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.