All I have done is everything wrong. I have mistakes and screw-ups in spades. In this blog I’ve shared some of that, to You, in the last couple years. Right now, I can honestly say, in this very instant, I struggle to type. In between ridiculous distractions online and listening to some amazing music by Rodriguez (MUST WATCH!), I dabble and drift.
Yeah, I’m screwing this whole thing up at this very minute. It’s true. I’m actually pretty good at that. Taking my own time and energy to aimlessly meander. Spinning my own wheels, losing track, skittering, tumbling about, without direction. Oh, and I don’t just enjoy these little fairytale adventures in laziness either. It’s a self inflicted torture, to willingly engage in mental hypnosis while worlds crash down around me. I feel guilty, I’m mad at me, I suck.
In this exact moment though, with the 70’s sounds in my headphones, a quiet messy house, heater under-desk, and a stinky black dog who groans in the kitchen 3 steps away, I find it spellbinding, how much I have managed to not do, in the last few years.
It’s actually quite mesmerizing. An ornate and expansive Cathedral of Failure.
When I step back and remember, it was this time of year, 4 years ago, when something was unsettled inside me, and I wanted OUT of my life as it was, or at least certain parts of it. I never stopped long enough to plan out, really where I wanted to exactly go. I may have thought I had a good plan, or a path in my mind, but that is really bullsh!t. If I said it, I was only kidding myself. I didn’t. In fact, I was a whining crying baby boy, throwing a life-tantrum. I saw nothing through the eyes of gratitude. In haste, I figured the best way to fix things was to make a radical change of career path, and take a long road trip. Everything would then start to fall into place. My wings would grow after I leapt from the safety of the ledge… So Fly Will I! Yeah! Jump!
uh… yeah.. uh… okay… anytime now wings!… crap, this is gonna hurt…
Splat! Crash! Smash!
See, I never once considered that the thing I really wanted to see changed in my life was ME.
I wanted my job to change. I wanted my bank account to change. I wanted my feeling of freedom or direction or pursuance of something more special, more dramatic and exciting than the ordinary life, I had lost hope in, To Change. Yeah, so I’m waxing profound again, about the past, again. Sue Me. Quit Reading. Go Away.
Ha! It is something pretty freaking sad to look back on now. I made over 5 times as much money every year then. I had way more toys and security and friends and social events and girlfriends too. Back then I had my hand on the knob to control so many of the worldly things in my life. I even had a paid-for house, no other bills. I could have probably asked for an extended vacation, or some time to get my head straight after the loss of my cousin, to suicide, from the employer who I grew with, for over 10 years. All the world of possibilities were mine. Yet, all I could see was a tunnel vision, a tiny spot way out ahead, nowhere close to where I was then. I wanted out!
Just screw it all! Was my basic plan of action. So many ‘important’ things in my life back then, got the ‘just screw it’ treatment. And toss ’em away, I did. What a move. Wow. Who does that? It’s actually crazy. Insane.
Or at least it can make you go insane. Riding through a meat grinder and realizing you pushed yourself in. Is there something that today, in this look-back, that I can relay to you, that may be of use to you? How about this: I have small but real and true hope in a $49.07 purchase at a grocery store.
Yeah, 49 dollars and 7 cents. That’s it. That’s your tool. That’s your advice. Words of Wisdom that can change your life into anything you want. Now go live by them.
Interested? Why would you be. It’s just a silly dollar amount of an ordinary purchase. And, remember, I’m a man who’s built an artistically decorated Cathedral of Failure, over a long period of years. I have nothing you would want to exchange with me. A dinky house in a small Kansas town. Hardly any money. No fun party times. No flashy car. No stuff atoll.
And a really really smelly dog. The last bath she had was 6 months ago, for our wedding.
So again, I invite you to leave, check out, go to a more successful man’s blog. Someone who’s made it. Or just spend some time watching this, instead of reading about my almost 50 dollar grocery store purchase and some words of wisdom… Go! Git! Begone!
Still here? Really? Crap. Okay.
I’m going to tell you something amazing. This is no exaggeration or lie. When Lindsay and I shop at the grocery store, we always end up at the checkout line with very close to $50 dollars in the basket. Every Week. Always within a couple bucks of $50. How? Easy, a calculator, right? Just add up what goes in there? Nope. Haven’t used a calculator at the store in years. I don’t even really pay that close attention to the prices as we go, and mentally add up the costs. It’s true. Do you believe me? I have tried to be as honest in the first part of this blog, so that you may believe me now.
I get a ‘feeling’ for how much money we’ve spent as we go through the store. I can just sorta steer us toward the checkout when it feels like we’ve hit our budget… Budget? Yeah, we do have a goal that our grocery expenditure be $50 each week. BUT, we do not explicitly calculate this. And we don’t even really care, if we exactly stick to it. Sometimes later in the week, we buy more. So it isn’t even really a hard and fast rule… BUT, on Sundays, when we shop, no matter what goes in, it adds up to around $50 every time.
Last Sunday, driving back home from Arkansas, heading north through Garnett, we stopped at Country Mart. We grabbed groceries with a snow storm coming in the next day or so. We also tried a few new items, since we’d never shopped there before. We bought items in different brand names and different sizes than we normally do. Everything about our shopping trip was different. Except the cost. $49.07. We looked at each other and I giggled aloud. Ha!
We have truly mastered a Habit. This thing that we used to have to work at, and make mistakes to learn, and keep trying to hit, week after week, now is super duper easy. In fact it’s so easy, I don’t even ‘think’ about it in my head. That’s right. I don’t use my head for math. I just ‘feel’ when it’s right. I have nothing other than that to share with you.
A habit can be made out of ANYTHING. When formed, life is easy. Doesn’t take effort. A habit can be something positive and helpful; a discipline. Or it can be a rut, an addiction, a broken record of failure, that you’d like to STOP!
How does it work? What keeps the momentum going? I don’t know. I’m not even sure that it’s me doing it. It may be God, or the Universe, or Dumb Luck.
Who Cares! It can be started, stopped or changed at any time, but us. Best done in tiny bites at a time.
We all master habits. And you probably do the exact same thing when you buy groceries too, right? Do you force and stress over each little price as you buy? Or do you just throw things in, and when it feels full, you go check out? AND, if you do, are you spending what you intended to? What you explicitly set out to spend? It’s just a question of intention. Are we deciding first a goal, then hitting it with committed action? Do that often enough, and it becomes a harmonious rhythm that you would have to try to stop, if you wanted to.
What could we do, with that knowledge? What could we do if we practiced mastering habits? We could literally change our life into ANYTHING we wanted it to be! We could make habits of time, money, exercise, learning, serving, relaxing, skydiving or even watching news programs designed to create stress! (kidding! If you do that, STOP IT!)
Taking a giant leap of faith, and tossing away years of hard work, and going all but completely broke, taught me this at least: I can commit to and create any new habit. I don’t have to uproot my whole life to do it.
Tomorrow, I step across a threshold of 17 months of Sobriety, 6 Months of an amazing Marriage and around 3 solid years of an ever-deepening relationship with God. Yeah baby. Those are some seriously exciting habits to tend to. These things are no joke. This is solid ROCK to build a life on. Keeping my momentum going forward in these areas has become the juice of life. It’s better than beer, finer than wine, quicker than liquor. One great woman in wedlock, beats flying solo, with a girlfriend around, because that’s how we were designed to operate. And brushing clean the connection to God in my life, has electrified parts of me, that I never dreamed were worthy, or capable, or even present in junky little me. (including writing these words)
I’ve suffered in life. I’ve suffered the pains of the emptyness of the world. Entitled, and ungrateful, and a snot-face. Still do sometimes. BUT, the better suffering is this: Knowing that this amazing powerful force beyond comprehension of God, and Christ Jesus, are blasting a blinding white light of love and hope and forgiveness and purpose, and yet I am still reluctantly holding onto my smallness, my miniature toy cathedral of mistakes. I could drop it anytime. The one triune God has opened doors. I suffer as I sit and wait for more of a sign. I intellectually ‘get’ that I gotta get out of my own way, and I suffer, as I see that I’m not. When I habitually ‘get it’ energetically, It will be true in my everyday world.
Dang, Hurts So Good.
Suzanne Stauffer, an amazing woman, spent time with me this week. She did a lot of things that created a resulting feeling of freshness deep within me. She unfolded and she enlightened and she sparked something personally, spiritually, maybe deeper than I realize right now, within. She does that for people. Over the phone. Anywhere in the world. How freakin’ cool is that! I’m inspired by her, and others like her, that have worked with me in these profound ways. (See list below)
I wanna be more like that. I see something awesome in changing someone’s life for the better, even in super tiny increments. We could plant seeds. They could grow big and grand, or small and beautiful. In your world, what would you want?
There’s a habit I now put into place for myself. To help people. I can do that too. After awhile it will be second nature, and I’ll just ‘feel’ it… Course, that would be crazy…
Just like me 🙂
Be Love Today.
Here is a list of the professional coaches and mentors that I’ve personally spoken with, in person, or on the phone. These teachers have guided my progress, kicked my butt, and loved me forward in life over the last year. Thank You All!
And Tim Soule – without whom, I would be sorely smaller as a man. Thank You, Deeply.
Want to talk more about ‘An Ornate Cathedral of Failure… ME!’
You’re invited to join the next weirdforgood hangout, and engage in a workshop – you’ll need a free Google+ account, 45minutes to engage with us, at 5:30 CST, and device with a camera & headset/microphone. If you can Skype, you can do this, (it’s actually really easy ) Then email me at firstname.lastname@example.org – before Tuesday – I’ll send you the hangout invite when we start.
Check out last week’s hangout here, to get a feel for it. Join us if you dare!