For those that know me, read my blethering etc know that in some parts of my recent history I was an amateur triathlete. In the tri world I am a finisher, not a placer. I compete against myself on my best days. My last two races I competed against the idea of simply finishing because I was so out of shape after 2 summers of very few workouts.
When I started training for tris in 2003 I had no clue what I was doing and my only real skill was as a long distance touring cyclist. The swimming /running crap was something I had to do to compete. I had 7 years of being a really slow runner in middle and high school and every summer swimming in a lake under my belt... but almost no real training. The coaches avoided me like the plague, I just showed up for practice every day and they let me run. I'm not sure I ever had help with my stride, or foot placement or pacing or anything of the sort.
So, in 2004ish I discovered new methods of running and swimming so I could actually train myself properly. The running method is called chi- running and the swimming method is called total immersion. Both of these methods involves allowing energy to flow through you in a more peaceful way and teaches you to use your body to be more relaxed while running or swimming. These methods are really neat because once you "get it" you can be faster and way more efficient at your sport. During triathlons using energy more efficiently is key, so you don't burn out too early in the race.
Last week I was wondering while I was sick at home with a sinus infection about efficiency in other parts of my life. You have heard me lament about getting cancer in 2008 and then having a recession really hurt my retail business in 2009. You have read about my days of feeling like Job where nothing but nothing goes right. Whine, Whine Whine... blah blah blah... and then I was chatting with a friend whose life went off the rails with a bunch of things at the same time and it got me thinking. Is God (or fate, or whichever thing you believe to call it)practicing some sort of efficiency thing on me(and others of course)? Like really.... Cancer, recession and then a fire in town that has ruined sales for almost 3 months? Last week I got a sinus infection, the flu and my period all at the same time... it was like the trifecta of (not as bad as chemo) physical hellness. Last year I recall being thankful as the recession seemed to be ending that I had the recession right after cancer. Get all the hell over with at the same time. Now? I am wondering.. is God trying to test me until I "get it"? I mean, it's taken me years to get reasonably good at chi-running, and it will take longer for me to get good at total immmersion. Does God want me to "get it" in life too?? Those practices are about being able to almost let go of the body and let the mind really do the work. Being present in the work of the moment to take the body to another place, a stronger more directed energy. Efficient.
As a person with rare exception I am incredibly inefficient. I know and accept that. I don't know any way to change it really. I practice at being more efficient in some things but mostly my paperwork, my laundry, my briefcase, my car etc are in some state of disarray. I am always thinking about the next thing I have to do. For example. I am writing this blog and bedtime is rapidly approaching, and I know I have about 10 things to do before I get to go to bed. 2 of them I enjoy, 8 of them are grown uppy chores that I resent and will get done in a bad order because I hate them. Now, I feel guilty by not just stopping what I am doing to get to those chores and kidlike because I am avoiding them.. begging for 5 more minutes to just finish the blog I have been thinking about for a week. Is this blog worthwhile enough work to justify not doing my dishes? I want to watch 1 hour of television and read for a little while before sleep... is this bad? How do other grownups reconcile all of this? Do they at all? If I become a more efficient runner will I become more efficient at other things? If I make time for running will I have a messier house because I took time to run and not clean my house?.. (no, having a cleaner house is not my primary goal in life, but on occasion it would be a nice thing to have!)
I am really not the type to meditate to find better flow in my energy or chi in my open mind or whatever people that meditate seem to say they get. Long baths and quiet moments and decluttering my closets to declutter my mind etc really..not.. me...
My question to you, God and others... can a frantic, can't focus for more than 5 minutes person, collects old clothes like a thrift store chick like me find a way to be more efficient? Is this what God is telling me in his persistent, yet efficient hammering on my life?
Let me know... I'll be the one spilling blueberries all over the kitchen, trying to clean up the spilled dead plant I kicked on the way out of the door when I was already late for work.... efficient... ya ... right.