My theme for this year, as a New Year’s Res­o­lu­tion, is dis­ci­pline. Since I closed up my law firm, I’d been rather undis­ci­plined — sleep­ing late and too much, eat­ing too much, watch­ing too much TV, drink­ing too fre­quent­ly (rarely to excess), gen­er­al­ly liv­ing in my own bub­ble of self-indul­gence and not engag­ing with my com­mu­ni­ty. I felt bad, emo­tion­al­ly and phys­i­cal­ly. New Year seemed like the right time to make more changes, and I decid­ed to try to live with more delib­er­a­tion and dis­ci­pline. I still have a long way to go, but I think I’ve made a good start. I get up with Carl most days and work on our new busi­ness (ArtsMuse!) for a decent por­tion of the day, I get out of the house reg­u­lar­ly, I’m eat­ing, if not bet­ter, at least less. I attend 1 Mil­lion Cups, which is a week­ly pre­sen­ta­tion of two start-ups, and I made it my goal to meet 2 new peo­ple each week. That’s pushed me out­side my com­fort zone, though I think with the lack of “work friends,” maybe I’m will­ing to seek out human con­tact a lit­tle more. And I’ve been read­ing more. Last year, I read a lot of non­fic­tion, which was great, and I learned a lot, but I’m try­ing to read more fic­tion right now (I love my local library!). I start­ed voice lessons, and I’ve been play­ing more piano recent­ly too.

So that’s been well and good, but I can do bet­ter. I have nowhere near the dis­ci­pline of, say, moth­ers. My house is still reg­u­lar­ly clut­tered, I’m still not exer­cis­ing (I do walk the dogs, but does that count?), and my spir­i­tu­al life is not great. I’m real­ly involved in my church, but the last time I prayed on my own with­out prompt­ing in church (before yes­ter­day) was, well, I don’t remem­ber, because it’s been that long.

I’ve decid­ed on my Lenten dis­ci­plines. First, give up alco­hol. I think my liv­er and my gut will both appre­ci­ate that. Sec­ond, fol­low the devo­tion­al that my pas­tor wrote. Third, pray reg­u­lar­ly, at least dai­ly. And fourth, write or draw (or both) dai­ly. I still feel like I write like a lawyer, and I’m hop­ing that I can write like a nor­mal human again. As for draw­ing, my artis­tic abil­i­ty is lim­it­ed, and it’s some­thing I want to improve upon.

My hus­band asked what Lenten dis­ci­plines are all about, which was a good reminder to me of why we do this any­way. The way I learned it was that when we deprive our­selves of some­thing, we are meant to pray when we feel the depri­va­tion. One year when I was a kid, my dad, my broth­er, and I decid­ed to fast on Wednes­days (though some­how, smooth­ies did­n’t count). The idea was that when we felt hun­gry, we were sup­posed to pray. Hope­ful­ly this will mean pray­ing at din­ner now. 🙂 With adding dis­ci­plines, again, it’s meant to be some­thing that brings us clos­er to God. The devo­tion­al and pray­ing reg­u­lar­ly are pret­ty obvi­ous. I have a hard­er time explain­ing the writing/drawing, but I think any­thing that gets me focus­ing for long-ish peri­ods of time is a pos­i­tive in my per­son­al devel­op­ment, not that it will make me wor­thi­er of redemp­tion, but I think we are meant (called?) to improve con­stant­ly.