Monday, April 23, 2012

Monday Blahg: The Change in Me

They changed blogspot.  My actual blog probably looks exactly the same, but I'm writing this post in a little text box that looks completely different from the old text box.  There's nothing I can do about it, and I'm sure I'll adjust to the changes soon, but I still don't like it.  I don't like change.  That's why I haven't switched over to Timeline on Facebook yet, though I know they're going to force the change eventually.  I'm just delaying it as long as humanly possible.  By the time they switch me over, everyone else will already be used to Timeline, and I'll be the only one who's confused. 

But that's no different from now it usually is. The fact that I'm confused will never change.  That is comforting--I guess.

Change isn't my favorite thing, but there seems to be a lot of changes all around me.  In fact, I think I've changed a lot recently, too.  I don't know if anyone else sees it, but I feel so different than I did from just a few months ago.  I think this change has been gradual, so gradual I haven't taken too much notice of it.  I just feel--I don't know how to describe it.  The first word that came to mind to describe the way I'm feeling is "happy," but that's not really right.  I am feeling happy, except my happiness is just that--happiness.  And happiness is one of those things that changes like the weather. 

For instance, while I'm generally pretty happy, Saturday I had a time where I wasn't so happy.  I spent the day being busy working on something for an event.  I wasn't careful with time and had to rush rush rush to finish what I was doing and then rush rush rush to get to work on time.  When I got there, I realized the schedule hadn't been made out correctly, and consequently I was there an hour earlier than I needed to be.  I was so upset that I had rushed and stressed when I had a whole extra hour.  It worked out, though.  The girl I relieved just went home an hour early, and everything was fine. 

Then I got an email that informed me that an event I'd been stressing about had been cancelled.  I'd been working on something for this event all day, which was fun, but still really stressful.  So I did all that work for pretty much nothing.  I was not feeling happy at that moment.  Saturday afternoon was not a happy afternoon.  I called my roommate and whined to her about all of it, and then I felt better, prayed, refocused my perspective, and went back into happy mode.  But happiness, while good, is not something reliable.  It changes with circumstances, and (just between you and me) I'm just a little bit on the moody side.  The change in me isn't something that fluctuates that much.

The second word I thought of to describe the way I'm feeling is "confident," but that's not quite right, either.  Because, dude, I've pretty much come to the realization that I'm never going to be confident.  Not really.  I have moments where I feel good about myself, but like happiness, these moments are fleeting.  For every victory I could claim that would make me feel confident (like having a good hair day, saying exactly the right thing at exactly the right time, going on a really good run), I've got about a gazbillion failures to cancel them out (my hair is usually out of control and trying to eat small children, I usually say the wrong thing at exactly the wrong time, and my best runs are pathetic, especially when you consider that there are people who can run marathons in much less time than it takes me to run ten miles).  And even if I always looked perfect, always acted and spoke eloquently and graciously, and was good at everything, I'd still have absolutely nothing to boast about.  Those who can finish 26.2 miles in about two hours are amazing, but no matter what they believe, I know God has made their bodies.  He's crafted and gifted them to be crazy-fast/strong runners--while training has a lot to do with it, no amount of training can give you that kind of amazing talent.  I could train for years and still never run that fast (especially for that long).  And I've been gifted in writing and in music, but I can't claim credit for those things.  I can work to improve the skills I have, but I didn't will myself to have the initial talent.  So the things that I'm "good at" aren't reasons for me to be confident.  So...confidence isn't the difference in me.

I thought about it for a while, and then I realized what it was.  The answer is pretty obvious.  What's the difference in me?

I'm Hopeful.

One of the characters in the first book I wrote really struggles with the concept of Hope, and this is the character I've written who is most like me.  As a writer, I've really put him through a lot...his life hasn't been easy, and it's not going to get easier.  I have other books planned for him in which he will grow and learn and eventually realize what Hope is.  It isn't the knowledge or expectation that everything is going to turn out exactly how we want it to.  It isn't the belief that everything is going to always be happy or perfect.  It's the knowledge that whatever happens, everything is going to be okay.  God is in control.  God is working all things together for good.  When our Hope is in the Lord, it doesn't matter what else happens.  Circumstances can change.  Happiness and confidence in self, etc. are fleeting.  But God?  God is faithful.  He doesn't change.  And the change in me, whether anyone else has seen it or not, is that I'm finally really learning to HOPE in Him.

The more I become like Him, the more I'm also becoming more of the me He has designed me to be.  I really like being me.  He has only made one of me, and when I look at it that way, who else would I want to be?  Even with all my failures and moods and imperfections, He's working in me and through me.  He's in control of all that's going on around me, no matter how much change there is.  So I've got good reason to be Hopeful.

Last week:

-- I ran 11 miles (in a longer time than it took a lot of people to finish the Boston marathon).  I was told by about three different people that I need to back off a little and not run so much.  They say (from experience that I really should listen to) that since I'm running this long now, I'm already trained up for a half marathon.  But, I'm really enjoying the running and pushing my limits.  I want to actually run 13 miles before I have to run 13 miles, if that makes sense.  Plus, I'm burning LOTS of calories with this much running, and that lets me eat more.

-- I played guitar some more.  I really need to keep this up.  I think after the half marathon, my next big plan is to work towards getting my cds recorded.  I'm eating the whale of goals for 2012, one bite at a time.  Or learning how to do that, anyway.

-- After the stress of Saturday, I took it easy on Sunday and watched "Johnny English Reborn" with my roommate.  We both LOVE Rowan Atkinson and the first Johnny English movie.  We tried to see it in theaters (yay!) and it wasn't playing around here (boo!), but I was able to get it for free from Redbox with a promo code (yay!).   Great flick.  It wasn't as good as the first, but it was still hilarious--and there was an extra scene during the credits that might be one of my favorite Rowan Atkinson moments everrrrr.

-- I got a little more work done on some job application stuff.  I need to get my act together and finish that up.  I hate doing grown up stuff.  I hate change--but I really feel like it's time for something different.  And I'm feeling remarkably Hopeful!  The thing about Hope is that it leaves no room for fear.  I'm not afraid to try, because I know that whatever happens, God is in control.

This week:

-- I will aim for 12 miles--despite the advice to back off on the running.  I still have about four weeks to go, and I definitely will allow my body some good rest time as the day of the half-marathon approaches, but for now, I really want to just keep up with my own running plan. 

Also, I want to apologize for blogging about running so much, but it's kind of a big deal to me.  I don't promise that I'll stop blogging about running after the half-marathon on May 19, but I probably will stop blogging SO MUCH about it.  The half-marathon and training is a major part of what's going on in my life right now.  After I accomplish that goal, I'll try to make more time for other goals.  Then blog about them until all my readers go crazy....

-- I hope to play my guitar more.  I really think there's a song in the works--at least some lyrics.  Music usually doesn't come as easily as the lyrics--but sometimes it all comes together in ways that completely surprises me.  I can't claim credit for that, either.

-- I really hope to reread that book so I can review it--and not post another lame Fiction Friday blog.  We'll see!

-- I'm going to see a display of Princess Diana's dresses with my roommate.  Fashion isn't my thing, but I saw an ad for it and knew that my roommate would love it.  And I am a little interested in Princess Diana's dresses--80's-90's fashion that isn't tacky!? Gasp!  The tickets were cheap, and I'm really trying to do as many fun things with the roommate as humanly possible.  She's moving away in just a couple months now, and I'm going to miss her terribly.  More changes! 

But even with all these changes, I can't ignore the change in me.  I'm Hopeful.  The Lord is faithful.  And no matter what happens in the next few months, it's all gonna be okay.  Maybe even more than okay.  I'm just holding on (or letting go) and waiting to see what's coming.  The Lord is so good!

Hopeful Monday!

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