on consistency & self discipline.

hastily tapped out in my phone notes while en route from Denver to Raleigh last week - 

I'll never understand why I stop doing things that I like.

Working out. Eating healthfully. Writing on this blog. 

Human nature seems to dictate this weird need to depart from routines and activities and tasks, even if those things are beloved to us. Do we need a break from the monotony? Do we secretly need to rebel? Are we all just that wishy washy? 

Maybe it's just me. But really, drawing from conversations with friends, I'm quite sure that it is not just me. Many of us seem to have to struggle inwardly against ourselves to make sure we are doing - consistently - the things that we love. 

I know people who don't seem to struggle in this way. And a character trait that I observe in them, alongside this faithful, relentless, and unfailing consistency? Self discipline. 

A long time ago, in what was probably 2006 or 2007, there was this feature you were able to install on Facebook that allowed individuals to write anonymous messages to you, that only you could view. I'll never forget one of the messages I got one night (in fact, it's the only message from that feature I even remember at all). It read, 

"I wish you weren't such a flake." 

Even now, I am not sure who of my friends wrote that message to me, though I have an idea or two that would certainly make sense*. At that time in my life, I will admit that I was flaky. I was flighty and anxious and always trying to fit in and please people and be viewed as fun. And now, I can recognize that life - and living a happy one at that - is not about pleasing everyone with what a lively and vivacious person you are, with how many stories you have to tell, with how new and exciting your life is - and remains - day after day. Your real friends and family will love you, even when you're dull, even when you don't know what to say, even when you're in a dark place. 

I wish I would have known that back then, so that I could have been the kind of friend to whomever wrote that message, that I try to emulate now. I wish I would have known how to look deep inside myself and recognize all that I truly love and hold dear. And I wish I would have had the courage then, to be true to myself. I wish I would have had more self discipline, to stick beside plans, to stick beside my friends, to stick beside myself. 

And now, I hope and pray for the kind of self discipline that yields consistency. Consistency with exercise, healthful eating, sharing by way of this blog, connecting with dear friends. 

I hope and pray for that magical, unyielding consistency. 

*If you wrote that message to me, and you are reading this, please know that I am truly sorry that I was not there for you. I sincerely wish I would have been. 

Comments

justine said…
Hi Lauren!

I've been following you blog for a while now since joining the Sunday Currently. Can I just say that I really love this particular blog post though?

Whenever I slip into that kind of feeling - when I'm starting to feel "bored" of doing what I love - this Catcher in the Rye quote always come to mind. "Then the carousel started and I watched her go round and round."

It's scary how the human nature is cyclical.

Also, I'm still working on trying not to always please "with what a lively and vivacious person I am". I'm still working on not comparing my dull life with the more colourful lives my other friends are living. And I think I'm doing a good job so far. I just wished, like you do, that I had known sooner that those who really truly love me do not care how fun my life is.

Well, that's all I wanted to say. Thanks for sharing your thoughts by the way as I was able to reflect about this particular topic a lot more.

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