Thursday, January 26, 2006

"Let me go, I'm only letting you down..."

This is another "Marvin Gaye" post (where I let you know what's going on). Don't let the title scare you. I'm listening to Ryan Adams. (Here. Let's make it official.)

[intro music: "Sweet Illusions," Ryan Adams]

I'm in the early stages of a lot of things right now. Most of them involve changing my habits. All of them involve discipline. I'm feeling overwhelmed.

One: I'm enrolled in Dave Ramsey's "Financial Peace University" program. Why? Because I'm terrible with money. Not in the "oh shoot, I'm short a dollar" way--in the "another collections letter in the mail" way. And it's starting to compound. If I don't stop it now, I will never get out, and it will very likely ruin me. I'm not exaggerating. So I signed up for this class, and the first step is to take a good long look at the state of things.

I'm an evader. I do my absolute to avoid difficult things, embarrassing things. Growing up, if I ignored things, more often than not they would resolve themselves. (Like the quote from Walk the Line: Johnny tells June that when they get together, the problems sure to arise will work themselves out. June replies that problems never work that way. They only seem to because other people work them out for him.) But this problem won't be ignored. And my gracious God may just let me suffer a little bit to try to make me change my ways. I don't want that to happen.

So I'm looking at the bills, how much I owe to whom, how behind I am on this or that. It ain't pretty, folks. Not at all.

[currently: "Graduation Day," Chris Isaak]

Two: I've told some of you already, but I figure it's time to tell all. As most of you know, I'm a big guy. A real big guy. As in, the approximate weight of 2 1/2 Backstreet Boys. So finally, I made a decision to do something real and solid about it. So I joined Weight Watchers. (You know what the hardest part of that is? Telling people about it. For some reason, I have trouble saying the name of the program. It almost makes me feel fatter.) The good news is that in three weeks, I've lost more than 15 pounds.

Of course, today, my mid-week "unofficial" weigh-in shows that I've actually gained a pound since Monday. After the last two weeks of 7-8 lb. losses, this was quite a disappointment. But, as I told someone yesterday, I've felt heavier all week. Weighed down.

There are good days when I feel very confident that I am doing something good for my health and longevity. I know this is the case. But days like today, I feel disappointed in myself, let down. Yet I still have no desire to go pig out somewhere. So I'm kinda stuck in between. I've been learning to eat like a skinny person. Not easy, not always fun. But i'm getting there.

[currently: "Landed," Ben Folds]

Three: I'm working on some decisions about what I need to do with the Sunday School class. For those of you who are new to PBB, I've been teaching a singles 20's class for the past 7 months. The class attendance was already in decline, and my tenure hasn't helped. I've gotten some encouragement from a few folks recently, but the numbers aren't reflecting that. (I'm praying for God to help me stop focusing on that.) I have a few ideas for ways to help foster more connections in the class, both of which will come at personal cost, both in money and time. Is it worth it? Of course. But I'm lazy and near broke. So it's a bit of a battle to commit to this.

The sad thing is, I haven't been praying about it as much as I should. I'm even teaching a series on prayer, and I have to confess, I haven't been praying regularly like I should. I stay up too late watching TV or reading, I don't get enough sleep, and I don't pray or read the Word regularly.

Why the crap am I a Sunday School teacher again?

[currently: "High," James Blunt]

Four: I'm an absolute romantic. This isn't a boast, it's a confession. It's a diagnosis. I have a disease. I'm addicted to the emotional high of being in love. And sadly, even with more than 3 years of being "clean," the craving is still there. See, the dangerous thing is that I can get small fixes throughout the week. Television is a bigtime pusher. So is film.

I've been watching the sitcom, "How I Met Your Mother," ever since it started last fall. Only missed it a few times. Until the premiere of "24" this month, it was the only non-Smallville show I made a point to watch. It's the typical romantic sit-com. Ted, the hopeless romantic in pursuit of "the one." Barney, the player best friend, in pursuit of "the next one." Marshall and Lily, Ted's engaged friends, who are both an encouragement and a constant reminder of what he's "missing." Ted loves Robyn and she evades, because she doesn't want to settle down. Now, in the last two episodes, Ted's found another girl, named Victoria. I have to admit, even I have a crush on this girl. Here's the sad thing. I found out she'll only be in five episodes. The whirlwind romance will end. Ted will be crushed. And I'll be right there with him. Because I want Ted to find his match. I want him to fall in love for the rest of his life. I need him to. Because if he can, so can I.

Like I said, I'm addicted. HIMYM is my pusher-man. And now, here comes along Tom Cavanaugh's new "post-Ed" show, "Love Monkey." Hopeless romanticism AND the NYC music scene? It's like they're reading my blog, dude.

I've got a "love monkey" on my back. A romance craving that goes against what I know is right and healthy. The Teacher says, "Don't wake love up before its time." Sorry, Solomon, I want to follow your sage advice. But the monkey, it's there. It's getting bigger and meaner as time goes by.

[currently: "Strange and Beautiful (I'll Put a Spell on You)," Aqualung]

Five: I haven't written anything in about two weeks, outside of the odd blog post (which, as you know, haven't been frequent). I want to devote more time to it. But there are so many things I "ought to" devote time to. I ought to exercise more. I ought to pray and study for SunSco more. I ought to pick up a part time job a couple nights a week to help pay off my credit card. I ought to get more sleep.

There are too many "ought to's" in my life, and they're all getting ignored. Because when I get home, I'm tired, I'm achey, and I want nothing more than to sit and relax. I stick to my diet by cooking good food, and much beyond that, I'm too tired and frustrated to do much of anything else. It needs to change, I know that. I'm not meeting my potential as it is. But change is hard, and daunting when there are so many things that need changing.

[currently: "Busted Stuff," DMB]

Six: There are good things in my life. I don't want you to get the impression that there's not, or that i'm depressed, because generally I'm in decent spirits. I have my (relative) health. My family are all healthy and we're all getting along. I just got a raise at work, and I'm told I'll get another one soon. There are still people actually coming to Sunday School (for the most part).

I don't know. I'm just... I feel very small, compared to the tasks set before me. There is so much in my life I'm trying to change, that I vitally need to change and the sooner the better, and it just all makes me very tired to think about it.

Today's disappointing weight gain news kinda set me off a little. After two weeks of consistent losses, to pull a turnaround--okay, i'm let down.

So I'll turn up the music, bury myself in work, drink my large glass of water, and count the hours until tonight's climactic Smallville episode.

I'll worry about it all later. That's what I do best, right?

[closing music: "Grey Street," DMB]

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