Saturday, January 21, 2017

Is this really it?

I would like to think that I'm not the only person who ever wonders, is this really it?  There has to be more to life than this right?  I have the required basics of life; food, water, shelter, but there has to be more to life than that, right?  I may have the basics, but most of the time I still feel unfulfilled, and lately the this really it...has echoed loudly in my ears.

That question may sound as though I am unhappy with life, but that's not true.  I'm not unhappy, I just would like to think that there's more to life than I'm experiencing now.  Finding more means searching for more, in an active and healthy way.  This year I've embarked on three major challenges.  I call them major challenges, because all three require changes in routine, changes in behavior and changes in thought.  I'm calling 2017 my "get yourself together" year.  I'm three weeks in and things are looking promising.

Challenge 1:  Improve my spiritual health.
I don't think anyone is ever finished growing in their spiritual walk.  I don't think God designed us that way.  I believe He designed us to ever seek Him, causing our journey to walk with Him to be an ongoing experience.  My journey this year is being aided by the 365 Day Daily Bible Reading Plan that Park Plaza Church of Christ distributed to its members just before January began.  If followed, the plan will lead me through reading the entire Bible within a year.  This challenge has been presented to me before and I've seen many different plans for reading the Bible through in a year.  So far this plan is working for me.  Each day I read a section of the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs.  So far, so good, I've not missed a day yet and each day I find encouragement and enlightenment in those scriptures that show me I am on the right track.  Hopefully that will continue.

Challenge 2:  Improve my physical health.
It's no secret that weight loss is a battle for me, in fact I would argue weight loss and weight management is a difficult challenge for everyone.  I decided to view this challenge not just as weight loss, but as establishing healthier habits.  It's not just about shedding pounds, although if I make healthier choices, that should be a handy by-product.  It's about having better energy and feeling better about myself.  I am working to internalize the thinking that "God doesn't make junk."  Three weeks in and I've managed to average weight loss of two pounds per week, almost entirely eliminate pop and sweet tea from my beverage choices, and exercise 3-5 times per week.  I have more growth and improvement to do in all of those areas, but I'm proud of myself for the efforts I've managed to maintain for three weeks.  Hopefully that will continue.

Challenge 3:  Improve my financial health.
I told my mom recently that one of the most frustrating things for me about being single is not having someone to help talk through financial matters and choices with me.  If this was something I was going to tackle, I knew I would need help.  I had to find someone to talk to about my choices and who can give sound advice.  I have a good job, and resources to meet all of my obligations, but as many of my educator friends know there isn't much wiggle room after that.  I knew I needed help to find wiggle room, and to improve my financial health.  I've found help and a path that I can follow. While I am at the very beginning of my journey, I hope that the early encouragement and success I've found will continue.

Life is hard.  I don't think I am alone in my thinking.  Life is hard.  It is constant choices, followed by the consequences of those choices and more choices to change those consequences that cause consequences of their own.  I know there is more to life than a day to day existence, hopefully the challenges I'm taking on this year will help me live a more healthy and fulfilled life.

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