So yesterday I talked about decompressing and what it looks like for me as well as how it’s an integral part of rest. If decompressing is largely focused on giving your brain a break on the amount of information it receives, recharging is filling up your emotional gas tank. It’s doing something that gives you energy again. Continue reading Service Battery
So this quarter has been tough. Not because Greek is exceptionally hard. Doing it as an intensive is just a bit demanding. Having one’s brain so thoroughly focused on one thing all the time drains you. As a result, you need to do to things to keep yourself happy and avoid insanity: decompress and recharge. I’m realizing these two are very different things.
I’m not really sure how to explain my distinction between the two, so I’m just going to discuss them in separate posts.
First I turn to decompressing. For me, decompressing is the more mind-centered of the two topics. When your brain is running all the time, it needs a break. The body does this somewhat naturally through dreams, but that’s mostly for the subconscious. To decompress the conscious you have to immerse the mind in something that requires less—even little to no—work for your mental faculties. This can be a menial task like cleaning, or something more relaxing like reading a book or watching TV.
As mentioned in a previous post, I watch a lot of TV. I mean a lot. It’s been declining this quarter and my DVR is actually getting quite full. I hope to remedy that after finals. So decompressing, I’ve got down. You could call me the king of decompressing. Recharging however, has taken some work. Only recently did I realize the two were actually distinct yet working in tandem. I’ll get to that tomorrow.
My question to you is this: what do you do to decompress and how often do you do it?
Two weeks into the New Testament Greek Intensive and things are pretty crazy. Like really crazy. It’s a back and forth pattern of getting up really early and sleeping in really late. I’ve accidentally figured out that I remember more Greek for the quizzes if I study it all that morning before. What makes that even better is that I can get the homework done faster if I do it that morning as well. So this week, I’ve gotten up around 4 am after going to bed at 9 pm. It gives me plenty of time to do all my work for class and be fairly well rested. By the time I get home, I’m ready for a nap. And I’m not just talking a nap, but a naaaaap.
Like four hours long.
So I wake up at like 7 pm and go about my evening. The problem is that I’m not tired until about 1 am after that. So, I sleep in the next day until about 10 (8 hours + the hour I missed the night before). This is a dramatic difference in schedule. By the time of done my errands it’s about 3 or 4 pm and time to hang out with people. So by the time I get home it’s 8 and there’s not enough time to do any Greek. Thus continueth the cycle.
My pacing sucks. It’s effective, but lacks a sense of anything normal.
I, with several seminary friends, am going to run a half marathon in late spring. I am not a runner. I have never been a runner nor have I ever wanted to be a runner. Yet, running with people sounds less terrible. I know that I should do it if I want to full the fitness requirement of my One Word for 2011: grow. Running is free. I can’t afford to play hockey as often as I like, so I’m running.
Pacing is important in running. I ran for the first time yesterday and was tired after 8 minutes, and I ran for a minute and then walked for a minute. I haven’t figured out pacing in running yet.
I haven’t figured out pacing in life yet either. It’s not just the routine of Greek being added. I was bad at pacing before the quarter started. I binge on things. It’s the proverbial roller coaster. I need to get off the ride.
This. Won’t. Be. Easy. I like roller coasters.
So thanks to a genius idea from my friend @gritandglory, I’m joining in on a new way to look at New Year’s resolutions. Let’s be honest, they don’t usually work. My original thought was to get so unspecific that it’d be nearly impossible for me to fail. Alece takes it to a new place with One Word 2011.
The goal is to come up with a single word to help redefine your year. I toyed around with words like discipline and realized they only really tackled one or two areas of my life. Then a word came to mind.
Grow in discipline.
Grow in faith.
Grow in fitness.
Grow in love.
Grow in community.
It pretty much covers it all. Some of those areas I’ve never been good at (ahem, fitness and discipline, ahem). Others, I’ve never had a problem with, but I haven’t been growing.
Growing should be easy for me, but sometimes I just don’t for no apparent reason. It means: Never. Stop. Moving. Be constantly changing. Always learning. Always checking yourself. Always reading Scripture. Always evaluate what you’re thinking and why. Grow.
So, I’m gonna make twenty eleven about growing. Should be fun. It’ll be a challenge., but I think it’ll be worth it.
My mom was never a soccer mom—both literally and figuratively. She did drive a mini van for much of my childhood. Neither my sister nor I played soccer. I do remember the first time I played soccer in elementary school PE. I was talk and lanky for most of my childhood, so the PE coach thought I would make an excellent goalie. Ten minutes later, I had a bloody nose because I tried to stop the ball with my face. It worked, but it has a one-time use policy. My sister played what ever you call girls’ softball. (I know it’s not little league.) I never played any sort of sport. I’m not really sure why. I guess I never asked. My parents never encouraged me to pursue any. I did tae kwon do for about a year until my yellow belt was stolen out of my bag. Everyone thought I lost it, but we still haven’t found it two decades later, so I was right.
As a result of having never having any sport training, I pretty much suck at every one of them. Once I was older and wanted to, I was already too far behind. My dad wasn’t sporty either, so I never learned. In high school, I stunted with the cheerleaders. None of us guys had done it before, so we were on a level playing field. Despite some deficit in the art of being coordinated, I did pretty well.
As I’ve discussed previously, I’m a big hockey fan. I started playing hockey back in Texas because no one from Texas really grows up playing hockey. I wasn’t expected to know how already. It was great. Now that I’m in seminary, I’m immersed in the world of intramurals again. Wanting to have no regrets, I signed up for flag football. It’s a lot easier when you’re playing with friends. They’re gracious with patience for my lack of skill. I’m getting better. I feel like a doofus most of the time, but it’s still fun. I bought my first baseball (actually I think it’s for softball) glove yesterday. I bought my first pair of cleats back in September. It’s weird to be doing all of these sporting firsts at the age of twenty six. I may be a late bloomer, but eventually I catch up.
I live in California. Finally. I do have to remind myself a little bit every day. It’s not hard. I walk outside and see foothills in the distance. Sometimes they’re a little hard to see because of the smog, but they’re there. The breeze is cool. It’s in the 60s at night and in the morning.
I sort of feel like I’m on vacation. I sort of am. I don’t start class for another week, so I’ve been taking in the sights. I took mom on the Warner Bros. Studio Tour while she was in town. I went to Disneyland last week. I went to the NHL Entry Draft last Friday. I’ve seen Killers, Toy Story 3 and Eclipse. I’ve had lunch with a couple of friends. I’m headed to Universal Studios with a friend tomorrow. That’s more than you get to do on a vacation sometimes.
Amidst all that, I’m also settling into the new apartment. It’s not too much smaller than what I had before, but it doesn’t have any walls. Some of my furniture—okay, a lot of my furniture—didn’t survive the move. It was poor quality to begin with and I’m not the best mover. So I had to replace some of it. Ikea made it affordable and it looks great.
The Golden State truly is golden. It’s more than just a location for me. It’s about being in the place that God wants me. That is what really makes this golden.