I wrote on the eve of Lent about how I wanted to examine my life during Lent in My Lenten Path: To Examine My Life To Be A More Integrated Person. As Lent ended today at Noon, I lamented that I’d not succeeded. Oh, I did the usual Lenten things involving prayer, alms-giving, and service, but I didn’t get very far with the big task I set for myself.
So, maybe examining my entire life in six weeks is unrealistic. I’ve learned that breaking things down into smaller pieces helps me accomplish big things, just one step at a time. Looking back over the almost three years since I started this blog, I’ve certainly made some changes. I do a lot more reading, writing, and running than I did back then. Those are all healthy additions to my life and give me plenty of time for reflection.
Although adding running has been a net positive, the amount of time I’ve spent training has had an unbalancing effect on me recently. It left me with less time for other things and certainly ate into time where I could have been working on my proposed Lenten journey. Having finished the race for which I trained, I’m shifting directions to shorter runs and more weight training which is more time-efficient.
I also eliminated a major source of stress and anxiety from my life in the last year. As with any seismic shift, there are aftershocks. I am experiencing a few now, so the last six weeks didn’t go exactly as planned as far as finding peace and a quiet place inside myself to reflect and integrate. I got a bit dis-integrated in the process and the spiders crawled back into my dreams (see my post Spiders—From Arachnophobia To Warning System for an explanation).
The way forward is a bit clearer. Keep the good habits, work on eliminating the negative, do all things in moderation, and take things in manageable pieces. Find peace in the set-backs and take a deep breath and try something new. That helps me to focus on changing with grace, but still, what do I want to change? I still need to reflect on what I want to do with the rest of my life. With whom do I want to spend it and doing what?
This comes at a time when I am on the list for changing jobs at work and that makes all of this a bit more important to me. Will this be my last rotation before retirement, or just one of many more positions? Could it incorporate more reading and writing? More community activity? More coaching and mentoring? Could it lead to a fulfilling activity to pursue in retirement? So much to ponder…
As I continue to prepare for the rest of my life I find myself opening more doors of possibility and shutting a few doors behind me.
Find the Joy in the Journey…and recognize that everything that came before makes you what you are today.