Its been a month since my last blog post. Thank you dear reader for even remembering me. In a world that delivers the same news and advertisements to your inbox three times a day, I am grateful if this infrequent blog post makes it through the noise! I want to tell you what I have been thinking about and doing this past month.
If you read my last blog, I know millions of you did, I was writing about making permanent changes this year instead of New Year's resolutions. I think often of the things I want to accomplish in this life and wonder why those things seem to come so slowly. You could say I need more patience or you could say I need to go about it differently. Different is the keyword here and that is what I was trying to hit upon with the poem about taking a different street (read post here).
So, what does different mean? Instead of thinking in terms of things to accomplish this year I am trying to do things that bring me joy. It seems a simple thing but for me it is really hard. Usually, I orient my day toward "What am I supposed to be doing to accomplish x, y, or z?" I guess it is my upbringing or maybe a factory setting, but for some reason I am usually nose to the grindstone, working hard and seriously at whatever I am doing. Going for the joy is radical thinking and a total identity shift.
This year instead of asking what should I be doing to advance my art career or earn money, etc. I am asking what will bring me joy today? What am I thankful for? What will put me in alignment with God? I am trying to change my "future-thinking" habit (more on that another day) to present "I am" thinking.
So what does that look like? Right now, it is something totally new.
Since being in Germany we have had many new opportunities other than travel. My kids have been active this year in the Kaiserslautern military community theater and that has inspired me. Starting last fall I have been helping make props and paint sets for their show. It has been really fun! I have tried to be very careful and only do what is fun and not over volunteer.
This past month, I actually auditioned for the upcoming play "Inherit the Wind." I got a part! I was nervous as hell but I did it. I overcame my fear. We have had a few practices and it has been a blast. When you do something you want to do even though you are scared to death it is such a great feeling. No matter what happens, you know you have grown larger and that can't be taken away from you, even if the outcome is not what you expected. I have also put in a lot of hours painting faux cathedral walls, wallpapering and painting a jukebox. All these things have gotten me nowhere in my art career or whatever else I have been "seriously" pursuing – but it has been a lot of fun! Painting the props and sets is very satisfying. There is a great feeling of accomplishment to be able to look at something you painted on stage and say "Wow, I did that!"
So far this year that seems to be my different street. I am trying to ask myself often, throughout every day if what I am doing is bringing me joy. I still have to unload the dishwasher, clean the kitty litter, ferry the kids back and forth, etc. and do things that aren't considered joyful but I am happier doing those things when I have been having more fun in the day. And I am more playful with my kids!
I have attached some photos of recent theater stuff.
Question for you: What brings you joy? There are 9 billion people on this planet there must be 9 billion different ways to have fun. What makes you smile? I want to know so please leave a comment below.
Until next time, I am off to do some laundry and make a papier maché hookah for the "Alice In Wonderland" production. Sounds like fun to me!