Tuesday, April 17, 2012

On being who I want to be

There are a number of things that I used to be good at.  Or at least, that I felt like I had at least a modicum of ability in those areas.  Things like playing the piano, understanding the German language, reading scriptures on a daily basis, running, journaling, ballroom dancing, writing, keeping in touch with friends, singing, reading (as opposed to only listening to) books, etc. 

Then there are things I have never been very good at.  Like saying no to sweets, giving compliments (seriously, some people just give the best compliments and I am astonished at how insightful, sincere, and kind those people are - I think it is a talent to give meaningful compliments), accepting compliments, any kind of sport played with a spherical object, flossing, art, multi-tasking,  budgeting, etc.

So I have decided to try to recapture some of those previous talents, skills, and/or characteristics that I spent a lot of time developing and maybe even trying my hand at some areas where I don't have any natural ability or inclination and seeing if I can grow in ways where I currently feel limited. 

I'm starting small.

Last week I went to the gym four times and ran between 1 to 1 1/2 miles each time and walked another 1 to 2 miles.  It is a far cry from the regular 4 to 6 mile runs and 8 to 12 mile weekend runs I used to do when I was training for the marathon I ran back in 2006 (has it SERIOUSLY been that long?!), but at least it is doing something. 

I have pulled out sheet music for the easy versions of Disney songs from "Aladdin" and "Beauty and the Beast" and dusted off Scott Joplin's "Maple Leaf Rag" and have been playing them (and sometimes singing along) for Clara most days in an effort to reclaim some of my musical abilities.

I am recommitting to being a daily scripture reader and I am going to start a novel and try to read each night before bed.

All of these things make me feel good about myself and happier and more relaxed about life, so why do I struggle to stay motivated or maintain these efforts on a regular basis?  I consider myself a fairly goal-oriented person and I sometimes wonder if that actually hinders me after I "achieve" a particular goal because I feel like it is okay to drop that activity or take a break and then I never come back to it.  For example, once I finished the only marathon I have ever run, I had pretty much zero desire to run anymore and have only run sporadically, with four miles being my longest distance, ever since then.  Or as a different example, when I have been really, really good about daily scripture study for a long time and then go on vacation and for some reason feel okay about taking a one-week break reading, I then have a bear of a time getting back into it after returning home. 

I don't want to be like this.  I mean, while I am actually very happy with my life and feeling pretty good about myself, I know that there is a lot more that I can and should be doing to feel like I am growing and bettering myself as a person.  It is time for me to stop just going with the flow of things and being lackadaisical about living my life.


  1. You should join the Fast Running Blog! It's just a training log, but when I use it I feel a lot more motivated to be consistent. And it's nice to see progress. And also there are some crazy fast people (like olympic trials fast) on there, and it's inspiring to see what they do.

    Mine: http://cat.fastrunningblog.com
    Someone fast: http://jkrong.fastrunningblog.com/

  2. You, lackadaisical? Ha!

    It's truly depressing when the person that I always compare myself to saying, "I seriously don't know how Amy does everything she does!" says that she's taking it easy. Seriously, you're killing me here.

    I completely understand how you feel, though, even though I think it's crazy that you of all people should be feeling it! (That is intended as a compliment.) :-)

  3. Amy you are ridiculously talented in so many ways. That being said, I think it is good that you reevaluate your goals. No one is perfect and I feel like when we have a bad day or week (or month), we need to just recommit ourselves and start again. You expressed a lot of the same feelings I have in myself, so thanks for the reminder that it is never too late to try again :) Btw, I can't WAIT for you guys to come visit this weekend. We need to chat!

  4. It took me a while to settle into my life as a SAHM. I felt so restless for the first few months--wanting to be productive but not really sure how to fit it all in or motivate myself. The last month has been so much better. I figured out a decent schedule that includes daily scripture study and exercise, as well as a few other goals. It's so nice to have this time at home with only one baby, so I can develop these good habits. I hope it sticks after more babies come along!

    I am an "all or nothing" goal setter too. (I am actually going to write about this on my blog soon.) It's like, "If I don't have time to train for a half marathon, then why run at all?" Or "If I missed a day of scripture study, then I ruined my goal of 100%, so I guess I should give up all together." But that is just pure silliness. I'm working on setting more manageable, daily, consistent goals. Slow and steady wins the race, right?

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us!

  5. This post reminds me the book I'm reading right now, "The Happiness Project," by Gretchen Rubin. I like the book so far. Have you read it?

  6. I'm a runner Amy, but I'll tell you I only do it to get it over with. It's the best exercise I've found for losing weight and so I do it to get baby weight off. A marathon is impressive.

    I'm so glad you are getting back to playing the piano. What a great talent you don't want to lose. Good for you.

    As for scriptures...there are seasons in life. This is what helps me, it's what Julie B. Beck advised and we sat next to each other during this conference, I think? I put my iphone by my bed and as soon as I wake up I grab it start reading and read until interrupted. Which is sometimes only two minutes in, but the effort is there. haha. I never thought I'd be reading from a phone, but I love it. But, my rule is not to do that at church, for some reason. :)

    I think it's great that you are recommitting yourself, we all will have to over and over and over again, it's the nature of this life.

    Take care,


  7. Totally feel you on everything you said. I know exactly what you mean when you talk about trying to do more. Good luck and thanks for reminding me to keep reengaging!


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