Days that Drag

Did you know that adults who have prescribed medications, of those who get their medications filled, 70-75 percent admit to not taking them as prescribed, meaning they skip doses, take less than the recommended amount, or stop taking them sooner than instructed. We are better at giving our dogs constant medication than we are ourselves. The main problem is that we aren’t taking care of ourselves because a lot of people don’t really like who they are.

Jordan Peterson, (my mentor and inspiration in a lot of ways,) pointed this out with the encouragement to treat ourselves and negotiate with ourselves as we would with a dear friend. Because the slave driver mentality isn’t working. We aren’t our own slaves, we have to be encouraged and negotiated with.

I have a lot of days, more than I’d like to admit, when I simply get out started on the wrong foot, days when I’ve spent too much time watching a video or playing a game and find myself rushed, disorganized, frustrated, and most of all lazy.

I used to hate myself on these days. I used to despair thinking that a productive life-style wasn’t in me, and that I was lazy forever.

But since hearing Jordan Peterson, I decided it was only fair to myself to give myself the advice I would give to my best friend, the person I care most about, because that is probably the advice most helpful.

If your friend had just had the day you had, what would you say to them?

“Yeah, today sucked, but the rest of your week has been great, and you can finish strong. You were lazy all day, but you can use the rest you got today to get things done tomorrow. Besides having this bad day, this week has been better than last week, and that’s your goal. Just make every week better than your last.

“Just be growing. If you aren’t growing as fast as you want, don’t be discouraged, none of us are who we want to be. But as long as you’re growing, you’re okay.”

“Tomorrow, don’t start like you did today. Don’t get your phone, because you know you don’t really want to start like that. Start by taking a moment to thank God for the day and for your life, and that will set you up for the day you want and the mindset you need to have.”

 

Sincerely,
Ellie

 

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Married half a year – how I’m a different person

Greetings to my greatly neglected readers. I could apologize day and night for not writing, but the truth is, my life is very good right now, and all of the good has kept me very busy and preoccupied, and I’m not sorry for that.

I have been going through a lot of growth, as I suppose most newly-weds do, and I have longed to share what I’ve been through (little as it is) and also log my progress.

April 7th I married my best friend. Jonny has shown me so much grace in our 6+ months of marriage, simply by his unconditional love. I admire him so much, and seeing how he loves me is still overwhelming at times. In fact, now that we’ve been together half a year and I know he has seen these sinful sides of me, I can’t even convince myself that he’s in love with a fake version of me. He knows me better than anyone else could, and he still loves me. How amazing is that?

And I know God knows me deeper and more intimately than Jonny ever can, and yet Christ gave his life to redeem me. I can’t say enough about this, but I can’t find words to express this.

Aside from this spiritual walk, I have grown in life style changes. I’ve always been encouraged by my dad and my family to eat healthily, exercise, keep my space clean, and honestly, I didn’t follow their lead very well. But once I was married, in my own home, I realized Jonny wasn’t going to enforce this for me. Jonny is very kind and easy-going. He hasn’t asked me to change at all, and I love him for that. But I knew that I wanted to be better. I didn’t want to wake up at the last minute, throw a doughnut in my mouth, and dash out the door to work. I didn’t want to spend hours on my phone and not get my dishes done. I really didn’t want to feel tired all day, and believe me, a few months ago, I was SO tired ALL day.

1st – I cut out what was getting in my way. I wasted way too much time on my phone doing meaningless tasks. I ate foods that I didn’t really like, but they were convenient, and they didn’t give me energy or make me feel good. I examined activities, events, and habits that were hindering who I wanted to be.
(Disclaimer right here: don’t think I’m super self-willed. I still struggle with all of these things, but it did help to identify them. I haven’t made progress since last week, it’s true, but you bet I’ve made progress in the past few months! I’m in it for the long-haul, and having made this much progress, I am inspired not to lose it!)

2nd – I identified 4 areas I would especially like to work on.

  • Health and Diet
  • Time Management
  • Budgeting
  • Self-Growth

3rd – I made goals. I needed goals that were EASY, just a step ahead of what I was doing at the time. Because I know myself too well. If the goals were daunting, they would never get done. At the same time, I needed goals that would show me some progress, because I knew that would give me motivation to continue.

  1. Learn a new healthy recipe each week and make it. One of my problems with eating healthy foods was not knowing how to make it, so this helps!
  2. Exercise 10 minutes 4 days a week. 10 minutes isn’t a lot. It’s hard to make excuses for not squeezing in 10 minutes of time. And I knew I’d increase the time later on.
  3. Write down 3 things every morning and have them done at the end of the day. (Jordan Peterson says the reason you can’t follow a schedule is because you make a schedule of a bunch of things you don’t want to do. Instead, make a schedule of your perfect day and you have a much higher chance of sticking to it. This has helped me so much, you wouldn’t believe it!)
  4. Examine spending at the end of every week. That’s it. I simply wanted to be more aware.
  5. Spend 30 minutes 4 days a week on self-growth and learning.

Those were my initial goals. Since then, I’ve had a much better idea about what’s most important, what was too hard or too easy, and I’ve modified these goals and done my best to turn them into habits.

I got emeals on my phone to help with meal planning and recipe finding.

I began working out to youtube videos in our basement or living room, and now, I enjoy running more than I ever have in my life. As soon as I get up in the morning, I run for about 5 minutes in the basement, just to wake myself up and it feels AWESOME.

I started listening to podcasts on a regular basis, getting better in touch with politics, philosophy, and life style improvement.

Honestly, the budgeting goal really dropped out. I don’t review my spending much, because I really don’t buy much anymore besides groceries, and I’ve gotten better and being frugal when it comes to food.

I try to be conscious of wasted time and I actually make schedules every few days because I feel like it, and I stick to schedules and routine better than I have ever in my life – because they’re schedules and routines of things I actually want to do.

Another disclaimer: As long as I have been alive, I have been the laziest person I know. And this is still partly true. I don’t have a lot of disciple and self-will. I still don’t. I still have a lot of days (more than I’d like) where I can’t make myself do anything productive and I spend wasted time in bed on pinterest. I still eat things I know I shouldn’t and later regret it. And saddest to me, I still struggle to spend time with God in the word and prayer on a regular basis. All that said, I am improving. Another thing Jordan Peterson has said that has changed my life, was his encouragement to make every week better than your last. If last week you met 20% of your goals, meet 21% of them this week. When I first heard that, I thought, “I can do that.” And I have. I’ve been getting better. I am not where I want to be, but I’m headed in the right direction.

So that’s where I am today. Way behind where I want to be, way ahead of where I was. And I’m thanking God daily for my husband. He’s very supportive. I’ve asked him several times to tell me what area of my life I need to work on, and he won’t. He says I don’t need to change, but when I have improved, he’s praised me and made me feel great for doing it. Is he perfect? We’ve been married half a year now…..Yeah, he’s perfect, at least perfect for me.

 

With great caffeinated well-wishes,

Ellie

 

P.S. Are any of my readers doing NaNoWriMo this year. I really want to, but I’ve never won while I also had a job….And I haven’t had ANY time to plan….Sounds fun!

P.P.S. Just mentioning NaNoWriMo on my blog — I feel like I’m 18 again!

My Life as it is Today

There’s a lot to report, because obviously, it’s been way too long since I’ve written a blog post.

The reason I haven’t been blogging is not that I haven’t been writing or that I forgot about the blog–it’s that my spiritual life has been very dry for quite some time. At first I made attempts to commune with God and enjoy the testimonies of my church family, but eventually it became clear that it was not succeeding and that I was not living as God would have me. And so I stopped even trying.

This is a confession of my weakness and low self-will. I was tired of working, tired of trying, and I let life just blow by me. I didn’t fight for joy and peace in God, and I was driven to depression several times. I was tossed about like chaff in the wind.

But that isn’t what this blog post is about. I have very little self-will and self-discipline, and I’m terribly lazy. But now that you know that, you can see what a great god God really is!

Even though I was in a slump, crying because I knew I ought to read the Bible but I didn’t want to, God still brought me around and thrust the Bible in my lap and told me, “Back to the basics. You don’t need long hours of prayer and penitence. You don’t need all your theology straight. You don’t need all the wisdom you want, nor all the growth you want. You don’t even need to feel the passion you want all the time. Just set aside a small part of your day for me, and let me give you the wisdom, growth, and passion.”

Very basic, very simple. I just needed to start like I was saved yesterday. Who knows, maybe I was, though I don’t think that is the case.

After months of not reading the Bible and praying, and weeks of depression and knowing that I’ll never find joy again–I’m finally communing with God! I’m reading the Bible, not to impress my friends with the deep theological implications of it, but just to read what it says, literally, simply, and go back to the basics of being a Christian.

Before this dry season (that’s the best way I can put it) I had been ecstatic about all the Lord had given me, family, church, a job, a home, food, trips to Mexico, not to mention a niece.

After I stopped reading my Bible daily and praying often, I lost all the joy I had. I lost all the thankfulness I had, though I knew in my head that I ought to be thankful.

Now I feel like I have it all back.

I have joy in my future since my confidence in Christ has been proven true one more time. I know that my future belongs to God.

There’s a couple people who have already told me they were praying for me. I’m so blessed. So blessed to have the church family I have, the friends I have. I’m so blessed to have the Lord shaping me one day at a time. He is increasing the time I spend in the Bible daily, and even though I know I’m going to fail again and again, I know that He is faithful and so very good.

People have been praying for me, but I haven’t been praying for them. I want to begin again with the strength God has given me to pray for the people I vowed to pray for, and those who need it. Please let me know how I can help you.

In Christ,
Ellie

dry-land-boon-mee

Updates on Life, February Edition

God is very good.

To someone who succumbs to laziness daily, loses patience more than daily, neglects priorities, and can’t seem to mature He is amazingly gracious.

Sometimes I feel like Lot who wouldn’t leave behind the city (that was about to be destroyed anyway) until the angels grabbed his stubborn hands and dragged him out. Even when I’m reluctant to leave the old behind, God still drags me into the new, and the new is good!

Even though I feel like I don’t mature, I do feel this attachment to the world is constantly fading. Its opinions and ideals mean less and less. “Living life to the fullest” has certainly lost its charm. More and more I just want the joy and peace I get in God and I want the fellowship I get from the church.

And that’s just about it.

So, looking over the month of February, I’ve learned

  • Improv piano is more enjoyable than written piano
  • Walking onto a stage to stand up for half an hour while sick is not ideal
  • The book of Revelations is mainly dealing with the destruction of Jerusalem
  • The Destruction of Jerusalem is much more significant that I ever realized
  • Daniel Webster was a jerk to invent a dictionary
  • Life without math is wonderful
  • Poetry is a good writing practice, both reading and writing it
  • Glow worms are disgusting

Another new, sort of new, accurance—well, I’m umpiring again.

I hated it so much last year! Before every single game I told myself I would never umpire again. And now for my second year I’ll be expected to improve—what was I thinking?!

I HAVE NO CLUE! So don’t ask.

But it’s too late to back out now.

I do have some plans of strategy to make this a more successful year:

  1. Study my rules and know them front and back. The only way I can be confident in my calls is by being dead sure of them
  2. Do my best to stick to softball, which means talking with the Chief Umpire
  3. Practice communicating with my other umpire, even if it’s just waving “hi” after every pitch

I have a bit of time right now to come up with a poem for the test, as I did last year.

I’m not feeling the inspiration though. I can’t get anything written. So we’ll see how that goes.

I want to thank one specific person. My darling friend Alexis constantly pulls the plug on my pride and also my gloom.

She has a beautiful and simple heart to love God and love others. She insured that “Singles Awareness Day” was anything but melancholy and has inspired me to love over and over. Our ideals, interests, and theology differs, but her smile is impossible to smother.

And now to go rolling into March–

I remain,
Yours Truly,

Ellie

My Age in Seconds

16 years old

5843 days old

140,241 hours old

8,414,460 minutes old

504,867,600 seconds old (of course, just an estimate.

If I live to be 70

I have

23,376 days left

or

561,024 hours

or

33,661,440 minutes left, and every minute less.

It puts a different perspective on things, knowing your days truly are numbered. Even if I live to be 70, and there is no guarantee or even any reason to think so, the minutes I have are very short and finite. You might try calculating your own age and asking what you’ve done with it.

signed

-Electric Bubbles

November 5th

I have 14,356 words. I would like to have at least 16,000 by the end of the day.

This morning I had a half hour long word war with my pen pal who is doing NaNoWriMo with me. It was the most words in half an hour either of us had gotten, so we’re doing it again this afternoon.

My story has been running more smoothly, and for that I am glad, but I am still afraid it might cut off early. Too early. So if it does cut off too early, I’ve got to make up an additional plot to carry it on.

Anyway, today my dad’s computer started burning. Not sure how or how much damage was done, but you could pray for that. And besides that the day just hasn’t been going very smoothly in the Jackson house. That has partly to do with new chores rotations. =\

So yep. That’s all! Happy Writing!

 

signed

-Electric Bubbles