moving all the way across the country and even if it’s somewhere I’m not psyched about going.

The Story of Me: Early Fears & Cold Windows

I originally thought of this blog as a place to post about the present – document my daily goings on in a cathartic release of words into the infinite abyss. I’m still going to keep doing that. But I thought, why limit myself to the future. Could their not be just as much (if not more) purification from writing the words of the past in an attempt to heal wounds I didn’t know existed?

So, I’ve decided to go for it. Slowly, delve into the catacombs and see what I can process. I hope you keep reading. I’ll keep up with some of the present as I go on too and if you care to keep tabs of the past me, you can follow along with the tag below. 

Without further adieu, chapter one of the past – starting with what I think is my first memory.

4 Years Old

I was four. I lived in Fort Collins, Co. I remember loving my pre-k class. I remember my mom bringing cake to my class for my birthday. We went to Chuck E. Cheese for our birthday. My twin sister and I were bunnies for Halloween.

None of these happy memories of innocent childhood bliss are what I think of when I think of this time period. But oh, how I wish they were.

I wish my childhood wasn’t ripped away.

My sister and I were waiting in the window, waiting for my mom’s car to pull into the driveway. She was working at the hospital. My dad was home. My sister and I were playing some game we had made up. The window was cold on my face.

There was a knock on the door. I thought it was my mom. We jumped up excited that she was home.

It wasn’t her.

A man, shouting, gun held out. Wanted jewelry, money, whatever.

It was then that I knew the world was not safe. It was full of bad people. It was full of things to be afraid of. 

He told my sister and I to run. She didn’t. I did. I hid myself in an adjacent room next to my play kitchen. I can still feel the cold of the plastic kitchen.

My memories black out here. I remember a cop telling me it was going to be okay. I don’t think I thought it was going to be.

Having an early childhood memory of such terror created a scared little girl. I became fearful and had some major separation anxiety. It eventually wore off; I adjusted; we moved. But even now, I think this event clouds my daily life and distrust of people. I work on it a little each day, moving forward. Not living in fear, but it’s difficult.

Getting Healthy

I am fortunate to have (thus far) never struggled with my weight. Growing up, I ate whatever I wanted and never saw much consequence for it. The season I decided to give up caffeine for Lent during high school was the only time I felt the consequence of my 5 cans of soda per day habit. (Really, it was at least that, and I seriously can’t believe I used to be able to consume like that.)

Over the last few years, thanks to an endless supply of documentaries on Netflix, I’ve become increasing more concerned about the food I consume and how my habits effect my health and the environment.

I am realizing how much my mood and energy level are effected by simple things, the foods I eat, when I eat and most importantly exercise.

I’ve exercised semi-regularly, without much of a schedule or motivation. In college, I’d go to the gym for an hour, yet I’d barely break a sweat. It was really more of a check the box off my list sort of habit.

I’ve been making little changes in my like, that have effected my mood in a big way. As part of my 25 List, I decided to take the goals of running a 5k and a 10k. I have, after only 2 weeks, created an actual desire for running. Actually, not so much the running part, but probably the endorphin high. I actually enjoy coming back from my run looking gross but happy.

I’m seeing big changes in the way my body feels and that is really pushing me forward. The food I crave has started to change too, but I don’t feel nearly as guilty with some of my indulgences and I do find myself wanting them less. Win!

Church People

“I don’t go to church because I haven’t had much luck with church people.”

This is the conversation I got to be a part of a few days ago and now, days later, my mind is still boggled by this statement.

This person, like a lot of people I know, has been hurt by someone they knew via a church. That hurt was most certainly real.

“Church people” as this person so aptly stereotyped are real people. They are flawed. They make huge mistakes and they hurt people. I know this because I am an imperfect, mean, short-tempered and unloving “church person.” I fail and I fail daily.

*”Church people” are also wonderful people, made in the image of God, hopefully trying to live a life to bring honor and glory to God (at least the ones I know, strive for this.)

The point of the Church is Jesus. It’s about bringing people to Him and knowing Him more. It’s about living your life because of him.

I am grieved by the hurt that can happen from within the walls of a church. I have witnessed the disintegration of churches and have been broken over the lack of unity within the body of Christ. This is tragic. We should strive to change this. We should love each other and care for each other better.

I am even more grieved that the work of the devil can so twist a person’s mind to think that church is about what they want or the people in it. Church is about the supreme importance of Jesus and his ultimate worth and glory. Missing out on that is the saddest thing I can imagine.

Okay, enough rambling for today.

*I know that this might not be the case for some and that churches are full of many different types of people and some people use the church for harm and a zillion other nuances this post simply won’t be long enough to address.

25 – Part Three

These are the last of my longings for this year. Enjoy!

19. Study more vocabulary – I feel that my AP English skills have faded away quicker than I would have liked. I need more beautiful, wonderful words in my life to enjoy. (Crazy, right?)

20. Gain more photoshop/ indesign skills – My skills in this area could be described as novice at best. I think additional skills in this area might be beneficial for my career long term. Here’s to another thing for the resume.

21. Volunteer more – I used to volunteer more frequently and I know I need to get back to this. It’s good for my soul.

22. Memorize more scripture – Last summer at The Gospel Coalition’s Women’s Conference, I attended a session on memorizing scripture, something I haven’t put into serious practice in a long time. When I came home from the conference, I was so motivated to memorize more frequently but I never really picked it up. This year I’m going to find a method that works well for me.

23. Paint more – I love painting. It’s easy and relatively cheap. I don’t even care what it looks like because it can always be painted over and started again. There’s something so beautiful about that.

24. Apologize more – I am not the best at this. I need to be better about apologizing for the little things I do that I know are just the worst. I grew up in a family that didn’t really apologize for much. It was more of a harboring our anger forever sort of system. That’s not how I want to be. How will I be able to teach my future little ones this if I don’t have it down myself?

25. Make the decision to go to grad school or be content without another degree – If you don’t already know, my family (and by this I always mean Taylor and I – you can be a family without children, more on this later) is big on higher education. We’re all for it. Probably would even go in to debt to make it happen (I know, judge away). I just can never figure out if it’s actually right for me. I loved school. Some days Most days I wish was still sitting in class. I just have a lot to figure out about what I want to do and if another degree is the way to get there and I really need to become comfortable with the idea that I am enough without a masters degree before I decide to pursue one.

Well, there you have it. Looks like a challenging and rewarding year! What are your goals for this year?

25 – Part Two

Yesterday, I started a list of things I’d like to accomplish before I’m 25. This is the continuation!

10.Read more fiction -I used to read a lot. I got busy and distracted, I want to change that. To that end, I recently read Silver Linings Playbook. I want to read more. Any suggestions?

11.Curb my anxiety about the future -The future freaks me out. I think about it a lot. I want to live more in the moment and not be as riddled with anxiety. I’m going to break that this year.

12.Use my extra free time to help and encourage moms I know -I don’t have kids, so thus I have way more free time than I will any other time in my life. I need to use this to be productive and encouraging. I feel like I’ve been doing a little bit more of this, but I could always be doing more. Are you a mom I know and need help? Just say the word.

13.Decorate my apartment with purpose -I am done waiting to have a “real home” to decorate. I love my little apartment. It’s the most wonderfully relaxing place. Some of it is a bit neglected, I’m going to tackle that with some pride this year.

14.Spend less time on the computer in the evening -Taylor and I are both home most nights now. This has not always been the case, I need to prioritize this time more. It’s gonna be good for our marriage.

15. Go to a yoga class – I recently picked up a yoga dvd. I’m enjoying it a lot, I’d like to actually make it to a class one day.

16. Care more about my co-workers – I work in a small office. I want to be more intentional to love my co-workers well and less judgmental. Pray for me.

17. Really understand my convictions about the Sabbath and be more comfortable talking about them – A couple years ago, Taylor and I studied the Sabbath and what we thought we were called to do because of it. We don’t work. We don’t do homework. We don’t shop or go out to eat. This is what feels right for us. I get stage fright talking about it. I need to change this.

18.Be better about scheduling regular doctors visits -I’m an adult! Time to start acting more like one…

Last set tomorrow!