Monday, October 30, 2017

Leaving things behind

It’s not always. But when I forget things at home, I forget things like my cell phone. My wallet. And sometimes--if not most often, my house keys. It’s kind of bad when you forget your cell phone but it’s absolutely worse when you forget your wallet. Money is super important. Lucky for me I leave spare money in random pockets of my wallets in case of emergencies.

It’s always easier to talk about tangible, physical object when approaching a subject like “leaving things behind.” It’s not always clear how to best transition between the physical thing and perhaps the emotional thing. Or time periods in one’s life. So I’ll quickly segway this conversation using scripture and societal teachings.

If you look at 1 Corinthians 13:11, “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.” You can see, well I can’t, I have seen many refer to this line as a grown up acceptance line. This line is something that Mexicans, as a society, reinforce with things like “you’re not a child anymore.” Or, “you’re too old for that,” or “act your age.” This line in Scripture and phrases clearly draws a line in between “adulthood” and “childhood.”

But nowadays, we have found a gray ground called “young adulthood.” That broad spectrum after youth and adulthood where one is not quite a child anymore and not quite an adult.I feel that I jumped into that young adulthood realm too early as a child. I didn’t do it alone.

I had encouragement from adults when my younger sisters could participate in children’s activities and I couldn’t because “I was too old for that.” Or “I wasn’t a child anymore.” Incredibly enough I’m only three and four years older than my sisters. But I left my childhood behind in between seven and nine years of age.

In a sense, leaving something intangible behind is the same as leaving something physical behind. You might not be reunited with it at the end of the day. But I can vouch that after a long and winding road you will encounter what you’ve left behind.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Drawing the Line

There comes a time in my life where I set my priorities straight. Usually every few weeks when I decide that I’m not doing enough with my life and that I do not deserve breaks. I do not deserve time to breathe and I most definitely do not deserve time to refresh.

It’s clearly not true and I’ve learned that I’m not the only one that feels that way. So I decided to set my priorities straight (again). My priorities as of today are pece, health, seminary, employment, travel, and having a dog. Though, I did hear a very convincing argument for owning a tortoise.

So where do I draw the line? Clearly a lot of the stuff I fill my time with are things I enjoy. I enjoy going to work, I enjoy helping people out, and I enjoy everything I do at church. But then...what are some things I can do to enjoy myself that are regenerative, peaceful, and nurturing?

Well that’s why I think that buying an elliptical is a great idea. Just kidding.

I don’t exactly wake up every day thinking “how can I change the world,” but I feel that I try to make at least ONE person feel like they are cared for. If I can make it my life’s goal to set aside a little bit of the day to make myself feel cared for… then maybe I’d be onto something. Maybe that’d be the fine line between doing things I enjoy for others and doing things I enjoy for myself. It might just work.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

H. A. L. T.

If you ever need an acronym to live by, it hast to be HALT. If you’re ever in a moment of distress or you’re seriously considering why you’re doing whatever you’re doing. HALT, is a good way to just stop. Stop. Ask yourself:

Am I HUNGRY? Am I ANGRY? Am I LONELY? Am I TIRED?

Sometimes it’s too easy to not “halt” to “keep going” and to “not stopping.” And in my case I was just angry and tired. Angry because I had no control and tired because the lack of control took my ability to sleep at night. And the anger led to more tiredness and the tiredness led to more anger.

And instead of stopping things get shut down. If I like crochet; then crochet goes away. If I like to cook; then cooking goes away. If I like to write; then writing goes away. Everything that brings me joy seems so unbelievably unworthy because the cycle of anger and tiredness are the only important things in life.

And slowly I put everything about myself into a box.

And that box compresses everything until things leak out. And quietly things like hobbies ask, are you still interested in us? Sunshine, are you still interested in me? And slowly the box expands, disappears a bit. I recenter, refocus.

I just need to stop sooner. The roller coaster doesn’t need to end up in hell before the next spin.