When I started this blog about eighteen months ago, I had every intention of writing every single day. I had read in Stephen King’s On Writing that he required himself to write 2000 words each morning before he allowed himself to do anything else. That’s a lot of words. His theory was that the exercise of writing itself would produce better writing. And, I mean, it has worked out pretty well for him, hasn’t it? So, agreeing with his premise, I purposed to write every morning before I did anything else.
For the first six months, that writing was my anchor. That, and exercise, and all the other healthful routines I built into my life for this Next Chapter. The anchors were critical to my well-being. I hadn’t yet made many friends here in Ann Arbor. I wasn’t working. We didn’t have a church family. I needed those anchors to bring order and sanity to my days.
The bonus, of course, was that I had created a venue through which to process all my thoughts about the major move we had made and all the transitions it involved. And, the unintended benefit was that I was also able to see, through my writing, all that had transpired during the soldiering years. This writing, this daily discipline, had become a pouring out of my soul in the presence of many witnesses — a confessional that provided deep healing. So, I continued writing.
When I started tutoring last January, I was still able to maintain my daily writing, my exercise regimen, and my weekly Bible study. It wasn’t until April, when I went back to work on a more regular schedule that something had to give. And, as in the past, those healthful routines were the first things to go. I let go of my regular exercise and instead tried to fit in a walk every now and then. I stopped going to my weekly Bible study because it met during the day. My blogging became more sporadic while I learned to juggle work with family and sleep.
Even so, I was still able to find time for my personal Bible study and blogging at least a couple times of week. This routine continued to anchor me and provide a venue for all the change that was happening inside of me — the learning, the healing, the growing. And, in fact, I have been able to add back the other disciplines over time, too.
So I get to a day like today, where I look back and see that I have not blogged (or done personal Bible study) in seventeen days, and I say, “What’s up? For what have you abandoned this discipline? What have you decided was more important than this daily breath that centers you and allows you to process emotion? Have you been soldiering?”
Well, not exactly. But kind of. I mean, it is December — the month of parties, and semester finals, and travel, and gifting, and preparing. So everyone has been busier than they were just a month ago. And, yes, I have tutored more in the last four weeks than I have all year. I have edited countless papers, met with more than a dozen different students, and graded close to one hundred essays. I’ve gone to weekly physical therapy, and two doctor appointments. I’ve exercised, socialized, cooked, crafted, and shopped til I dropped.
So, it’s time. It’s time to get back to the discipline that orders my thoughts. It’s time to be still and breathe. It’s time to get back to my writing.
[I] proclaim to you what [I] have seen and heard,… [I] write this to make [my] joy complete.
I John 1: 3, 5 Rathje Revised Version