Discipline is never as easy as it looks …

(Subtitled: Where Was I Last Week?  And Where Will I Be Going Next?)

Less than a month ago, I wrote here about the blessing of having a self-imposed schedule, and how I was hoping it would add some more discipline and purpose to my life.  I closed that post with the words: “It’s a blessing and a half; all I have to do is keep doing it. Which is, I know, the hard part.  But at least I’m off to a good start.”

Well, this last week, the “keep doing it” kind of fell apart.

It wasn’t that I was so swamped I couldn’t keep to it, or that I was so lazy I didn’t do much of anything.  I scrubbed and bleached and wiped down a goodly portion of the bathroom, and mopped the kitchen floor.  I got everyone to work/school on time.  I was even writing — part 3 of my Iron Man fanfic series “Vignettes” (a follow-up to the now-complete “Hearts and Souls”) was released to the world on Wednesday.  So it’s not like I was totally hopeless.

But maybe having everyone home on Monday for Labor Day threw me off a little.  And … well, you know me — I always want to do better.  (Feel free to point at me and yell, “PERFECTIONIST!”  I’ll just nod and smile ruefully.)  This last week gave me plenty of room to do better …

For one, I haven’t gotten on the elliptical trainer in … well, I’m not sure what the last time was.  It’s helping me lose weight and build stamina, so not being on it meant that by Friday I was starting to feel bloated and tired.  Not good.  There was more cleaning I should have done that I didn’t get to.  And you may have noticed an absence of blog posts this week; though I had all intention of cranking out a couple, I just never seemed to … do them.

As I warned myself, a schedule does not discipline make.  You have to walk through it each day, do what needs to be done, and keep doing it until it’s time to move on to something else.  That’s how it works.  If I don’t stick to it, that’s how it doesn’t work.  Nobody ever said it would be easy — just that it would be worthwhile.  So last week gave me a reminder of that.

But as Captain Jack Sparrow, among others, said, “it’s more a destination than a journey.”  Discipline and focus does not come overnight; it must be built systematically and consistently, like silt being laid down on a lake bed to eventually form bedrock.  It takes time and effort, and patience with oneself and the universe.  I’m not totally stoked with how last week went, but I know it’s a process, I know I’ve made some strides, and I know God has given me the ability to build on that — to get back on the horse (or elliptical trainer, or mop) and try it again next week.  It’s all good.

So I’m planning to be blogging with more regularity in the coming days.  And as an aid to that, I’m thinking through in advance exactly what I’ll be posting:

  • Before starting this blog in 2009, I had written some monographs (and a couple of short fiction pieces) dealing with the American church and how I was working out my faith in relation to it.  Over the next few months, I’ll be “reprinting” a few of those here — most likely in sections, as they tend to run longer than a blog entry should.  (One of them is over 7,000 words — that’s a little long for one post, agreed?)
  • There should be an update on my son Sean’s situation, probably around the end of September (after his next checkup), and probably some more “proud dad” stories about my daughter Charlotte.  This is what I do instead of hauling pictures of them out of my wallet …
  • If events warrant, another look at how the 2012 Republican presidential nomination race is shaping up could be in order.  I’d almost guarantee that if you don’t see one this month, you will in October.
  • I’m pondering whether or not to write a piece on big-money college athletics.  Ooh, is that fence electrified? Lemme touch it and check …
  • If the Giants come back and make the playoffs (highly unlikely), that’ll be worth a post.  If they don’t, I’m likely to write about the playoffs anyway.  ‘Cause that’s just how I roll.
  • Plus other observations as they roll out of my mind.

So rest  assured, dear reader, that there will be new content for you in this space.  And hopefully, lots of it!

(I mean, just look at all that stuff up there!  And that is quite a bit for me to sort out.  Hmmmm … maybe I should make up a schedule …)

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One Response to Discipline is never as easy as it looks …

  1. […] talked in previous entries about my current practice of having a Monday-Friday schedule, to keep me on track and help me […]

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