Today marks two weeks of travel into the new year. Exactly fourteen days of reflection, goal-setting, and a lot of backsliding. I’m digging in: committing to making my one and only life work. In the last few weeks I kept hearing a word come up in conversations, in books, on screens. My new theme.
2018, for me, was defined by a particular word. A running theme that spanned 365 days of challenging, irritating, and patience-building circumstances.
That word was resilience.
From relationship woes to impending unemployment. From seeking to securing to adjusting to a new and more exciting job.
From stress-induced fender-bender to a car accident that totaled my baby Harriet (Tubman because she freed me). Crying for months on the phone with – and in the offices of – unaccommodating car catastrophe-related personnel.
I had to tough it out. Find stores of resilience in myself because no matter how inconvenient and painful, ultimately not one in that series of unfortunate events, would kill me.
There’s something both empowering and disheartening in knowing that you can survive more. In knowing that you can -and one day will have to- be even stronger still. To my genuine dismay I’d have to make it, and keep making it until I encounter something that actually could… kill me.
2018 brought me my first major loan/credit
debt-builder while simultaneously rewarding me for my fastidious and measured money management. That gave me the chance to buy a new newish new-to-me car without a co-sign.
2018 brought me a new apartment and a supportive and enjoyable new roomate. Desperation forced our hands, and leases loomed, but a great new friendship formed with each passing month.
Finally, 2018 brought me a new job and plenty of opportunities to learn more about coworker relationships, leadership, and the bureaucratic entities that govern worky-desky-sitty jobs. I’m learning to detect and define my red flags: in romance, in myself, and in my past.
In all that I experienced last year, the greatest lesson, and this year’s word, is compatibility. Too many times I’ve forced interactions, and ignored red flags. I’ve wanted things and people more than I’ve wanted peace and flow. I’ve sacrificed compatibility thinking it would yield results in the long run while suffering daily. Living in-authentically. Incompatibly.
I’m committing myself to effortlessness. No matter how contradictory that sounds. 🤦🏾♀️🤷🏾♀️ I’m working everyday to create a free-flowing life. Disciplining my time and my life to allow in the types of opportunities that I want to experience and take advantage of. If I can nail down my habits, I will have the discernment necessary to adjudicate over delicious new experiences with the time and preparation to appreciate them. What I’ll need is discipline.
Plot twist: Discipline is this cool new form of self-care where you follow a schedule, prompt yourself, and do things that benefit your life. Get this, if you push through your reluctance, and fatigue and keep to your word, you actually see your life improve! Crazy, right!?
My new Mantra. It gets me out of bed. Out of the car for work. Into the gym despite this unusual cold snap. I mumble it to myself in traffic, and as I set my alarms. “Discipline is love. Discipline is love. Discipline is love.” In the shower when my mental to-do list at work gets disparagingly long, “Discipline is love.”
Discipline is the new hygge. Discipline is the new pilates, hot yoga, and cycling combined. For the last two weeks I have set a schedule for myself and begun sleeping at a certain time, setting particular days to work out or study for class. I’ve taken specific steps to make myself ready and remove excuses.
Ways that I’ve been utilizing discipline to increase compatibility in 2019:
- I speak immediately on the things causing me anxiety and don’t murder myself by over thinking the outcomes and avoiding difficult conversations
- I put my clothes out the night before AND check the weather
- I schedule my workouts and don’t stress if I miss one. I just resume immediately at the next scheduled opportunity
- I meal prep to save money, keep on diet, and feel like a grown up
- I try to do things at the same times each day to create routine and run on muscle memory
- I can spend time with friends and family more often if I make them shorter outings. (for instance, I can say yes to a party without anxiety because I know be there for no more than 120 minutes)
- I let my phone die on Saturday mornings, and don’t power up again until the evening. A whole day off the grid to work on my blog, homework, connect to loved ones, work out, get domestic, or just relax
- I refuse to be inhabited by guilt so I leave work at a reasonable time and wake up early to recap before I sit at my desk. No more unfocused late nights churning out half-assed results from a foggy anxious brain drain
I want to be calling things, relationships, experiences, and opportunities toward me. I want to create a space where growth, love, and contentment are welcomed. I want to have room for change, and be the person with the mindset to make use of that change. Discipline is love. Love for me, for my friends and family, love for my readers, and the individuals I serve. I want to love my life more, so I need to discipline it.
Discipline is love.