In the beginning of this year, I quoted Bilbo Baggins from J.R.R. Tolkien's The Fellowship of the Ring.
“I feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread.”
Since then, I have come to find there is always too much bread.
Bread is something you can't control. There's always another interest, another issue, another emergency demanding your immediate attention. What's more, none of us has enough butter or attention to consider the amount of bread piled on our plates. It grows by the minute.
Good News. We can control is where we scrape our butter. We control where we pay our attention. Ask yourself, where do you pay yours?
In 2015, I scraped my butter over everything I could get a hold of. With work and family, I was ran a Dungeon & Dragon's Adventure League for the Greater Houston Area. That was 3 full time jobs itself and I didn't even know what I was doing. I also dedicated a lot of my butter to video games and to a structured, role playing game theology vlog.
Note: You can still see most on my videos on Youtube.
All that doesn't even attempt to encompass other hobbies I also had in 2015 and before.
I look back and ask myself, How did I manage it all?!
I just stumbled through life!
What's funny is I don't feel I do much better now. Sometime it feels like I'm in less control!
But then also I realize how much more mindful I am to my surroundings. I have the same amount of time, but now I'm more aware where I spend it. And... now I can see many of the time traps I'd got lost inside last year. Reflecting, it's pretty impressive how far I come. Go Me! Even better news is... If I can do it, you can too!
In my first draft, I mentioned missing my expected destination, but where did I expect to be last year? Dwelling on it, I blew goals out of the water I( never even had. I never dreamed I'd be able to do half these things!
How could I know the route I would take? Could it be done faster, better, more efficient? How can I even know that, much less answer it?
What I know now is, I am better today than I was last year. By progressing, I'm getting better. Even in failures, I'm learning. I'm adapting, making better decisions with better knowledge.
Don't expect to apply perfect amounts of butter on all relevant breads of life. Instead, learn which breads are relevant. Focus your butter there, and neglect the stale bread.
You might not realize you're improving, you may doubt your progress. Look again! You may be blowing things out of the water you never envisioned back then. Here are a few victories I encounter I didn't plan for this year.
- I can deadlift over my body weight. In January, I could barely climb 3 flights without taking a break.
- I can wear a medium tshirt. I wore larges in high school, 20 years ago.
- I can do 20 proper pushups in a row. In January I couldn't do 5 sloppy pushups in a row.
- I can go halfway across the monkey bars without swinging my body. This one is still hard for me to believe.
- I can maintain a happy vegan lifestyle (I can still eat meat but I don't 'need' it). I mocked vegetarians most my life (sorry).
Food For Thought
There's enough people to worry about the mundane. Focus on more important things like becoming mindful. Focus on calming the raging storms of thought.
Slow down to focus on the important. Endeavor for wisdom, physical, spiritual, and mental.
Taking time to make another's day better. Share revelations. Help others out. Be the change you enjoy seeing in the world.
Stop hiding from what's important. Do the work. Put in the time and effort. Dig deep to reach things of value.
Remember your failures too. They are valuable.