Where have you been, Alissa?

Oh my gosh, I’m actually writing a blog post!  Try to contain your enthusiasm, people.  If anyone’s listening.

Hello.  My name is Alissa, and I’m a blog junkie.  I love writing blogs.  I love reading blogs.  And I went cold turkey on the former.

It wasn’t intentional.  It was more along the lines of one day thinking, “Ooo, I should blog about this!” and immediately thinking, “Actually, maybe not.  Maybe I’ll just keep that to myself.”

I’ve been convicted lately about narcissism.  I feel like I spend too much time thinking about me me me.  I heard a study a few years ago that said they surveyed children on what they wanted to be when they got older and the most common response was “famous”.  And I feel like that’s been me, too.  I’d like to be famous.  I think a lot of us would.

I’m also very aware that I’m the type of person who wears my life on my sleeve.  I talk a lot, and sometimes I share too much.  I was actually told the latter in a performance evaluation at work.  Not along the lines of sharing too much personal info, but along the lines of, “You have a lot of knowledge and information in your head, and you want everyone else to have it, and sometimes right now.  Sometimes they don’t need *all* that knowledge, but just some of it.”

So I’ve been trying to be quieter lately and listen.  At work.  At Bible study.  With friends.  With family.  I’m trying to actually listen – not just wait for a chance to talk.

But I haven’t forgotten about blogging.  It’s just been on hold for a while.  Maybe will be for a bit longer.  But in case you’re interested in what I’ve been doing these past months, here’s a bit of an update:

Half Marathon Training:  A few years ago I fiddled around with a life-BHAG list (that’s Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal if you haven’t heard of it), and one of the items was “be in shape to run a marathon”.  I was not a runner, but over the past year I have been inspired to become one.  I don’t know if I’ll ever do a marathon, but I signed up for a half marathon for the week before my 30th birthday.  And was so ready to do it… until I came down with a whopper of a sinus infection (which I’m still recovering from weeks later).  No race.  And I was bummed.  Yet also proud of myself for training and setting a goal.

Turning Thirty:  I had no anxiety about turning 30.  I was actually excited about it.  (And kind of excited that my best friend found grey hairs on my head about two months prior.)  My birthday and the days surrounding it were amazing.  I received four birthday cakes, three meals, numerous cards, a day of hiking and games, and my friends chipped in to register me for another half marathon to make up for the one I missed.  I was so touched that I teared up when I opened the envelope.  They knew how upset I was to miss my race but that I also couldn’t afford another entry fee, so got me something they knew I’d love.  I am truly blessed.

Eating Healthier:  Above I said running, and now I’m adding eating healthier – but I’m not trying to lose weight.  Many friends, co-workers, and family would say that I’m already skinny enough.  But I am trying to be healthier.  And feel healthier.  I started weekly Wednesday shopping trips to Sunflower Market, where I aim to buy as many fruits and vegetables as I honestly feel I can consume that week.  (Hey, they’re expensive, and throwing them out is like putting money in the garbage.)  I don’t cook very much, but I have been packing my lunch for nearly two months – sandwiches, yogurt, lots of fruit and veg, and healthy snacks like wasa with cashew butter and honey.  And I *feel* healthier.  Getting that sinus infection, I wasn’t able to eat as healthy, and I finally understood when people say they feel sick after eating fast food.  Because it made me sick, too.

Getting Rid of Stuff:  I threw out or gave away a lot of stuff.  And I can’t tell you how freeing it is.  Don’t tell my sister, but I gave away all but about ten of my most favorite books and have been just using the library instead.  Some books I had only read once anyway, and they were just gathering dust, and have been very annoying to move from place to place these last ten years.  At one point, I pared my closet down to 40 items. I did that for about three months – just to see if I could do it – but now I’m probably back up to around 50.  And I’m okay with that.  Now when I purchase something, I’m very deliberate about it being something I will use and love.

Planning my Trip to London 2012:  A sweet friend from college offered to let me sleep on her sofa in London in order to give me a chance to fulfill one of my BHAGs: see the Olympics in person.  Even though there’s over a year still to wait, I am so excited to see her, see the events, and satisfy a bit of my wanderlust.  Will finally be crossing an ocean at the age of 31!

Loving my Church:  There are not words for how much I adore my church and how they love people without judgement.  I’ve been taking a more active role in the kids ministry – from leader to teacher to co-room manager – and loving it.  It’s hard work, but the kids are so worth it.  We’re moving in to a new building in two weeks (and so desperately need it) and I couldn’t be more thrilled.  Since I haven’t been running due to illness, I’ve been spending my evenings painting for them.  The new kids rooms are so amazing that I wish I had a fountain of youth so I could enjoy them as a child.

Living Life More Slowly and Deliberately:  I guess this is just how I’m trying to live right now.  Walking places whenever possible, being present for whatever I’m doing, making the extra effort to spend time with friends when opportunities arise.  And trying to no worry so much about life.  I heard an interesting quote today: “You can’t change the past, but you can spoil the present by worrying about the future.”  While I don’t think it’s wise to live fully in the present without planning for the future, there’s a lot that you have no control over.  So why worry about it?  I know, nothing profound.  But I’m making an effort to finally live that way.

So that’s my life update right now!  Is this my return to blogging?  I don’t know.  I need to continue to examine the role it plays in my life.  I know that reading blogs has certainly enhanced my life by providing a number of alternative viewpoints as well as the motivation to try some of these life-changing practices.

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