9 October 2017

Being Me: how I practically do life.

Something about autumn pronounces, its a new season, its time to go again!
I don't know maybe its because for myself it is straight after my birth month,
 the start of a new school term  and normally is and always has been when I'm moving into a new season. For myself stepping into a new season always brings an uncomfortable element of the unknown and in order to stay the path I've found important to press on what matters, recognise what season I'm in, know my margins and identify my grace.
A bit of a background story:
I like to think that I spent a considerable amount of years being a jack of all trades and master of none. I can recall in high school I did everything and when I say everything I mean everything. From participating in most sporting activities (tennis, athletics, hockey, netball, cheerleading, basketball, hated swimming but went anyway), academia (Arts, Languages, Sciences, Business studies),
 public speaking (debates, eloquence), talent shows ( I did a solo for a song with a very high pitched note and the rest is history, not forgetting the one time I joined a dance girl group, that story is for another life) and if there is anything else you think I could have put myself up for, I did that too!
  In all fairness if I was asked today if I was good at everything I did my response would most likely be; "no, I don't think so" because truthfully speaking, I spread myself thin.
At the same time I'm not saying that was in any way a bad thing because advantageously I was opportunistic and in so being I learnt so much through my experiences and can confidently say as a result I know my strengths and my weaknesses. 
Adult-ing as I've done over the years I've had to do away with my old ways because in order to run at full speed and truly be the best at what I do I cannot afford to spread myself thin. This applies to every area of my life be it in my relationships, friendships, career, family, church etc. - I cannot afford to spread myself thin!
As I take time to set out my goals for each year, each month, and even each week I have found that asking myself some of these practical questions below has helped me be as efficient as I possibly can be.

1. What is truly going to be meaningful about this season?
I personally think that different seasons call for different priorities and I've come to learn that there is no perfect balance in life. I've heard it illustrated to be much like walking, in order to move forward one foot takes vault over the other one with each step. What is important to take note of is that locomotion only occurs as one foot NOT both feet takes it in turn to cause the movement. This illustration I believe applies to every day life too.
The Bible talks about there being a time for everything, a time for sorrow and a time for joy, a time to plant and a time to harvest and it goes on and on and on. 
I believe my life is much the same, I've had a time when I was studying and then came a time when I had to apply all the knowledge I had learnt. Some days, I feel lonely but most days I'm doing just fine on my own.  Some seasons I'm in lack financially and some seasons I'm doing alright.
Some months I'm saving and some months I allow myself to enjoy the fruit of my harvest.
I know for a fact this year gone I've been full on focused on my career and if I'm really honest I have not visited my mother in Cambridge much (that's not to say I haven't seen her). That season is past and my investment in my career has served its time and purpose and now I'm at a place where I've got more time on my hands and I can spend as much quality time with her as I wish. 
All that said, its no use prioritising tasks and working through them diligently if you don't determine what is truly going to be meaningful about that season.
Every investment needs a return and I want to look back at every season in my life and say, that was worth it - be it good or bad!
2.  What are my margins?
To operate at full speed, energy and virtue management is key.
Knowing what my strengths and my weaknesses are, what refreshes and what drains me and honestly being true to myself is what determines my longevity.
Focus is one of my strengths but on the contrary I am easily distracted.
Because I'm aware of this, if something is not helping me move forward towards my destination I will get it out of my way in order to come back in focus and keep things moving.
Understanding my margins, in this case, a strength and a weakness helps me filter to be efficient.

3.  What am I truly graced for?
People often ask me; how do you juggle a full time career, single parenting, a home and everything else that comes with adult life. My answer is often simple, I believe God has graced me for the journey that I'm on and I can only operate at full speed because of the grace that is on my life. 
On the other hand, I too have other things that I wish I was about but I'm not and I wonder how people do it BUT hey, what is the grace on my life?
 I have to accept other peoples gifts and be comfortable in my own!

In short, the point I am trying to drive at is simply this: BE YOU!

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