Why I always cry in January
My New Year’s resolution last year: ‘I hereby resolve to no longer fly by the
seat of my pants. I will plan my work and work my plan. A plan that reflects my values and life goals. Key words for the year: Visualize, Strategize, Actualize.’
My plan was going quite well until I hit January 2nd. And then it all fell apart.
Example: I designed a daily schedule which I was quite proud of. A well-oiled
machine destined to revolutionize my life and who knows, maybe the world!
Here’s my schedule for Jan 2. As originally planned + as it actually happened.
5 - 7AM As planned: Time with God: Bible Study and Prayer
5 - 7AM As it actually occurred:
Woke 6:23. Up late. Orange Bowl. 10 min to find matching socks in the dark.
5 min to read Leviticus. Skipped what I couldn’t understand. Leaving 1 verse.
Something about not eating camels. Which is fine. I’m not tempted anyway.
Spent 20 min reading article about a camel with 3 humps. Leaving 2 min for
prayer: 1. My cholesterol (i.e. bacon) 2. An insecure camel. 3. World peace.
7 - 8AM As planned Breakfast, Family Devotions, Drop kids off at school
7 - 8AM As it actually occurred
Hole in sock + not a match. Learned she got up early. Leaving me in the dark
to find matching socks. She laughed. I didn’t. I told her my whole life is like
trying to find matching socks in the dark. ‘Why me?’ I cried. About the socks
I mean. She said, ‘Do you realize kids are dying in Sudan?’ She doesn’t get it.
30 min to make breakfast for the kids. Cheerios. (Painted the bowls orange.)
My son got the Captain Crunch prize first. Turned into a big brawl. (With me.)
Plus kids all got mad simultaneously for my insisting that we leave for school.
I refused to listen to all their arguments. Sometimes they just need to obey!
Devotions in car on the way. Asked for favorite verse. Son said ‘Jesus wept’.
They all laughed. Even Jesus. I didn’t. I wept. Arrived at school. Only to find
out school is closed on Jan. 2nd. No one told me! Drove home. Skipped Devo.
9 - 11 AM As planned Sermon Preparation
9 - 11 AM As it actually occurred
9:06 Read the sermon text. Matt. 6:26 “Look at the birds of the air…”
9:07 Watch sky for possible duck migration. (I take the Bible literally.)
9:20 Found myself in a remote corner of Canada with a shotgun, beef jerky,
a bag of licorice and a dog named ‘Rambo’. (A fluffy white miniature poodle.)
10:23 Elmer the janitor woke me from my dream. Baptistry is leaking again.
11 - 12 As planned Lunch with Small Groups Coordinator
11- 12 As it actually occurred
35 min discussing why the Orange Bowl losers went to the fullback as other
receivers were wide open.
20 min to eat and discuss whether it truly matters if your socks match or not.
5 min to decide when to eat next. (We do need to talk about small groups.)
12 - 2 PM As Planned Administrative Tasks: Calls, Emails, Paperwork, Filing
12 - 2 PM As it actually occurred
68 min to clean up 68 million emails. Deleted those I don’t need. Which is 2.
52 min to read article ‘Keep your inbox empty’. During which I got 793 more.
2- 4 PM As planned Visitation, Prepare message for Nursing Home
11- 12 As it actually occurred
Claude came in as I was walking out. His sister-in-law has gout and pet goat has
diarrhea. That goat and I have a long personal history, so to change the subject
I invited him to go with me and visit Shorty. He has laryngitis. (Not the goat.
Shorty.) He got it from yelling at the referees. We discussed gout, goats and
the effect of global warming on a referee’s ability to see clearly.
4 - 5 As planned Plan tomorrow. (Tweak Vision + Schedule if necessary.)
4 - 5 As it actually occurred
Decided to reinvent myself by revising my New Year’s resolution. ‘I hereby resolve
myself to devote my time, energy and resources to one single goal: ‘Fly by the seat
of my pants’. My key words for the New Year will be ‘flow, flexibility, impromptu, haphazard’. Which means ‘having no particular purpose, organization or structure’.
Translation: My goal this year is to have no goal.
The secret strength of my new structure will be to not have one. I’ll harness all my
energy toward the one focus of not having a focus. I will use all my organizational strengths to avoid being organized. As of January 3rd, I’m doing pretty well.
At the end of the day, I asked my wife if she knew what ‘haphazard’ means. And then handed her my revised New Year’s resolution. She read over it. Then she looked at
me for a long time. Obviously overcome with awe and admiration. Can't say I blame
her. She then asked if I knew what ‘balance’ means. Yes but what does that have to do
with anything? I guess not being understood is the price you pay for being a genius.
So I wept. As I cleaned up emails and babysat goats. (I'm trying to learn to multitask.)