I love the Christmas season. The church around the corner from my apartment (which normally chimes at 9am, noon, 3pm, and 6pm) started chiming Christmas carols at those times on November 1st. It seemed so early. It was still 80 degrees out. The sidewalks were still strewn with trick-or-treat candy wrappers. I didn't feel ready.
I've been visiting neighborhood churches since I made the move to Long Beach as a way to get more involved in my new community and meet people who live near me. This past Sunday I was at Grace Bretheren Church and it was decked out for Christmas. A choir sang. It was chilly outside. I felt a little more ready for the season. Then, they spoke of the meaning of the word advent. I love words. Advent means arriving. The advent season means a season of waiting on an arrival. Beautiful.
In my life I've noticed that I tend to operate a certain way: As soon as I am half way through something (say teaching a semester long class) I want to hurry up and finish so that I can get to my next big idea. I know I'm not the only one who lives this way but it makes finishing things difficult. I've trained myself to finish what I start because I really don't want to be "that person" and finishing does feel like an accomplishment. But I tend to rush through it while making overly long and detailed lists about my next project.
On that note, I have a couple big new things in the works and I can't wait to share them with you. Soon.
But, lately, maybe since my accident or grad school, I've been taking a new approach to these things. Our lives are really short and we've been given this "chance" to be fully alive and fully present with our particular measure of talent.
So, I've been asking myself this question: What do I want my life to look like? If the story of my life IS the project, I prioritize differently. I don't have to chase every hair-brained scheme that comes to me right away. I don't have to rush toward the next new thing if THIS is working right now.
There is a list I made about a month before my accident. I only remember this because it is still in my "notes" app on my phone. I titled it: I Am At My Best When...It's fairly long and detailed about how I am better when I make my own schedule, can use my voice creatively (it's almost a declaration of independence)... A short time later, I was hit by a car and everything about my life changed. I noticed the list after I finished my Masters program at USC. My declaration was more than 2 years old by that point. In that time, I had made almost the entire list a reality without even noticing.
Do I feel like I've arrived in life? Nope.
Will I ever feel like I've arrived? Probably not. There will always be some new adventure on the horizon.
But! Please stay tuned... there are big things coming!