When April wanes into May, it always brings about a conflicting sense of joy and melancholy. Joy for things like true spring, for beautiful days and blooming flowers, for rainy afternoons and cups of tea while hunching over a good book. On the other hand, there is a simmering sadness under the surface: my birthday (another year older, another year closer to death, to regret over wasted time and potential), the bizarre mid-year slump, feeling behind in life. It’s a challenge to not let those feelings overshadow true joy and appreciation for life but this year I am choosing to focus (imperfectly some days) on the fresh start each day brings.
I can’t ignore that I essentially dropped off on sticking with my blog and especially monthly updates. I am struck with comparison syndrome again. I am my own worst bully and I let the lies slip in: I’m not good enough. I’m not interesting. If I’m not perfect right off the bat, I’m not worth writing about. I get discouraged by the sheer magnitude of how much I need to “do” before I reach the level I want to be and instead of appreciating the process I resist trying. I feel like I can’t authentically encourage others while I don’t live out the truths myself. Impostor Syndrome is when you feel like a fraud in your own life, that you don’t belong, that no matter where you end up, you believe you stumbled in on accident.
My true dream is being a writer, both here in my own little corner of the universe and as a published author. Despite my deeply ingrained critical nature, I’ll never move forward unless I take even a small, timid step.
Well friends, here I am. Broken, imperfect, hyper-critical, and somedays struck with the freezing feeling of the vastness of a universe where I don’t know where I belong or how I should get there.
Here is what I want to work on in May:
Monthly Goals (big, one time projects that contain multiple steps)
- Take starting fitness progress photos + measurements. The best way to measure your fitness progress is to take visual progress photos and body measurements. I did this in January, haven’t consistently taken care of myself, and want to start over. What better time than my birth month?
- End May at less than 170.0 lbs. I keep bouncing between 165 to 174 pounds. I’m great for a week or two, and then drop off. As everyone can discern, I am awful at consistency.
- Put an extra $500 towards my student loans. I’m down to $27,694 (I started 2018 at $34,655! That’s $6,961 less.) This will become immensely harder once Dane’s grace period ends, which is pretty demoralizing. His payments will suck up most of that and freeze our dutiful progress we’ve been making.
- Prayer with Dane. It brings us even closer, both to each other and God, and interesting insight into what is weighing on our minds. I want us both to have a thriving prayer life.
- Clean out our second bedroom. We both want office space, and this bedroom has been a dumping ground for the things we don’t know where to place here in our apartment. It’s time to purge and simplify again.
- Sell one craft. I may sell some of the stuff I made for our wedding, or I might make something new. Stay tuned.
- Develop + Implement + Maintain a morning routine. I’m a “wake up as late as possible” type of person. If I woke up at 5:30 every day Monday through Friday instead of 7:00, I’ll have an extra 7.5 hours to put towards what matters: cultivating my fitness, spiritual life, or future writing career.
- Read two books. I’m a “read multiple books at once” type of person. I’m currently reading The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon, Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst with some of my friends, and Grace Thus Far by Ginger Millermon. I saw Ginger speak at our women’s retreat and her story was incredible.
- Prayer and trust in God’s timing. This one’s hard to measure. I am stuck in a season of confusion and feeling unsettled. Many of the “next steps” in life feel impossibly out of reach right now. I’m not sure what I should be “doing” right now with my life. In a moment of ultra vulnerability, it feels inconceivable to ever have a family (pun intended) unless several things in our life undergo a drastic change. Can’t afford day care + student loans. Student loans will take ages to pay off, even with our intentional effort to pay them off faster than the loan service plans. People always say “oh there’s never a good time to have kids” but we want to do things wisely, and if the numbers don’t add up, they literally do not add up.
I made a ton of these as wedding center pieces
and I still have them stashed away. I’d love to sell them.
Two of my latest endeavors:
Improving my hand lettering and crocheting a blanket.
Weekly goals (habits to complete a few times during the week)
- One week of Couch 2 5k. I am so excited for running outside in nice weather! Time to restart the program (again…).
- Uninvited Bible study on Mondays. Doing this with a group of girl friends and I’m so excited.
- Memorize the Word. I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. (Psalm 119:15)
- Four blog posts. Even if it’s imperfect, I am worthy enough to get it out there. I will learn as I go.
- Encourage someone. An antidote to my own sadness and discontent is to lean in and love someone else.
- Sunday power prep time. Prepare well for the week ahead.
Daily Goals (good habits to develop)
- Daily fitness journal. Writing what I eat and what I do for work outs will give me valuable insight into my own health.
- Chronological Bible Reading Plan. I am about a month behind. I will do quiet time in the morning to do this first thing.
- No spending money. Impulse buys and lazy fast food eating sucks up so much money. A small pinhole in your spending adds up to a huge puddle of wasted money better spent on something long lasting and intentional.
- Intimacy with Dane. My marriage with Dane will outlast many other things in life: friends, career, hobbies. He deserves my first and my best, not the scraps at the end of the day. Marriages are nourished when you love your spouse well and intentionally every day.
Here’s to fresh starts, and doing what I say I will.
Tell me in the comments: What are you working on right now? How are you improving yourself?