Here I am--another last-day-of-the-month . . . and year . . . blog entry.
The bare minimum blog requirement that I gave myself in 2020 was that I do one entry a month. When anybody first starts out on anything like a blog, podcast, video series--whatever medium is chosen to express themselves--there is usually a big wad of pent-up creativity resembling second-graders in a line at school all wanting to be first, all smooshing into each other if the line slows, and all eager to get to wherever it is they're going. There is a sense of urgency. Temper that.
Telling yourself to do something as infrequently as once a month, which boils down to 12 times a year, well--that seems too low a bar. It's like limbo with the stick still over your head and you think, "I got this! I am going to outlast every person in this limbo line."
Your smile is eager, but you haven't had to bend your back in the opposite direction that it's used to bending yet. The music has you energized, there are enthusiastic people all around you in line, and you just tip your head back ever-so-slightly when you reach the limbo stick. Easy peasy!
Then you cycle through a few times and the sweat starts. There are less people in line, but the crowd is still feeling the music and now you need to act energized rather than actually feeling energized. The limbo stick is below your shoulders and let's face it--that's low for a middle-aged woman who hasn't done back-walkovers with her friends on the front lawn in about something-something years.
The point is--you're confident and even cocky at the beginning of any quest whether it's a blog, a plan to get organized, a vow that you'll make more time for your friends, or a limbo line. I have said it before and I'll say it again, "The key to happiness is low expectations." Bite-sized pieces can be very helpful. We've all seen The Great Outdoors and what happens with the Ol' 96er (if not, you should see it and have a good laugh in 2024). Don't make the same mistake our beloved John Candy made by letting other people set expectations for you, by going outside of your comfort zone to please others. Letting others dictate your actions can not only cause avoidable stress but it can sow resentment. And resentment is, unfortunately, the gift that can keep on giving even after the stress has been eliminated.
Case in point: this blog post. I told myself to just sit down and write something quickly so that I would get a blog entry in for the month, the last day of the year. Here I am still droning on and now looking up clips of John Candy eating the Ol' 96er and figuring out how to wrap this up and wondering what my point was to begin with. I guess my point is set the bar low and just begin. Say you'll only write a few sentences and perhaps you'll walk away from a few paragraphs instead. Give yourself the possibility of a victory, no matter how small, and you may just exceed your own low expectations. If you make goals too lofty, too intimidating and too stressful--you risk sabotaging the whole thing.
Gratitude plays an important role as well.
If you set a small goal then you are more easily grateful when it is reached.
Gratitude is integral in life, to love and to growing in your faith.
Start small and be grateful.
Happy New Year!