Some people are disciplined. They wake up at 5:30 a.m. to exercise. They write blog posts twice weekly, and they plan their grocery lists just so, so that Thursday afternoon rolls around and they don’t have a moment of “oh crap, I’m out of diced tomatoes.” Or, they’ve recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary and cannot remember a day when they did not share coffee or an excerpt from Our Daily Bread.
I like to think of myself as a disciplined person, but in fact, I’ve realized that I am something different. Fickle. Free.
I am disciplined when I want to be. And sometimes I just don’t feel like it. Do I have to choose a side?
We celebrated spring break and two birthdays in March. I went to great lengths to prepare for these events, arrange travel plans, bake the tastiest treats, purchase the perfect gifts. Chris and I took Cole to the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, just the three of us. On the way, we gave him a Swiss Army knife, handed down from two generations of family, along with a book. The Dangerous Book for Boys. A sweet way to encourage our science lover. We gave him a baseball glove, too, because this spring joined a team. A new adventure.
For Zeke we assumed super-her0-mode. We gave him a Batman cape, mask, and cuffs, handmade by #superkidcapes. Chris took him out to lunch, and the best part of the day? After dinner, the neighbor kids rallied around Zeke and turned his bike into the Batmobile. Construction paper, tape, scissors, and cardboard flew around our driveway as they worked. Zeke was the center of attention, the perfect gift.
I can do discipline really well, during birthday time.
In reality, though, each of my days look different. A great morning run one day. Sweats and an I-don’t-care-about-running attitude the next. A homemade, wholesome dinner one day. Fish sticks and Kraft mac ‘n cheese the next. Write a blog post each week for a while, then fizzle and adopt the “oh, whatever, I’ll get to that” attitude.
I guess we all have seasons of discipline and seasons of I-don’t-feel-like-it. Maybe it’s the second that fuels the first? Maybe it’s the balance that makes life hum along. What if the I-don’t-feel-like-its make the disciplined days that much sweeter? I venture to say that, for me, in my moments of discipline, I am following through with things I believe are important. Priorities. And in my I-don’t-feel-like-it days, I’m giving myself a break from rules and practicing. Knowing myself enough that I will crave a discipline day before too long. It’s a kind of rhythm.
Maybe I am doing something right, then?
Now, before you think I’m going all whimsical about this, I believe that there are plenty of times where discpline needs to win over I-don’t-feel-like-it. How else am I supposed to accomplish anything, or heck, even complete my daily to-do list? I make lunches every morning. I write lesson plans for the early childhood classroom at church every week. I even wash sippy cups, and I can’t remember one time that I actually felt like doing that. I ran a the best half-marathon of my life in 2009, and I worked hard for my time. Discipline. I’m just sayin’. Sprinkle in some I-don’t-feel-like-its every now and then, and the discipline wins too.
Our super birthday boys, 8 and 4.