Have you been feeling a little stressed lately? I sure have. It's been this perfect confluence of work being busy, life being busy outside of work, and kids bringing home God-knows-what kind of illnesses into the house that has resulted in what I think qualifies as a minor psychotic break. I was holding it together pretty well, but here's a quick look at what was going on behind closed doors:
So last night, as I was getting ready to leave for an evening meeting, while both twins were expressing outwardly what I was doing all I could to contain inwardly, I decided that my bike needed to be dusted off and taken out. I quickly threw on shorts (in FEBRUARY!) and hit the road.
The first ride after a longish (one month) lay off can be a tricky thing. In my experience I either ride like Lance Armstrong with a full dose of EPO in his system, or I ride like I have Lance Armstrong with a full dose of EPO strapped to my back. So I took off down the road and found my first hill, and extremely quickly discovered that it was going to be the first option. I was riding like a madman. When I got to the top of one of the only monster climbs on my commute, I opted for a longer route with a big huge downhill. I let go of the brakes and let it fly. Here's an artist's representation of how it felt:
I looked, and the last time I discovered that I actually enjoy biking was February 1st, so hopefully this time around it won't take 28 days to get my own stuff together.
In other news, Lent begins today, which means that about a thousand people will be asking what I'm giving up for the season. I don't know if it's some sort of religious leader test, to make sure that I'm doing it right, or if folks are looking for inspiration, but I feel like I get asked more than most people how I tend to celebrate this holiday of repentance, sacrifice, and self-denial. (Happy Holidays!)
Unlike most years, I've actually given this a fair amount of thought. Since seminary wrapped up, I realized that I haven't been reading nearly as much as I should be. One of the traps my professors warned us of as we were graduating was to not get stuck in a rut, to only read the things we like/could easily understand, because then our preaching would get stale. I have definitely fallen into that trap, to be sure. The enemy in this instance:
I can't tell you how many times I've come home and just passed out on the couch watching TV. I'm even to the point where I can't fall asleep without having something playing on the iPad next to the bed (with headphones for Sweet Sarah's benefit of course). That doesn't seem healthy to me. So this year, one of my primary Lenten practices is going to be to swap out the television in favor of more reading (and music for that matter). It's not so much giving something up I don't think as it is trading in a bad habit for a better one. And of course, hopefully along the way I'll be posting some book reviews here on the J-Blog for your enjoyment. The first book I want to chew on is to finish Don't Think of an Elephant.
The other big hope is to finish for the love of everything holy the book. It's been sitting on my computer, waiting to be edited, since December. By the time the Easter Bunny shows up, he'd better be able to deliver my book. That's all I'm saying.
More to come later for sure. Happy Holidays everyone!