I am starting out my journey to self-integration by feeling very dis-integrated. I’ve missed 6 days of work in the last couple of weeks, two for a funeral and then four due to illness…an illness that lingers and wears me out. I skipped running altogether for a week and got behind at work. Having decided that during Lent, I want to focus on becoming a more whole person, a more integrated person, I find myself starting at a point when I’ve temporarily lost the center.
All the more reason, as I get well and start running again, to figure out what belongs in my life and what doesn’t. I’ve started down a path to add strength training and language learning to my life, yet neither has become a habit yet. Both have fallen by the wayside during my illness. I do think that both of these fit into who I am and therefore need to become a part of my life. I’ve successfully incorporated other things into my life over the last few years, including writing and running. Others I’ve managed in fits and starts, like reading more.
I know some secrets to success and need to employ them, but some are easier said than done. I know that I should cut some things out of my life to make room for what should be in my life. I’ve already cut out a lot, so it’s hard to figure what else to cut. For the next several years, my life revolves to a large extent around my youngest child and I am reluctant to cut any of that time. Being there for her sometimes means, quite literally, being there. For her.
Right now I’m trying to figure out how to add or fit-in new activities. One secret is to schedule them in. I find that I am more likely to do something if I schedule it, especially if someone else is involved, someone to whom I’m accountable. In training for the half-marathon, both last fall and over the winter, I’ve scheduled my workouts and written them into my calendar. I planned them into my schedule or planned around other things already in my schedule. I feel accountable to my work team, who gave me the race registration as a birthday gift, to keep up with my training and do my best in the race.
My plan for learning Spanish was to use the Duolingo app during unplanned downtime. I’ve since discovered that the app is more interactive than I realized and requires me to listen to phrases and to speak phrases as well. This is not something I can do while waiting in line at the grocery, as I had imagined. So, I need to plan time alone to work on it. The weight training has to be done at the gym, since I don’t have the equipment at home. As with the running, I need to plan ahead and put the appointments down on my calendar. I need to schedule my quarterly follow-up with the fitness consultant to keep myself accountable to someone else.
I still have a lot to think about with what I want to be a part of me now, and in the future. Meanwhile, I’ll focus on incorporating the first two while keeping an eye to maintaining or even gaining more balance in my life.
Find the Joy in the Journey…if one path doesn’t work, try another!