Monday, July 10, 2006

Recovery: My Changing Focus.

I suddenly discover I have become one busy human being. I basically have three major projects ongoing.
  1. Updating my church's website and other duties related to the website.
  2. In-depth research on a writer in preparation for interview within thirty to sixty days.
  3. In-depth research in preparation for my final large series on recovery: The Mentally Ill Care-Taker (Tentative, working title)
How in the world did all of this happen?

I am learning to actually express my hopes and dreams to the outside world. I am excited that my writer-acquaintance has said "yes" to my interview request. It was a bit scary to actually email him. He not only took me up on my request, but checked out this blog and responded positively. Remember: when going after a goal involving another, the worst that can happen is they will say "no", or "wait". Be ready for the very real possibility of receiving a "yes"!

One of the patterns of recovery I've really become aware of, is a need to stop and ENJOY your real gains. This is a natural outgrowth of the hard work of looking back, acknowledging and accepting the pain and losses of the past. As you grieve you clear amazing amounts of energy to do something with your "NOW". I am discovering old dreams and because I'm not playing strange manipulative games with people, they have a clear idea of whether or not they want to become a part of my proposed plan. Amazing!

I love in-depth reporting. Not looking for scandal, as much as just showing the detail of a subject. I want to expand the knowledge base on various subjects and people. Using my writer-buddy, as an example. He has been interviewed in print and via audio by many people. I want to summarize the interviews and biographical information publicly available and ask more and different questions. I want to explore. The joy of realizing I am actually on my way with this adventure is so exciting!

I sense I've pretty much demonstrated all I know about recovery, at this time. I want to change the emphasis of this blog, more of the world at large, and less of my personal life and memories. Although, I will always share my opinions and observations. Recovery is change, and get used to this, it feels strange at first.

I have to constantly remind myself that my gains are real, I'm not sitting around just daydreaming anymore. The only thing standing between me and my dreams is the temptation to stop DOING.

There is real work and effort involved in making this new life of success happen. Research can be hard work. Sometimes entering data for the website, or interacting with the city to get permits for activities is tedious. When all I did was daydream, none of the hum-drum stuff was ever envisioned. Ever find yourself daydreaming of being temporarily bored? If I let laziness, fear and or depression stop my actual effort, I will fail. The day-to-day effort is not always reassuring of success. I have to leave the consequences of my actions with God and concentrate on ACTING! (Anyone else want to join me in saying: "ouch"? Yes, I realize I can and have been my biggest enemy, on this road to success. I have made many "excuses". Here are some pithy sayings I have found helpful in staying on point in the here and now:

  • Winners never quit and quitters never win.
  • Success comes in cans.
  • Fear is a lie: False Evidence Appearing Real.
  • My excuses encourage me to stop striving toward my goal.
  • Not setting a goal guarantees it will not become reality.
  • My reasons encourage my continued effort toward my goal.
  • Honest re-evaluation of a course of action is different from an 'excuse' for failure.
I will attempt to demonstrate this concept of reasons instead of excuses.

I have set three goals for myself. The website is ongoing and a continuing commitment, at this time. My two research projects have definite end-points and completion markers, so I have to prepare for their completion and replacement with new goals.

I have to evaluate how I'm progressing with the research projects and my performance as a webmaster. I may discover I've taken on too much work for the hours I have in a day. I can use that last idea as a good place to hide out in fear, excuse-making, or blame. Honest evaluation will alert me if I have to make schedule, or priority adjustments.

  • I have to include an hour of "God time" every day. 30 minutes in the morning and at night. This is the time I just sit before God, to let His influence heal and calm me. I have found this exercise to work wonders against the depression which seems to show up as I dare to actually try new things. The old fear and shame show up in nasty depression. Sitting before God and letting Him help me to be accepting of change calms this down almost immediately.
  • I have part-time paid employment considerations. I am doing this entry early in the day, before leaving for housework starting at 8:30 AM.
  • I need "down time". I need time to just listen to music and relax, where I'm not doing anything.
  • Research takes time. I cannot wait until day 29 to begin research on my writer, or my proposed blog entry concerning mentally ill care-takers.
  • I have email, RSS news feeds and pod casts I desire to listen to daily. While listening, I sometimes eat meals, but not always.
  • I have to leave some slack time, for unexpected happenings, such as a social opportunity, or a meeting I wish to attend.
  • I have a heavy church schedule of events I choose to participate in.
  • Over the next week, I'm going to work on all of these things daily and see if I've taken on too much work for the hours in a day. If I'm falling behind, I can re-adjust after making that discovery.
  • I have this blog to continue. I hope to post something reliably, once a week. It appears Mondays are my day to post, based on past patterns of actual postings.
These lists are examples of how I begin to lay out my world. I've not doctored them, or made them pretty and tidy deliberately, to show you how this activity is a process. As I progress through this week, I'll have more to say about my goals and priorities.

This is how I believe a healthy life actually operates: desires and dreams become goals which get ordered into levels of importance and commitment. Said goals turn into accomplished reality over time. Not every goal is met, but the process of not setting a goal, guarantees you won't accomplish it.

Please note. This is one person's organizational thinking. You may or may not operate in the same manner I do. But, making wishes into accomplishments does include some form of the steps I've demonstrated. Now, as I leave you all to eat my breakfast:


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