Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Seasoned Tomatoes of Progress

So I had quite a few title ideas for this post: "Season of Progress," "Changing tides," "The Goal," "Progress: re-defined," "My life as I'm living it," "Why can't I just like tomatoes?" And I really didn't know which one to pick because they all had their own little thing going, so I just randomized and ended up with what you see above. Yep, I know it doesn't make any sense....but just flow with it.

ANYWAY, I've just been pondering things a little bit lately... don't worry - I'm definitely not going to get too deep here - but I just have found it interesting how our ways of thinking and seeing things change over time. I've been noticing that quite a bit in my life lately... You know, those things that were just so super important and basically consumed you....but then, suddenly, are now not that big of a deal anymore? Or how certain goals and objectives start to fade away and then are replaced my seemingly opposite goals and objectives? What is that all about? But anyway, I feel like I just went through soooooo much random change last year with attending a 2nd semester of Bible college, coming home to a regular job, returning to school, getting a new job and quitting the old one, meeting new people....and so entering 2013 I kind of had a huge question mark over a lot of areas in my life. Seriously, like a bazillion random thoughts and questions have literally swirled around my brain concerning the future and how my life needs to progress: What things should I continue moving forward in this year? What things should I let go? Should I pursue this new interest? What about what so-and-so's doing...maybe I should be more like them? If I return to school to go into nursing, which school should I go to, how much will it cost, what will my schedule be like, how soon can I finish? Can I still work and go back to school?What if I don't go back to school ever and just work? Is that bad? Will I ever actually finish anything important, or just be stuck in the middle the rest of my life, not necessarily regressing but is failing to progress from a certain point actually a form of regression? Can I force myself to like tomatoes? Why am I trying to like tomatoes?

Yeah, sometimes I scare myself. And it can just go on and on and on...and I don't mean to get all wigged out inside over trying to decide things and plan and make sure I do the right thing...but sometimes that's just my reality. And I kind of got tired of it recently, because I felt like I was just making goals for the purpose of having goals and going back to school because I should be achieving more and just feeling pressured and overwhelmed and then I realized......in an effort to make so much progress, am I actually getting NOWHERE? I don't want to spend so much time mapping out my life and making sure to hit each mile marker on schedule that I miss out completely on what the real point of it is. There's nothing wrong with continuing school, achieving personal goals, and "having a plan"...but if it keeps me from spending time with my family and friends, makes me feel distant from God, stresses me out, and keeps me from appreciating the "little things" in life...then I just don't know.

So I kind of did a 180...Not sure if some people have noticed. I think my family definitely has. I just decided that I really want to live life better and not be so uptight and goal-driven. Yes, I still work a full-time job and sometimes I am "busy," but I actually love my job and the people I work with, plus I took off from school and didn't sign up for any classes this semester. Just needed some time to breathe on that one. Booked a trip to Kauai & Kona for a few weeks this summer to spend time with family and friends. Booked a separate trip to Ireland for September to spend time with another friend - a very special, awesome one whom I love extremely and am so excited to share some new adventures with. I started sewing - which is not normal for me! I've been baking and cooking new recipes, which I've found that I actually enjoy a lot! Never really had time to do it before, though...And just a lot of other things. Taking Swing lessons, hanging out with the girls, going with my mom to a concert...Changing my attitude towards certain people/things...learning to let go more while also remembering to hold onto what's important.

Basically I just don't want to miss out. And in choosing to not make any "progress" right now, I'm finding that I'm making more progress in things that matter and things that I feel I should be investing my time and energy in. I'm rediscovering the joy and fulfillment of reading God's Word (kind of lost it for awhile back there)...loving going to work in the morning because I'm not just clocking in to just get a paycheck (even though I do need that, too)...laughing more....going on walks to enjoy the fresh air and watch the sunset...realizing some people's opinions just don't matter and I can't live my life worried about they might be thinking of me....

And I know I'm far from "arriving" and life will always have its ups and downs...I know it's likely that I will return to school in the future, but I just want it to be when I'm ready and when it's right...not just because. So in the meantime, here's me, just taking it a day at a time...finding some peace and enjoying the ride. For once I'm not so worried about the end goal...because I've realized that in just living and moving forward as God gives me time and opportunity - not putting a dead-line in front of myself and stressing to "stay ahead" - I'm actually shaping a better goal and getting closer to it every day. Or I guess what I'm saying is that God's will is best and even though we do have a final destination,  getting there wouldn't really be as rewarding if we just took the fast-track and missed out on the whole journey....and so if He says it's okay to chill out and linger in one spot for awhile...then I should just chill out and see what He's got in store. I know it's a whole lot better than anything I could come up with on my own. So here's to making progress, maybe not how I would have defined or envisioned it before...but progress all the same.