It’s a Good Decline

It’s funny–I want to blog more, because I enjoy doing it. It is an outward presentation of the truth, right?

And I’m fine acknowledging when I lose or gain weight, talking about workouts, offering theological mulls and what-have-you–but life, generally, is a little complex right now, and I am not putting a lot out there.

  1. I’m a pastor, and I’m not talking about the congregation I serve on this site (for now), and it’s a big part of my life. Like, fifty to sixty waking hours a week, that I just don’t write about. I might change that–but with the church’s acknowledgment and permission.
  2. I am a foster parent, which is a hoot and a half. It’s pretty amazing. And I’m erring on the side of caution, and saying absolutely nothing about the placements in my home. And believe it or not, having kids around takes up a surprising amount of time and energy!
  3. I should probably use this blog to focus on one topic. I have not decided what it is yet, though. I worry it may be fitness, based on views. (I worry because then I have to keep doing stupid plank jump-ins, which are the worst.)

So there you go.

Good, Great and Best

So I became a morning person this year.

I’ve always kind of been a morning person–I wake up, and I’m there, ready, boom. I don’t have coffee cups that say, “Don’t talk to me until I refill this,” or whatever. How I feel when I wake up is as good as it gets all day.

But I’ve started getting up at five.

All right, wait. To be fair–I’m not always bright and chipper immediately at five a.m. I am at eight–I can start talking from a deep sleep at eight a.m. The sun’s up. The birds are singing. The world’s alive. Five a.m. is harder. I get up, more precisely I guess, at 5:08 or so. Before the husband’s alarm at ten after, but just barely.

I get up at five because it’s my time–or rather, because Husband gets up, too, it’s our time. The kids are asleep. The world’s sort of waking up, but not very much.

On the best mornings, I hit all the points of my routine on time. Please let me know if this is insane:

  • 5:00 – weigh in, change into workout clothes, get the dogs ready.
  • 5:20 – meet Husband in kitchen, walk the dogs.
  • 5:35 – drop the dogs off at the house, continue walk with Husband.
  • 6:00 – return home, hydrate, go do bodyweight while he gets ready for work.
  • 6:25 – unload the dishwasher, make and drink a smoothie
  • 6:40 – go upstairs, shower and get ready
  • 6:55 – in the Warren to pray and do Bible study
  • 7:30 – attend super secret meeting on Zoom.

I like my routine. Husband and I walk 2.3 miles by going up and down our street, and the streets one block over on either side. We’re never more than two and a half blocks from home. And the world is this electric purple at five a.m.–streetlights and moonlight and dawn and shadows all play together; down by the hospital, it’s like a baseball field from my childhood. Hard to explain.

There’s something to doing push-ups and insisting to one’s self that yes, five more! Five more! as the sun comes up. There’s an amazing feeling in taking six thousand steps before seven a.m.–just as there’s a feeling of utter disappointment to not hit ten thousand naturally, which has happened before!

There’s something to saying, “This is what makes a morning The Best. And this is what it takes to accomplish it.” And, to letting one’s self have Great Mornings, and Good Mornings, too.

Great mornings, not as frequent but certainly unavoidable, hit four or more–unload the dishwasher, eat breakfast, get ready, pray and do Bible study.

Good mornings, rare as they are, are getting out of bed and confronting the day on whatever schedule and slant is needed to do the next right thing.

What is your morning routine? Are things totally out of whack in the summer, the school year? Who, of you, are early birds getting that worm?

Chess by Voice Text

Before the pandemic, a couple of kids in my congregation would come to the church early with their dad, who had praise band practice. If I was free–and because I am organized and prepared usually always, I was–we’d play chess. That is, I’d play both of them at once–though the younger brother played more in order to lose and raid the consolation candy drawer.

His older brother is very smart and very spatial and has a knack for the game. (The younger brother is also very smart, chess just isn’t his thing. Yet?) So we’ve started playing by voice text, using algebraic notation.

I never thought it would be as fun as it is. I am flattered and honored that he initiated the game today–usually I’m harassing him (with his parents’ knowledge) to play a quick game. I won by the skin of my teeth, and told him so today. We’ll play again Monday, and I just can’t wait.

The Moment Passed

I filled up my car today for the first time in three months. On March 13, as things were getting a little hairy (and everyone else was stockpiling toilet paper), I filled my nearly empty tank of gas and, like many folks, stopped driving for a while, except when necessary.

I paid $16 for nearly ten gallons, and only used a twenty-cents-per-gallon discount, so it’s still rather weird. (B has used up to a dollar a gallon, but he drives far more.)

I have an orange book in which I’m tracking 2020–I think I’ve alluded to this before, but it may have been in another iteration of this blog. There’s ideas and reminders and checklists, and also little things–where am I in the grand scheme of 1 Corinthians? What exercises am I doing more of, fewer of? What books have I read? And it’s the middle of June, and nearly the end of the year, and I’m almost done with another chunk of a section…

I’m at the church right now, having finished prep for Bible Study and worship, for the most part. I’m looking at stacks of books. At upcoming continuing education leave, and the work I need to do to get ahead of it; at the vacation time I need and have made notification of (I do like my church doesn’t say request, as I don’t technically need permission)–and I think, “Ah, it’s too much,” but that moment’s passed.

Time is weird. My regular markers for it have mostly vanished; my new ones–walks! prayer! reading!–don’t really tell me what time it is, but where I am. Who knows, anyhow.