el's rabbit trails, healthy living, Humility is important, real living in a virtual world

Regroup. Refocus. Reset .

The past week was rough. There were challenges which shall go unnamed, and then I pulled a muscle in my lower back. Just. like. that. My summer of productivity and balance was thrown off track and replaced with stiffness, searing pain, and sitting. I’m much better now, and my man and the kids were amazing, but almost anything that required physical exertion or mental acuity was nigh impossible..

It is quite astonishing really, how easily I fall into the ease of unprofitable habits and routines when I don’t (or as was the case for me recently, simply can’t) keep up forward progress and focus on a plan.To say I let me down would be an understatement, but time to dust off the ol’ behind and get back to it.

I am looking forward to full throttle on Monday, and a return to what I’d started, which was embarking on shunning the negative and putting lots of energy into creative pursuits. In other words, getting back to what really matters and ignoring the things that don’t. The list of things that were sidelined last week included:

  • Sewing and home decorating
  • Party planning for a celebration at the end of this month
  • Gardening and yard work
  • Writing of the non-Internet variety
  • Lesson plan for at least the first half of the fall semester ( for homeschool and outside teaching obligation)
  • (Very slowly) crocheting a big blanket in time for fall
  • Doing some heavier reading and note taking for the aforementioned writing project

What did get done:

  •  A whole lot of mental clutter.
  • An overload of negative Internet news, chatter, and commentary.
  • Too much sugar and grains with four birthdays -each with cake- over 11 days
  • I did manage to make one of the cakes!
  • Cancelled workouts
  • Cancelled ministry obligations

Nature, it’s said, abhors a vacuum and in the absence of filling myself and my time with good things, the space was filled with useless things. Negative things that vex the soul. Not everything I read and heard was negative and/or useless but the scale was certainly tipped too far in the wrong direction. If I had been up and moving, I probably would not have even noticed most of the bad news I’d heard and was distracted by.

I was conversing with an acquaintance recently and she said, ” Makes me glad my give-a-damn broke…”

I had every reason to believe her. Based on the nature of the conversation we were having, all the evidence speaks to the fact that her “give-a-damn” is indeed, broken.

That has stuck with me for the past few days and I questioned whether mine is as broken as I sometimes tell myself. For the most part, I do pretty well with it, since I’ve had some good examples before me, my father and then my man, who lived their lives unapologetically, took their lumps, and made adjustments as needed without a lot of apparent internal angst.

Alas, I am not a man. I am a woman, and women tend towards caring what others are thinking. About us primarily, but also nearly everything else. The Internet exacerbates this tendency because let’s women love juicy tidbits, ego boosts, and gossip. Even the bits that begin with, “I’m just sharing this so you can pray…”

The best and only way to keep ourselves unspotted, unvexxed, and uninfected by the garbage is to not eat the bread of idleness. The lesson here for me, is that the next time I find myself too overwhelmed with pain or grief or challenges to focus my mind in a productive way, I’d be better off binge watching old episodes of Little House on the Prairie. And yes, I read my Bible and prayed for others. Just not 8-10 hours a day as a more spiritual woman may have done.

But I’m back. I actually got some painting done today. The summer of meeting goals and shattering expectations is back on, and after nearly 10 days of slacker-hood, I think it’s safe to say I’ll not pontificate as much. I will however be engaged in more serious reading and creative miscellany. 

Have y’all heard this song? I think many of you will really appreciate it. Listen. Yeah, it’s pop sounding but the lyrics are on point.


4 thoughts on “Regroup. Refocus. Reset .”

  1. Useful things to do with low-energy time:
    – Anything sedentary that you’ve been putting off (a great time to address the Christmas cards or clean out the filing cabinet)
    – Social utility. Do you have phone calls that need making? A friend/family member who needs your time? This is a good use of your limited energy.
    – Catching up on your reading/listening/watching
    – Hand sewing
    – Replenish your reserves. Eat well. Sleep extra. Laugh. Try to enjoy yourself.
    And… remembering that life isn’t all work. I know that at the end of a rest-time, I am so *heartily sick* of being on my behind that the next few days I look like the Tasmanian Devil.

    Things that aren’t useful:
    – Sitting at the computer screen catching up on all the news from everywhere
    – Sitting at the computer screen, because “someone is wrong on the internet”
    – Doing things you neither wish to do nor need to do, out of the conviction that you ought to be doing something.
    – Overstressing yourself so that you get to spend yet more time on your behind.

    Seasons are part of life… as CS Lewis remarked, in the Screwtape Letters:
    He has contrived to gratify both tastes together in the very world He has made, by that union of change and permanence which we call Rhythm. He gives them the seasons, each season different yet every year the same, so that spring is always felt as a novelty yet always as the recurrence of an immemorial theme. He gives them in His Church a spiritual year; they change from a fast to a feast, but it is the same feast as before.



  2. Those are good suggestions. The one about Christmas cards took me by surprise, frankly. I mean, it would mean breaking my tradition of rushing my cards out to the post office on December 10th!

    But yes, I understand that life isn’t all about work. You know I consider lunch with a friend, visiting an elderly relative or even a good nap all useful pursuits. An unbalanced life isn’t good.

    The bigger part of what I had to deal with this past week is the screeching halt to what felt like a steady hum of good forward progress with my work, free of very many distractions (complete with rest and socialization included).

    I had a pretty busy day of Saturday. Quite productive, I’d say. The yesterday after church, FIL and a late family brunch (we went out, no one cooked). yesterday was a VERY restful day. The man and I just hung out, napped, talked shut away from the noise of kids and demands of *stuff*.

    I felt so good this morning, I hit the ground running at 5:30, and have been on the move ever since. When I got back from in at 6:30 from my early morning 3-mile walk, hubs questioned whether that was the best idea, but it did me good. Mentally and physically.

    CYE at lunch (EST lunchtime).

    Liked by 1 person

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