I do it, and I do it big. Here's to not forgetting about it.

Archive for the ‘Confession’ Category

No Regrets!

Mommy has no choice but to shake her head and smile when I do something, like eat a plate of food that she has obviously set aside for herself, and she calls me out. My response is inevitably, “No regrets!” It’s not like I am going to lose her love, right? The food was calling my name.

I feel similarly about life at times. The world is my Mom’s plate for the taking. I write from about 10,000 feet, on my way to see The Mentor and run a race with her in her current home city of Washington, DC – one of my favorite places in the world.  I am insanely blessed to 1) have an amazing friend like her, 2) have the means to visit her, and 3) have a job from which I am able to take time to visit her. As I gaze out of the window and see God’s beautiful creation, I am made to smile.

Of course, since I am myself, I am unable to feel pure joy. We COULD crash any minute, you know. Also – am I working hard enough? Do I really have any discretionary income – you know, considering? Have I had all of my fun? Live update: we have made it to the gate and as long as I make it back (seriously, Lord, I’m kidding) my loan payment is still due. I will say this – my student loan debt has made me less afraid to die. But I digress, however slightly.

Am I living a life that brings the Lord glory? What am I doing? Is God happy when I am traveling and being the tax and spend Democrat that my Daddy says I am? Perhaps even more importantly, am I using my working days in a manner that pleases Him? What if I am doing everything wrong? How can I be sure that I won’t face Him some day and be greeted by a divine face palm?

At work, I seek to inspire others to tap into their capabilities. I want them to feel comfortable exploring, excited about creating, and willing to collaborate with their classmates to do so. I suppose God could find my desire to facilitate such things pleasing, though I feel I fall short often.

Sadly, my money goes to church with more frequency and predictability than I do. I was baptized in a white evangelical church where I received (and do receive, when I go) solid teaching, but it is difficult for me to cope with the fact that this demographic is the one that is MOST supportive of – well, you know. To be fair, I haven’t really been afraid in the last few years to schedule a race on a Sunday or train or just sleep in. Can I really not afford to give God a concentrated few hours a week? If what we value is reflected in our finances, how much more so with our time?

How much would it suck to be having a good ole time down here like an idiot and being doing it wrong? How can I know I am okay, so to speak? I want to nourish my relationships, professional and personal. I want to challenge myself to grow. I want to see things I’ve never seen before, but I want to do it all in a way that pleases Him. This is the only way I will surely have no regrets. I wish I knew exactly how to do it.

 

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My Debt

I’m a well-educated millennial. It didn’t take two masters degrees for me to learn how to balance a budget, but now that I have them, it seems that for the foreseeable future I will have a line item reading “Student Loan Repayment.” In my first years after school, I wasn’t really thinking about the long-term consequences of having them, but I was forced to when I tried to do the most adulty of adult things last year.

Adonis and I tried to buy a modest townhome and our debt to income ratio, because of my extensive education and my chosen underpaid profession, resulted in a denial of the home loan. Man, I cried and I CRIED. I felt – and still feel, to some extent, like a failure – despite everything I’ve achieved and how hard I’ve worked, my financial profile somehow makes me unworthy of this official step. I feel like I’ve ruined my life and I had the greatest of intentions in pursuing my education. While I am quite sure I’m not the only person in this situation, it is difficult for me not to feel self-pity.

money pink coins pig

How Banks See Me.

I have had several months to reflect on my impassioned reaction. It is interesting to me that I was so profoundly disappointed to not acquire something that I have been historically quite dispassionate about. I often say that I ran out of commitment juice when I got married – no. more. long. term. THINGS. EVER. When I think of homeownership, it honestly seems like a drag – the landlady has more responsibility than the tenant. The ONLY perks are 1) a fixed cost in monthly payment (hahaha that commitment is okay I guess) and 2) building equity. So why was I so upset?

Welp. The most reasonable explanation is that no amount of education can stop the ungodly reflex of lamenting that “everyone else is doing it.” Honestly, the worst part of that is if everyone else is doing AND not everyone else is as educated as I am, maaaaan I have really made some poor (rimshot!) choices. I am half-joking when I tell people that my mind is my mortgage, but for now, that seems to be true. Truer still when the literal meaning of mortgage – DEATH PLEDGE – is examined. I suppose no one would come to foreclose upon my mind and repossess my degrees, but it most certainly feels like it is going to be with me forever.

Paul wasn’t lying to Timothy.

For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

1 Timothy 6:10 (NASB)

I have no wish to wander. Yes, I have an obligation to pay this debt, but that is no reason for me to pierce myself and pine for something that clearly God did not want me to have in that moment. Perhaps my name may never be on a title, but the most important title I will always hold is child of God. The debt I must focus upon is the one I have to God for making a meaningful life possible.

Pray for me.

Well Done, Miss

January 31. Just like that. Here are some key stats:

  • Weight lost: 0 pounds
  • Miles run: 54.2
  • Races run: 1
  • Days practiced: I don’t know, but I played well in a recital, so enough for now

This begs the question – how well am I resisting?

I. The temptation to overeat

I am breaking even. I will confess that I regret weighing myself a few days ago and seeing that, in that I was a bit less motivated to run. Naturally, everything is fitting the same way, but you know, sometimes you just hope to step on the scale and see a miracle. 🙂

II. Nonlinear progress

Although the scale is not budging, I can’t be mad because I’ve been eating whatever and it has been delicious. That being said, I am seeing my resting heart rate come down and I am getting better sleep, so the running is not a waste. I’ve got do to better in February, though, because I’ve got a 10 miler with The Mentor coming up and I already have no hope of keeping up so I’d rather not have negative hope and extra weight.

III. Comparing Myself to Others

I’m especially impressed with myself because I went to a recital and heard some really talented teachers, but I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do. Playing the piano can be fun and I think I have a specific calling, so for today, I’m secure. I know someone else could be doing it, but I don’t see anyone else around doing it for right now, and here I am, living life, so I may as well make the best of it.

IV. Allowing the evil one to steal my joy

This past week, I have been looking for any reason to laugh. At myself, with my colleagues and friends, at anything. I’m just ready for a good time even though nothing is really different. When I am happy, the key is to allow it even though I suspect in a week or two I will feel as though the world is ending.

V. Minimizing my accomplishments

I guess 1 through 4 aren’t too bad.

VI. Not prioritizing my time. 

I’m so thankful for the opportunity I had to play this past month and that I am on track to complete my 1019 km in 2019! It has been tricky but I’ve been making it work. However, I know that I have to be feeling positive to feel like it is worth it. I was extremely tempted to skip my running for the week because my weight hadn’t moved, but I reminded myself to not minimize my accomplishments, which helps me to prioritize my time.

Onto February:

  1. Weight loss: 5-7 pounds
  2. Miles run: at least 54
  3. Races run: 2
  4. Days practiced: whatever I need to be able to play through the first movement of Florence Price’s Piano Sonata.

black-rosie-cropped

Can My Cycle Be Broken?

My life is fantastic. Until about 10 days ago, it was unbearable.

pms2

I know all women experience some degree of mood swings, but I am starting to think that feeling like I have amounted to nothing and should just give up for half of the year is a problem, to say the least. It is January 27 and I am on track with my running goals and just played successfully in a recital. I just had a student at work sing with the All-State Elementary Chorus, and generally my students seem to be learning and enjoying music. However, depending on what day of the month it is, my life seems to be falling apart.

I have been getting good sleep and regular exercise. I can’t say that I remember it being quite so dramatic when I was at a lower weight. I don’t care to go on a lower carbohydrate diet, but I keep reading that it would be good for PCOS, which I was diagnosed with 15 years ago. I know I have a tendency toward anxiety and depression. I don’t want my running to slow (it’s slow enough as it is) because I’m not having so many carbs. What are my next steps? Nutritionist? Therapist? I feel like if I could have the feeling I feel on the 3rd day of my period all month long, I would be the most productive person in the world. It is difficult to enjoy being happy when I know that I am going to wish for the rapture by the 10th of each month. Like I said two weeks ago, I have no choice but to push forward.

 

Out of Options

Would you believe January is practically halfway done? Like so many of us, I started the year with high hopes. Where am I now, you wonder?

I’ve lost a pound and have run 19.5 miles. I’m right on track to meet my goal of 1019 km in 2019. I just finished attending a professional development conference where I had a student accepted to an exclusive ensemble, reconnected with old friends, and learned things that I can immediately share with my students upon return to work. Coronation day was this week and I can actually chew on both sides of my mouth again.

I wish I could say I am happy.

I have this nagging feeling that I am not living up to my potential. I feel stagnated and like everyone else is moving forward except me. I look upon all my education and the faith my parents have had in me to achieve great things and I can’t escape the feeling that I am blowing it majorly. And you know what the worst part is? As miserable as this feeling is, I really don’t feel like working to change any of the circumstance I can. It just sounds like too much work. So not only am I failing, but I’m lazy on top of it.

That begs the question – why am I bothering with anything? I don’t feel I have any viable alternative. As long as I am living, I have to try to be healthy and do my best for those around me, even if it doesn’t amount to much. I don’t want to be a complete waste of space. As long as I wake up, I need to show up. It’s this morbid curiosity that keeps me going – perhaps it will be different one of these days.

What Happened?

I wish I knew where 2018 went.

After I posted about not being very happy thus far in 2019 (despite having worked out every day, hah!), it dawned on me that I had not updated my race calendar since the middle of 2016! My goodness, I wonder what could have happened in the middle of 2016 that changed things…

file-2

Oh yeahhh, Adonis!

I went through my Garmin app to see my activities so I could properly document them and wouldn’t you know it – there is a correlation between the amount of miles I ran and how long I’ve been married.

2016: Ran 125 times for a total of 595.87 miles

2017: Ran 117 times for a total of 345.4 miles

2018: Ran 93 times for a total of 240.38 miles.

I’m not trying to say that my running less is my husband’s fault. I’m a pretty articulate woman and if I wanted to say that, I would just come out and say it. What I will say is that I’ve done a piss poor job of taking care of myself since we’ve gotten married. My Garmin was out of commission because of a bad strap and I waited several months to replace it – hardly the watch’s fault! I didn’t have any injuries, though I did struggle with some respiratory foolishness between April and June and then again between November and December. Does this mean I don’t care about running as much as I once did?

I don’t think so.

Take a look at my calendar from last year. I only did 6 races but I traveled quite a bit and made it a point to do a race in each place that I went. I would have run in Jamaica again but the race fell on my parents’ 40th wedding anniversary. I wish I didn’t feel like I have to be closer to perfect in order to manage my new schedule and put running in it more consistently, but if I am not eating and sleeping well, it is difficult for me to see how I can meet my goals.

It still makes me tear up to toe the starting line. It still is a thrill to cross a finish line. It isn’t quite as much fun if I am not putting the time into train, and that’s something that I must change. I got an email today where I was challenged to run 1019 KM in 2019 and dammit I am going to do it. In fact – if I make it 1/4 of the way by the end of March, I get to buy myself a fancy new Garmin. My body and my heart are kind of tired but I can’t give up. I’m too young and I’m still kind of cute.

Come on, God. Let’s go again.

My Epiphany

One of my favorite things about joining the House of Adonis has been exploring Orthodoxy. I’ve enjoyed getting to know aspects of the Christian faith that aren’t typically emphasized in the Protestant tradition. Lol @ that oxymoron – Protestant tradition! I did that for you, Adonis. I had the most relaxing Christmas I have had in a long time, partly enabled by this devotional. I had never made the connection that the 12 days of Christmas are the time between Christmas and Epiphany. I guess for the past 32 years I’ve just been rocking out, figuring that the composer/lyricist thought that 12 was a good number to have. Heh. Anyway, it was an incredible relief to be reminded that Christmas is just the beginning of the celebration of Christ’s birth and not this incredible let down it has become in the world – party’s over, decorations down, family leaves. We’re doing it wrong, y’all. 

I was planning on doing something else wrong until my epiphany. Four years ago, I realized that the pursuit of a healthy weight is ongoing, but here I am again for the FOURTH time, despite all I discovered. I had been envisioning reaching a healthy weight again but completely denying it to anyone who asked. “Hey Joan, are you losing weight?” “No, but thanks!” It would be an effort to deny the fact that I messed up in the first place. It is embarrassing to me that I am here again. I can’t seem to get it together permanently. 

I had written that last time needed to be different than the other two times, and at first, I was mad because it seems like it wasn’t. After all, I gained weight in the same pattern – adjusting to a life transition. 1. College. 2. Grad School. 3. Full time work. Now 4. Marriage. The pattern may be the same but my wisdom is really different. I know I am not doing this because I hate how I look. I am doing this because I want my best life, and I can’t have my best life at an unhealthy weight. I have accepted that this may happen again, but each day I need to make good decisions for the body with which God has graced me. 

So, to anyone who asks – that’s right. I’m human and and I’m sexy and strong and wonderful RIGHT. NOW. Here’s to the blood work to match, sooner rather than later! 

Not gonna lie. “Gripping and intense” is how I feel waiting for my results. Gulp.

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