This is a major thing for me these days… finding my stride. I’m not a runner, yet this running analogy really seems to work for me. I’ve run enough to know what it feels like when I find that stride or pace that lets me get in the zone. I do swim, or at least try, regularly, and I know that feeling of ‘the zone’, where I’ve found the pace, the rhythm that I can let just take over my movements.
I pick up a new work project and I need some focused time to ‘find my stride’, which means I’ve figured out the paradigms of the project, I’m able to move through the steps easily and smoothly.
I’ve nearly completely lost my stride in writing, shown by how sparse my posts are. More on this later.
I’m always thinking that with a bit of focused time I’ll find my stride in scheduling, housekeeping, parenting (which includes getting Little Man to sleep, or play on his own, or not scream/yell at me, or whatever), exercise, sewing, and anything else that life brings along. It took a few years of focused effort to find my stride in menu planning and cooking daily dinners.
But, of course, something happens, my stride is broken and the process of finding it starts over. Most recently, Little Man decided to sprout some new molars. At least, I can see buds on the bottom jaw, though nothing on the top, and this clingy, weepy, grumpy boy has been around for several days already. Or I have a few crappy days (or just one), or we get a bit busy, or someone gets sick (croup cough at 2 am… yeah, that not just breaks my stride but knocks me on my butt) and the stride is broken.
I don’t think this is a bad process or a misguided analogy of living life, but I do think sometimes I lack perspective on it. Most things in life are cyclical, think sweeping the floor, vacuuming or laundry. As soon as its done, it needs to be done again (esp with a 2 1/2 year old running around the house!). And the rest of the things in life are ‘this too shall pass’ kinds of things (good or bad). A little focused time and finding my stride for the daily ins and outs of life and life just runs better.
And then there are the really important things: reading the Bible, praying to the God of the universe, seeking Christ-likeness, loving Hubby, loving Little Man, loving people. And these are not things that are put down on the to-do list, nor checked off in a ‘I’m done!’ kind of way. These things don’t lend themselves to finding a stride in. These things are not about moving forward… they are more about standing still and being fully present in the here and now.
Finding my stride in the dailies (or weeklies?) does seem to help me stand still for these really important things. Maybe this is a part of living intentionally, or living simply. Or maybe its that the ‘stride’ for the really important things is of a different kind than the ‘stride’ for the dailies.
I’m still exploring this, thinking through it, and trying to understand this dynamic of daily ins and outs.
How about you? Does this even feel like your life?