Friday, August 7, 2015

A Brief Blogging Intermission.

  This is a brief blogging intermission. For a little self-improvement.

It's exhausting trying to be a better human...

I'm on Day Three of the recent challenge I accepted from a speaker in one of my favorite podcasts.

The host always ends his podcast by asking his guests the same question:

"Given everything you know - not just in your realm of research but in your life experience - what top three things would you share with our listeners who want to perform better at whatever it is they do in life?"

This is the icing on the Podcast Cake for me.

This particular guests' number one was "Gratitude" she expounded on incorporating that into our lives.

I can' t even remember the second that obviously didn't make much of an impact on me. (maybe I had my fingers in my ears singing "la-la-la-"- that's my go to position when I don't like what I'm hearing)

Her third one was a challenge.

I love a challenge.

She suggested we take a 24 hour period - and not complain about ANYTHING and to  recognize a complaint before we allowed it to exit through our pie hole.

I thought: "Well, I could do THAT! I'm not really much of a complainer!"

I actually thought that....

My first test came on Day One at 8:30 in the morning when I arrived for my dermatologist appointment.

Receptionist: "I'm sorry Ms. Thomas. I know you were told today, but your appointment is actually tomorrow. We have a new system, we are all trying to get used to it."

Me: "Oh"

Me: "So I get to come 8:30.....for my dermatologist appointment?"

Receptionist: "Yes"

Me: "Joy"

Like I said, I hate  love a challenge..

Researchers say that Day Three is hard when trying to break a habit or incorporate a new habit into our lives.  It's hump day.

Day Three for me on any diet I've ever been on could result in a carb related crime.

Hand over the croissant and no one gets hurt...

Day three for the smoker trying to quit, suddenly remembers that pack of cigarettes he hid..just for a time such as this - Day Three.

Most of my complaining takes place in my thoughts. They normally don't spill out of my mouth. Nevertheless, this is still an important challenge for me.

It's made me aware of the little things I find annoying.

Like other humans.

And can we talk about God's irritating sense of humor?

Firstly..opposites attract. So we marry them..

God smiles.

We have children and assume they will all love each other, love others and never need a lawyer before they are old enough to pay for one themselves.  After all, aren't our parenting skills stellar?

God giggles (but covers His mouth so as not to be rude....)

We enter the work force and know for certain that there is no I in TEAM! and we are all in this together so we'll obviously get along famously!

A laugh escapes through His fingers..

And as a Christian, there's always CHURCH! Our very people! Where we turn to the person sitting next to us (as our pastors often suggest) and "admonish one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and a spiritual song" I mean, what can go wrong in a church?

We're talking a full out belly laugh from the Big Guy now. Rolling laughter like thunder..tears falling like rain.

But, it's all for a purpose.

We need family.

We need community.

We need to learn humility and grace.

Grace: Simple elegance.

As well as the love and mercy given to us by God because God desires us to have it, not because of anything we have done to earn it.

I can't picture Mother Teresa complaining too much.

I thought about being a nun. But that was mostly due to a television show I was watching at the time where a nun (with a very aerodynamic habit) flew over rooftops!

Even at that young age I decided that probably wasn't too likely but I liked the idea of flying  so I decide I would be an airline stewardess. (that's what we called them in the olden days- now they are Flight Attendants:)

But that was mostly because I wanted to wear boots like this:

This was of concern to my mom.  She tried to discourage my idea by saying "Kelli, they are a little like a waitress in the sky"

Well..that backfired!

"Waitresses in the SKY!! Groovy! :)

I think at that point I started to worry my mom a bit. Before that  carrier path, I aspired to be an Ironing Lady!

What could possibly be better than ironing clothes all day?

This challenge/exercise is a peek into myself.

I'm hyper aware of my thoughts.

I've become hyper aware of my flaws.

In spite of that, I'm also aware that I can control what I think and how I chose to react in a situation or to a person.

I can better recognize my own inner self-critic and tell it to be nice.

I'm going to add this to three other practices I keep.

1) In the morning asking myself two questions: (suggested questions, but any two will do)

"God, what do you want me to know?"

"God, what do you want me to do?"

2) At night- finding three things to be thankful for. (pertaining to that day.)

3) When getting a new planner- flipping the months open and stabbing a day with a marker. On those days, as the year progresses, I do a random act of kindness in word or deed.

I like how she suggested that we take the challenge in 24 hour periods.

We are asleep for part of it so......:)

On my "off" days I'll just go to bed, with ice cream or chocolate.

So far, on this Day Three...I'm edging over the hump.

Want to take the challenge with me?

It's refreshing...and exhausting:)

Not that I'm complaining or anything...