Discipline

6 March 14

My theme for this year, as a New Year’s Resolution, is discipline. Since I closed up my law firm, I’d been rather undisciplined – sleeping late and too much, eating too much, watching too much TV, drinking too frequently (rarely to excess), generally living in my own bubble of self-indulgence and not engaging with my community. I felt bad, emotionally and physically. New Year seemed like the right time to make more changes, and I decided to try to live with more deliberation and discipline. I still have a long way to go, but I think I’ve made a good start. I get up with Carl most days and work on our new business (ArtsMuse!) for a decent portion of the day, I get out of the house regularly, I’m eating, if not better, at least less. I attend 1 Million Cups, which is a weekly presentation of two start-ups, and I made it my goal to meet 2 new people each week. That’s pushed me outside my comfort zone, though I think with the lack of “work friends,” maybe I’m willing to seek out human contact a little more. And I’ve been reading more. Last year, I read a lot of nonfiction, which was great, and I learned a lot, but I’m trying to read more fiction right now (I love my local library!). I started voice lessons, and I’ve been playing more piano recently too.

So that’s been well and good, but I can do better. I have nowhere near the discipline of, say, mothers. My house is still regularly cluttered, I’m still not exercising (I do walk the dogs, but does that count?), and my spiritual life is not great. I’m really involved in my church, but the last time I prayed on my own without prompting in church (before yesterday) was, well, I don’t remember, because it’s been that long.

I’ve decided on my Lenten disciplines. First, give up alcohol. I think my liver and my gut will both appreciate that. Second, follow the devotional that my pastor wrote. Third, pray regularly, at least daily. And fourth, write or draw (or both) daily. I still feel like I write like a lawyer, and I’m hoping that I can write like a normal human again. As for drawing, my artistic ability is limited, and it’s something I want to improve upon.

My husband asked what Lenten disciplines are all about, which was a good reminder to me of why we do this anyway. The way I learned it was that when we deprive ourselves of something, we are meant to pray when we feel the deprivation. One year when I was a kid, my dad, my brother, and I decided to fast on Wednesdays (though somehow, smoothies didn’t count). The idea was that when we felt hungry, we were supposed to pray. Hopefully this will mean praying at dinner now. 🙂 With adding disciplines, again, it’s meant to be something that brings us closer to God. The devotional and praying regularly are pretty obvious. I have a harder time explaining the writing/drawing, but I think anything that gets me focusing for long-ish periods of time is a positive in my personal development, not that it will make me worthier of redemption, but I think we are meant (called?) to improve constantly.