Monday, January 31, 2011

yeah it's nice outside, but i think i'll stay on this couch.

This weekend was positively gorgeous in Nashville. Clear skies, 65 degrees, no humidity. It was how all summers should be. On Saturday Cory and I sat on the front stoop and just enjoyed the weather. I'm not ashamed to say that I was wearing my robe. It was sad that I slept in until noon, having missed most of the day that that point. It was so nice outside that I wore my Chaco's. I love wearing my Chaco's. The rest of the day consisted of helping a neighbor haul off some old metal fencing, relaxing (inside), grilling a nice ribeye, and the first ever 600 Moore bake-off.

On Sunday I had to play at church, so I woke up and made some coffee and had a banana nut muffin for breakfast. I dressed in my suit, because I don't get a chance to do that often enough, and played my bass for church. Then I went home and instead of taking a nap I played a video game all day long. It was just as nice on Sunday as it was the previous day, only a few more clouds in the sky.

Why, you're probably asking, am I writing about my weekend? It's not to make you jealous of me, but to bring up the topic of motivation. Why is it so hard to do things that are good for me: eat right, exercise, get to sleep at a reasonable hour (it's 12:06 now), or even go outside. Why do I lack the motivation to get out of bed a little early? It's just easier to sleep in, isn't it? It's much easier to say, "I'm going to go to the church service on Sunday night." At least for me it is.

I found myself on Saturday having the itch to do be active. To go throw a the aerobie, fly a kite, ride my motorcycle, run a mile. But instead of doing any of those things after some work with Colby, I sat inside and played a video game. Why didn't I do any of those things? Why, when I'm at work, is it hard to get work done? Why, when I'm out, is it hard for me to meet new people? To relate? Why is it hard to keep in touch with the people who now live further away than across campus?

I believe that it's a challenge for me to go outside, to be active, by myself. It's hard for me to do anything by myself, to be perfectly honest. But the longer I'm single the more I appreciate the joy that can be found in solitude. In walking by myself, in watching a movie alone, in sitting in silence. But there are still days that I will take the "comfort" of a video game over the inherent loneliness which can be found in everyday activities.

The other reason why it's hard for me to do things is that old habits die hard. I've taught myself how to behave in certain situations. It's my habit to keep to myself, to stay at home, and to lead a "quiet" life. But the problem with quiet lives is that they don't mix with singleness.

I feel like I'm rambling on, but I also feel a new resolution within myself. Not "try something new every day" or "do fifty sit-ups every day," closer to "break out of myself when I can." Don't just accept the status quo for myself. I hope that this new-found desire leads to some interesting stories. And posting on Monday mornings. 

Monday, January 24, 2011

last year, this year, it's all the same?

Last year, about this time, I made a goal. I suppose you could call it a resolution. I decided that I was going to get out of the state of Tennessee at least once a month. This was what the year looked like:

January: Kansas City, Missouri for Mom's birthday
February: Snowshoe Mountain, West Virginia on a ski trip with my roommate
March: Kansas City, Missouri for my birthday/spring break
April: Anaheim, California for the Specialty Coffee Association of America Expo
May: Kansas City, Missouri for I don't know what.
June: Kansas City, Missouri for Jason Stary's wedding
July and August: Estes Park, Colorado for family vacation
September: Chicago, Illinois for the Christian Community Development Association conference
October: Boston, Massachusetts for some R&R with friends from Brookwoods
November: Kansas City, Missouri for Thanksgiving
December: Kansas City , Missouri for Christmas and Dad's Birthday

At the beginning of this month I thought that I would try and accomplish the same thing. And while most of these trips were paid for on someone elses dime, I didn't have to worry about the money. I just went on the trips, and didn't even think about it. Call it being young and naive, or call it just ignoring the facts. But this year I think I have a new goal

Save some money.

I know that this seems to be along the same lines as your typical resolutions. And that thought makes me want to re-think it. But I'm almost 24 now, and I feel like it might be high time to live responsibly. I don't have any specific goal other than to tithe ten percent, save (short-term) ten percent, put two hundred away for the long-term, and live on the rest. I honestly don't even know if I can do it. But that not knowing is what gets me excited. You see - I've squandered a lot of my money. I have a Playstation 3. I have a Kindle. I have lots of digital music that I didn't steal. I have an iPhone. I have gone out to eat often. And, most importantly, I have good excuses for why I have all of those things (ranging from a present to myself for getting broken up with to "I want it!"). But now I have a goal:

Save money.

And you know what? I'm pretty sure that what I am doing is Biblical. I, obviously, don't know what the future has in store for me. But I do know that I need to live responsibly with what I have been blessed with. I need to not misuse the wealth that has been entrusted to me. Does this mean that by the end of 2011 I will have my finances all figured out? Probably not. But does it mean that the person that I will have become at the end of 2011 is slightly more organized and can take you out for a meal because he has the extra cash? I sure hope so.

Thanks to Mom and Dad first for flying me home so often, and thanks to Harvest Hands for allowing me to get out and experience new things as part of my job.


Monday, January 17, 2011

life just isn't the way I thought it would be, or "the grass is always greener"

My parents are still married. Given the divorce statistics that float around these days, this is pretty impressive. One of the best examples that my parents have set for me is how to be a happy married couple post-kids. Going back home is fun, because it is fun being around my mom and dad.

My brother and sister-in-law are still married. They have one son, with another on the way. To me their marriage is an example of how it's "supposed to be." My brother mentions how much fun it is to be married, and how much he loves his wife. My sister-in-law writes about how much she loves her husband (and their little guy). Every time I see them I can't help but be proud of what they have earned through their hard work.

I am 23, single, and live in Nashville (566 miles away from family) with two male roommates. I have a full-time job, with benefits. I have very good friends to hang out with. And because I am single I have the freedom do to whatever I want whenever I want. If I want to take a weekend trip to Boston I do. If I want to go skiing with my friends in February, I do. If I want to sleep in until noon, watch the Chiefs and Jayhawks, and play video games for the rest of the day...I do.

Things aren't the way I thought they would be partially because I was sold a lie in church. The lie was that, in order to be a good Christian, I had to find a woman and get married. Have some kids. Take them to church. You know the drill. Example: when a pastor was preaching about singleness (this pastor was married) he gave an example of young lady who had a stable job but no man. So she decided to adopt a child. And because of this act, God blessed her with a husband.

Think about that.

What this teaches us single folk is that the greatest blessing God can give us is a mate. A spouse. It teaches us that if we just "go along with the program" eventually whatever is "wrong" with us will be blessed away by the magical matchmaker that is this god they talk about. This is the wrong message to be sending people who are aware of what they are lacking. Talk to any single person, you don't need to tell them they need someone. In fact, if you aren't single, you probably do it anyway without even thinking.

Things aren't eh way I thought they would be because I thought by the time I was 23 I would be married. I thought I may even have a kid on the way. But I am not married, don't have any kids on the way, and don't even have any "leads" on someone to date. And that is ok. I could become bitter at the church and the pastor for selling me a false message. I could decided that everything that (true) Christianity is about is just bunk. But I know what the Bible says, and I know that if it's in God's will I will have a spouse. And if isn't, than that is what the plan for my life is. I'm slowly coming to terms with that. I'm enjoying being able to come home and not have to do anything for anyone. I'm aware of the bad habits I may be encouraging by doing this and doing my best to fight against them.

All this to say: whatever station you find yourself in, make the most of it. It is trite, and it probably doesn't help, but God has you here for a reason. "Think of the sparrows." And if you are married, don't ask someone if they are single and have the tone of voice that says "what's wrong with you?" Be encouraging, lift up.

Thanks for reading, feedback is always welcome.


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Here We Go

A friend suggested to me that I start a blog, and commit to writing in it once a week. He said this after I mentioned that I didn't know what to do with myself now that my applications for graduate school were all finished. So I am going to commit to writing in this blog every Monday morning until next year.

I don't plan on this being something that everyone reads. In fact, I'm sure that only a handful of my family and friends will. But I do know that it helps to write things down, and as I'm terrible at journaling I hope this will help me to get my thoughts out.

My commitment to myself with this site is to be honest. But to also be positive. Too often people (me included) use social media as a way to moan and complain about how much life sucks. And in order to balance out those feelings I will try to be positive. For every negative that I write down I'll also write down a positive.

Thanks for reading this, and I look forward to tomorrow morning when I write my "real" first posts. Responses are welcome.