Today is March 22, 2023. It is the last time in 2023 that the four MM/DD digits, in some order, match those of the calendar year. The next time this happens will be February 24, and then April 22, of 2024.
I’m a nerd about stuff like this for a couple reasons: 1) I’m future-oriented, so give me a weird date in the future to use as a landmark for plans, dreams and schemes any time!, and 2) my work is calendar-attuned, and it’s perilous to not at least look ahead.
Many years ago–close to, but not quite, a decade ago–I had this big weird plan to completely up-end and self-improve my life in 504 days, because I think I did the math and it was about that long until the next year’s Easter. The goals were… well, stupid, if I’m being honest. They weren’t measurable or achievable or timely, or R or S. They were defiant of reality–I remember “become fluent in Spanish” was one. How, Arthur? How?
Then, before but close to my thirty-fifth birthday, I took the focus off my own agency. Or rather, I stopped thinking I was capable of tremendous, immediate and long-term change in an instant, and I stopped trying to do impossible things that I did not value but thought would make me look good. (Some day, dear friends, I’ll post the original Project 504 list, and all its iterations.) Instead, I just sought to become, and also, to be.
I’m writing this post because sometimes I’m hard on myself–I forget that I am in process and making progress. It’s about progress, not perfection.
Here’s some things that I’ve gotten into a groove about in the last few years:
- I’m very intentional about doing personal bible study. I’ve worked my way, slowly, through First Corinthians, Second Corinthians, and Philemon, and now I’m in Philippians, making progress slowly but surely.
- I keep track of my life in a bullet journal. I’m not fancy; I own zero stencils, which is how many I want to own for bullet journaling. (I don’t fault those who do more with theirs than I ever will.) There’s something to keeping track of life.
- I read, a lot and and a lot more than I used to.
- I engage in spiritual practice.
- I am more present in my community and with my friends.
- I bake, though it’s sporadic, at least in the last month or so. I’m hoping for “23 Pies in 2023!” but I haven’t made one in a month.
I’m being hard on myself–it’s easy to do, as you may or may not know. (You might be hard on yourself; step off me, I’m not here for that.) Here are some things I haven’t paid a lot of mind to, despite my best intentions and desires:
- I do not exercise, and I do not eat thoughtfully.
- I am too often indifferent about big things (like humanity’s active hitjob on the ecosystem, or about our increasingly fascist government that’s held hostage by a stochastic troglodyte) and things outside of my direct arena (the greater church, or learning homsteading in preparation for the inevitable social collapse).
- I live into fear a lot.
So I still have things to work on. Don’t we all? But here’s a little breath mark of a day, a moment to reflect, a moment to recenter, a moment to restart, again, until it sticks. I’ll post more, possibly. And until then, I’m still Arthur the Lesser.