Many interesting developments going on lately. I'm not divulging them all here, which has the side effect of making it seem like things are stalled out in my life. For example, I'm in a new relationship (very new) and things are going well. I'm willing to live a lot of my life out loud (in the public eye) because I have a lot of friends who really want to know how things are going in my life and by the time I get to sit down with them all individually, they are too far behind. I say that because I'm enjoying the clarity and accountability I get from thinking out loud here, but things like my relationship aren't topics for on this venue.
Health and Fitness Update:
What is a topic for here, is the latest diet I'm trying. If you're a new reader I started researching and essentially auditioning a series of healthy diet/exercise/supplements back in March with the health goal of losing 5 lbs. a month between then and when I plan to leave on my book signing tour. I'm proud to say that I'm roughly on track with that, but I wanted to try an anti-inflammation diet. The best I've found is the Virgin diet which is not targeted at me or well...men, but seems to be what I'm looking for. So for the next 21 days I'll be giving it my best effort--though I already anticipate SHEER HELL! I didn't blog about it earlier because I wasn't sure I was really going to do this until I started. The shortest way to describe this diet is to say, "read the label and then don't eat it--you can't have that." I'm actually giving up Peanuts, soy, eggs, dairy, gluten, sugar and artificial sweeteners, and corn. On the bright side, Kristin is brave/crazy enough to try it with me. So if I wimp out and she succeeds, I may as well turn in my man card.
The next thing that I've not been keeping people updated on is my Spiritual season. It's not entirely my fault because I'm still processing it. Here's the rambling 1st draft of my thinking though. (PS I don't know where I found this picture or what it has to do with today's topic but it kicks ass so I'm putting it in.)
This season is all about seasons:
A few years ago some kind but eccentric prophetic Christians I ran into, proclaimed that I was a child of Issachar (one who can read the seasons). I have often been able to see what certain actions would lead a group or organization to, or tell what God’s heart was for a situation. God and I were talking in the car a last week and he reminded me of that event. He first pointed out to me that He didn’t give me this gift so that stressing/anticipating the future would rob me of the present. He specifically wants to release me of the past, redeem it to me, and let me be present/future focused. BUT the future as a direction not a certain plan. It was a mind blowing revelation that I understand at a deep heart level. It doesn’t really translate into words.
A day or two later God reminded me of when I got excited by the idea of agile project management. The point is to make forward progress like a ship sailing into wind, by tacking across and back. Every 30 days you make a product that is marketable, and moves you toward your ultimate goal even if it’s not directly at it. God pointed out that my efforts to find balance through doing a little of each thing each day has not worked.
Then my buddy Jeff Samuelson pointed me to a book called “The Power of Full Engagement,” which was amazing. I read only the 20% that’s free through amazon and then I placed a hold on it in the library. I will be following up on that as I read it, but the gist gets me toward the point I think God is leading me to. I’m really built to work on massive projects, one at a time. If I have more than one project going at a time, then when things get tough I switch projects. Then I’m very frustrated when I move 50 projects forward one inch. I never get to that place where something is marketable. I spend energy diffusely spinning plates and putting out fires. Tyranny of the urgent allows me to feel busy and masks a bad procrastination habit. I was able to rid myself of busyness and procrastination at one point and now it’s back.
The Potential Drawbacks:
There's a couple problems. 1st is that I figured out a while back that it takes a minimum of 8 months to write a novel and bring it to market,
1. Draft for 4 to 6 weeks,
2. Take a month off to gain perspective,
3. Revise for a month,
4. 1st readers review it for a month,
5. Revise again,
6. Send to editor for a month,
7. Edits for a month,
8. Publishing it takes about 2 weeks.
But in theory you could draft a second novel while taking a brake from the first, and then continue to leapfrog the second project with the first so that you could get 2 novels done in a little over a year. I think that plan can still work because each phase of the project can be treated individually. However that leads to the second problem.
The Second Problem:
I have more than one value. I NEED to make progress on several fronts. I need to improve how I eat and exercise while also seeking income. I'm passionate about living a simple, organized life (parents were horders) but I have to focus on writing to finishes a phase in a decent time frame. If you don't keep a certain pace on a book you spend all your time figuring out what you were trying to do/getting back in the mood. And ultimately God is my top value so I NEED to be intentional about keeping Him a top priority.
I realize that I’ve invested a lot of energy researching diet and exercise plans, but I firmly believe that different people need different solutions and rather than try and fail repeatedly, I chose to do a ton of research. Likewise, I realize that if I take a “normal” job I won’t have to constantly be searching out my next client, which would reduce the amount of energy I put into earning an income. The problem is that I quickly grow to hate most jobs, and the ultimate solution to my income needs lies in multiple entrepreneurial ventures that each earns a modest income with a minimal energy/time investment but that don’t tie me to a location. (See, all the resources I invested in researching my calling has paid off already.)
So the obvious answer, which I’m not 100% sure is right, is to pick something and focus on it for a period of time, then switch to another thing for another period of time. I’m thinking of calling it qualitative vs quantitative activity. The question becomes how long is the right length of time? I like the concept because I like working on one thing until I find a certain flow and then staying in that for a while. But I'm just not sure how this is going to work yet.
In Ecclesiastes 3, Solomon says there is a time (season) for everything.
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
What strikes me is this part, “a season for every activity under the heavens…” Solomon is pretty consistent about using the words “under the sun” in his writing. So I feel like he is using the plural “heavens” here on purpose. This implies to me that he means every activity in every realm, physical, sole, and spirit. God was pretty clear with me, that my efforts to live in the past and future were rooted in a desire to escape the unpleasantness of the present. He pointed out that if I’m unhappy when it rains all the time, I’m a jerk if I’m also unhappy when it’s too hot in the summer. If I want something different I have to be prepared for it to happen in excess or bring with it different kinds of suffering. I need to embrace what I have in each moment, because it will not last. The good often passes along with the bad. Plus, since I have God in my life he is able to redeem any bad thing, whether it’s my own idiocy or something that happens to me. So I need to embrace the here and now even if it’s not what I think of as good. Hence, I must end all procrastination.
These are my rambling thoughts so far. This season has yet to fully emerge.