At the moment, Chris and the kids and I are in a weird no man’s land. Someone else’s house, someone else’s kitchen, a revolving door of family for our big reunion and the holidays. We’re on our 41st different sleeping arrangement since leaving Norfolk (that’s my best guess). I struggle to find my place and purpose and sanity in all the change. The kids do too, I think. I have some projects to work on (like my new website! ta da!) but my priority right now is getting to the bottom of our overseas screening so that our orders to Hawaii don’t get screwed up. Obviously this weighs heavily on me at the moment and requires hours of phone calls, doctor appointments, dental paperwork, school paperwork, more paperwork, more phone calls to cardiologists and patient advocates and blah blah blah.
Everyone in the world is in love with Marie Kondo right now, and I am no exception. I find her “Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” tools and mentality very helpful in dealing with four people’s things for the entire year all stuffed in one closet. It helps me see where I have control and to try to create calm and order when everything feels so out of control, when I feel so…adrift.
I love the idea of putting your things in order and dealing with your past to prepare for the future. That’s exactly what we’re physically doing here in Poway—preparing for the future. So getting my own things in order makes sense.
Our household goods are in storage in Norfolk or who knows where, so I am talking about getting in order what I have with me now: the digital storage. GROAN. I have a hard drive of everything dating back to college. Old, saved instant messenger conversations (why? why would I save those?), some emails, graded papers, a job offer in Jordan (what? Why do I have zero memory of this? No way did that happen…?) crappy poetry, embarrassingly over confident pitches to magazines…OUCH.
And evidence that I used to be easily overwhelmed, felt like I was trapped without tools/resources to do what I thought needed to be done, and with an unattractive tendency to rant.
Pause…and…complete personal deflation.
I AM STILL ALL THOSE THINGS. Like 12 years have gone by AND I AM STILL ALL THOSE THINGS. Face palm.
I love New Year’s resolutions but I didn’t make any last year or this year. Instead I’ve tried to set shorter term goals within chunks of time between transitions, like getting through all my digital files and photos and winnowing it down from 500GB to a more manageable 128GB before we leave the continent for the tropics. With that, I either succeed or I fail. If I fail, I can either give up or extend/modify my deadline and then succeed.
It’s not as simple to make character resolutions. Ugh. Whatever trajectory led me from there to hear with this little growth needs to fix its ponytail and try again.
Our sermon Sunday was on 2 Peter 1:5-8: “For this very reason, you must make every effort to support your faith with goodness, and goodness with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with endurance, and endurance with godliness, and godliness with mutual affection, and mutual affection with love. For if these things are yours and are increasing among you, they keep you from being ineffective and unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
“Have you tried hundreds of times and failed?” the pastor gently admonished, “Try again.”
So, taking a page from KonMari, I will delete anything with negative emotions after thanking it for showing me however far I’ve come (or not come).
And taking a page out of Second Peter, I will make every effort…again…with self-control, endurance and mutual affection. Let’s fix that ponytail and try again.