Thursday, March 25, 2010

Dead Reckoning


I've been making a lot of plans in my head. I've been collecting things, learning skills and trades and crafts and lots of 'needful' things for as long as I can remember to go along with these nebulous plans of mine. I get frustrated at the lack of forward motion and obvious progress. I can be very self-critical, but after a half century of life I have come to a brilliant conclusion. That does not solve anything or even help. So I stopped myself and thought, what would my advice be to someone else if they were thinking about the things I think about and facing the same circumstances. My advice to me is this: I think it's about time I get something down in writing.

I have heard that for years, literally. I have asked people how they accomplish things and they have told me to set goals, make lists, get a planner. I have listened to speakers or teachers that I have respect for. They all say prioritize. People have told me unbidden, which indicates my issues were obvious, that a clear plan helps. I have taught these things myself, and taught them properly and I think I taught them well. I just don't think I have ever kept them in practice long enough in my own life to actually see the results of a deliberate, well organized plan. What a shame. What a waste, and what a loss of a blessing, to not experience the feeling of real accomplishment.

I was told that it was my artistic nature that made me that way. I was a free spirit, the creative type and all that mumbo jumbo. Actually I was told that many times, which served to make it more believable. That was my best excuse for many years to come. What a bad bit of 'encouragement' that was! Of course I realize now what a detriment that mindset has been to me in my life. If I can organize my thoughts long enough to get these creative ideas, plan them out, start and finish them, then obviously it can be done in any area of life even if I am the 'artistic' type, whatever that was supposed to mean. Besides, God told me to be a good steward. I must be good with my talents, my obligations, my finances, my home, hobbies, habits, relationships, my time and whatever else He has given me. It may be easier for me to be a good steward in certain areas, but that does not excuse me from being a good steward in the areas that are not so easy.

For me the problem has always been that I didn't know I didn't know until I did know, and no amount of telling me, teaching me, nagging me or even threatening me could cut through the fog and make me know it any faster. I just had to get it on my own. I'm a relatively busy person and I have always known that it does me a world of good to put things in order and look at them on paper, and to re-arrange them until they resemble a plan. I know that. A simple list of errands shows me that. I do it when I write sermons. I do it when I write lesson plans. Yet in bigger issues of life, in areas that can become overwhelming or things that stall out and frustrate me, I do not do it without being prodded or otherwise made mindful that it should be done. In the past, when I finally would make an attempt at it I tended to misplace the list or set it aside for issues more pressing at the moment, but typically it would never make it back to the top of the stack.

There is no excuse for me to have been so discombobulated all these years. I could have saved myself tons of time and energy if I had determined to do this way back when. Plain for others to see, I didn't see it. I just did not. Now I do.
Thankfully, I have one redeeming quality. Once I know, I don't let any grass grow under me. There's no time like the present to make the changes and get it done.

So, I scolded myself well and committed to myself that with so many big and wonderful changes in my life, so many new horizons, I should make this sort of thing a priority in my life. Organization, list making, and prioritizing are all things I would and have counselled others to do, but have been so pathetically lazy about in my own life. I'm not even sure how to start, or where, but start I will.

I will at the very least begin a list, or a plan, or whatever I will call it, and start sorting my ideas. Maybe once I have a cohesive outline I'll share it here. I'm actually pretty excited about it all. With a fix on my present location, and with occasional recalculations and corrections for unseen roadblocks and detours I think my course is set. I feel better already.

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