July 2018

Summer Flowers

There is something about July that makes me feel more alive. Perhaps because I love summer days and spend as much time as I can in the sun, enjoying the blue skies, and taking in some of the most beautiful scenes (hopefully accompanied by water of some kind) our world can offer. Or maybe its that summertime tends to bring us together with family and friends to enjoy life long traditions. But I also think it has something to do with July being half way through the year and you get a chance to consider how you want the rest of the year to go.

New Years has sorta gotten lumped in with the holiday rush and although I relish in the power of possibility it ignites …. it can feel overwhelming. But July – you have had a taste of the year. Chances are you have already had a few wins, suffered a few losses and hopefully come out stronger. The year has already shown you a part of what life has in store, so now you might feel a little more equipped for planning the coming months.

For Danny and I 2018 was going to be our year back into society. We would officially start to feel “normal” – jobs, two incomes, and some room to breath (literally and figuratively) and maybe start to go after so many of the dreams we had put on hold. 2018 we would get healthy, explore traveling, start the processes for a family (as a couple dealing with CF this is a years process), and would finally start to clean up our financial act . Then in February a chance for one of our dreams found us and the next few months through June we dropped all the other goals and dreams and ran as hard and fast as we could towards this one. In June the dream “failed” (the world of both infertility and adoption are hard, scary, painful and someday the wounds may allow us to talk about it….. that day is not now) and just like that we find ourselves back at start: what should we do with our year?

In the past when we have had to change course it was because circumstances (primarily health and financial) dictated the outcome. These things were not in our control, but in the weirdest way – we were used to them. Life just got put on hold and there would be a clear “restart” in our future. This period has been different. The circumstances changed, but our abilities to participate in life had not. Emotionally we were struggling – but the world was sorta still our oyster. That big door with the bow and promise just beyond it was closed…. but at the start of 2018 when we were making those plans, that door had not even been seen! So how about just go back to the drawing board with our array of choices. And if that other dream had worked out, July would have brought us a completely different life….. so why can’t we just pick a new completely different reality anyway?

That was the answer – we had to find our new dream and just chase after it hard. We have been toying with moving, other options for having a family, traveling, new career fields, or picking back up the passion projects we had set down. The crazy thing is – we can’t pick one…. we can’t find a lane…. nothing feels like a fit and every one of those plans requires a ton of research, planning and action…. following a month where we both looked forward to getting back in bed in hopes of the next day feeling better – taking action seems impossible. My prayers these days are for an angel to totally come down and just tell me what to do like they do in the Bible. At this point I don’t even know what direction I want – I just want one and to go for it. And yet here we sit with the same “what now”.

Ya’ll know me though…. I am not good at just waiting. Not having a plan is like walking around without pants – its not what you do! Isn’t there some pro/con list we can make to know exactly where to go from here? Well I don’t know…. if I find it, I will let you know! But I have needed to find a way forward and I have resorted to old school goal setting. Yes, I have gone back to my roots of how to eat an elephant, what to do if you want to create a new habit, or how to start a serious exercise routine – one bite/day/step at a time. You have to prepare, plan, and then take that first step – with a few more specially designed ones to follow and then celebrate the heck out of it. You want to get healthy? Set a gym goal of three days that first week. Just three – its realistic, achievable, and there is plenty of time to get it accomplished….. and when you do: CELEBRATE! Easy enough – just pick something and take the first step.

It seemed easy enough….. just pick one! But again every single one of our big dreams has HUGE to do lists that I fear not coming to fruition, but pouring in time and money. For instance: we don’t know if we are going to move – because we don’t know if we want new jobs and we can’t quite agree on a new city, and we aren’t sure it would be forever so how long do we plan for? Guess where I am…. back on the couch under a blanket. It has to be simpler than that – whether we move, get new jobs, grow our family, write our book, take that trip – what are changes I can make starting RIGHT NOW that will not be a waste of resources for any of our dreams? THAT is what I need to be doing right now.

Here’s what I came up with
* Even more consistent and longer prayer and quiet times
* Move thy body
* Fuel thy body
* Write
* Research one serious dream that I can’t let go

No matter what life holds, these things are going to be helpful for my life. Each of these areas have small steps I can take daily – even multiple times a day – to be productive, focused and contribute to our life. THIS is where I need to live and just wait for that angel that is gonna tell me what to do next. Here is where I find purpose, a place for my energy and if I regularly practice them, I will experience results. When you have had a loss after a lot of trying, accomplishment is important.

So friends here we are July…. how do you want to spend the rest of your 2018? For progress, growth, and to feel like change is part of your life it can be a few tweaks or it can be giant leaps into the future – but it all starts with one step and then the next. Thanks for letting me talk this one out and if you have any fun ideas for goal setting share them below!

Thank you so much for reading and remember to make it a great day!
Jackie


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