[This was a stream of consciousness on discipline and its value earlier this week. Ended up in a different place than I thought, but I liked the result. Here goes:]
I struggle to care about discipline. Oh, the irony.
I have difficulty valuing time as it is meant to be valued. I rarely comprehend that I will never get life back, except in the moments where I try to guilt myself into doing what I should do by thinking about how much I will regret it if I don’t.
I love guilt. It’s been a primary motivator for me during my 30 plus years. I don’t know what I would do without it. Self-hatred too. That’s been a good one. What would you do if you just wanted to do good things, wanted to take care of yourself? I mean, me. What it would be like if I wanted to be with God, value my family, be patient and slow, eat three times a day, take breaks, breathe and listen to people without trying to create answers before they finish speaking? What would that be like?
Tonight I wasted time again. Maybe 3 hours or so. I laughed a lot so in some ways it feels worth it. It was nice to have nothing else to do. But I would like discipline. I would like to know when to do things, when to eat, when to be quiet, when to be alone or with others. I would like to know when to do things, but I am a slave of time, open time without assignment, unemployed time. I need it work to for me, like money in a savings account. Accruing interest as it sits. But instead I spend it haphazardly and berate myself later without changing. I wonder when this will stop.
It will stop when I stop it.
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Budgets. That’s what I need. To employ my money and my time. My ideas. I have so many of them. I want to be what I can be, to wring all the goodness and greatness from the crevices of my life. But I can only do that with discipline, giving my time a job to do. My time is lazy and unemployed. It does what it wants, lives on welfare. This lifestyle annoys me plenty when it’s liberal Democrats but when it’s me, I’m less judgmental. Or less insightful.
Okay, so employment it is. My time needs some direction, very strict instructions or it will get lost, like a blind person. A crude analogy. But I need to give my time the business, tell it what to do. Time, you need to get a job.
7am: you need a job. 10am: you need work. 12pm: what are you doing around here? 5pm: tell me what you’ve done for yourself today?
I would like to end my day with thankfulness. No, I want to start it with thankfulness. Start the day at 7pm like the Hebrew people. I like their time.
The Rabbi Maurice Lamm said, “Something that can be done by anyone at anytime will be done by no one at no time.” Isn't that an incredible thought? And fun to say. So I want to tell my time what to do, give myself specific rituals and actually follow through with them. Good intentions have gotten me here. Here, there and everywhere. I’ve been doing things or making lists of things that can be done any time and alas, they have been done at no time. They have not been done at all.
I will employ my days the best I can. I will give them work to do. I will make goals for my time. My hours and minutes will have deadlines to meet.
So how will it go?
It’s nearly 1am. I want sleep. I want my night hours to work at rest, to work at skill building and memory refinement. Dreams. What time shall I do this work? 11-6? For now that is a good start. And how shall I begin my morning. Or my day.
There was evening and there was morning. The first day. Evening first, then morning. So the day begins with night. The night belongs to the Lord. So the day, the 24 hour stretch, begins as work ends, with the evening meal. Then time together. Then rest. Then the work of the day. But it is always last.
The new work week schedule
7pm: Home. Work is done. Dinner together or evening event.
8pm: Play, enjoy the family. Or evening event continues.
9pm: Home from evening event if out. John to bed. Talk with Josh.
10pm: Read, pray, take iron/vitamins.
11pm: Rest, sleep, dream
6am: Wake, prepare for the day. Make lunch, coffee.
7am: Leave for work.
12:30-1: Rest, read, quiet.
6-6:30: Drive home. Debrief day with friends.
[Update: this has not worked out as I planned. Starting the day when you're used to ending it is a hard brain switch to make. But I'm working on it. Tonight I knew I needed rest, to start my day that way, so I cancelled my plans, pumped the brakes and came home and hugged a baby. It was good for the soul. Now I'm back here, trying to love the disciplines again. So I haven't given up. But I am so very slow most days.]