Does anyone else feel like January is a lost month?
In 2011, I returned from Canada, two weeks later left for San Diego, one week after that attended my grandfather’s funeral in Wisconsin, and days after that passed out on my bathroom floor.
2012’s January was similar, except replace San Diego and funeral with serious car accident and subsequent car shopping. Somewhere in there, I lost the ability to write, to sit and think, and to resolve.
In truth, I think that’s for the best. January is loaded, weighed down with post-holiday depressions, credit card bills, the hope for change and then realization on January 2nd that nothing is really different. It’s filled with potential, but most resolutions are broken in a matter of weeks. Life gets in the way of change, and that gets discouraging.
So I resolve to always make my resolutions on February 1st. There’s less pressure, and failure will probably be less obvious, two vital things to consider when resolving.
If you recall, last year I decided to be brave. I had a lot ahead of me that I could see, and much more that I couldn’t. I’m not letting “bravery” go. I have a lot more to learn about that, and so I want to keep it, to claim it, to continually strive toward being the bravest person I can be. I’m sure this year will require a lot to be brave about.
And part of that, for 2012, involves discipline.
Argh, I hate the word discipline. When the concept came to me, I shuddered. I lack the ability to create any type of structure for myself. I cannot make myself do things; I always weasel my way out of it somehow. And so I end up on hour seven of a Doctor Who marathon, eating chips and salsa for every meal and turning my brain on autopilot.
I’m not promising that won’t happen this year. I’m pretty sure it will. And there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with enjoying television and salsa and relaxation – except when I use all of those good, easy things to avoid doing other, harder work. When I deny my passions and my abilities for what is easy and available. That’s when I start letting down myself and the Creator of my gifts.
I want to learn to work hard for something that is important to me. I want to push towards a goal. If I fail, I fail, but I will work hard to make it not so.
Discipline requires sacrifice. It requires giving up something, and boy, do I hate giving things up.
There’s this television show I watch occasionally, White Collar, and a character on it said something profound. Neal said that choices mean“giving up something I want for something I want more.” That’s what I want to learn to do.
There are so many components to discipline. I want to discipline my body, my mind, my spirit. I want to discipline my heart and my joy and maybe even my talents. Suddenly having discipline in all of these areas will not happen. Maybe it won’t even happen ever in half of these areas. But striving toward something is never easy. And I want to try to become a person who lives with integrity, battles with issues, uses her words, and loves her body. A great challenge for someone who struggles to do even one of the above on a semi-regular basis.
I can’t say I’m excited to be working on discipline. But I’m excited for the outcome. So I’ll be brave and I’ll take a chance, and I’ll call on those rarely-used virtues deep inside me of commitment and self-control.
Hide the ice cream and Netflix.