Evidently I’m my own worst critic.  I wouldn’t have told you I was…am.  I thought I was over that.  But here’s how I figured it out.  The Lord put on my heart this idea of starting a blog at the first of the year.  It was strange, actually.  I’m not one to make “New Year’s resolutions”….NEVER. And by never I mean rarely have I ever made a N.Y.R).

Yes, that’s what I’m calling it people: NYR….pronounced “ne-yer”, but fast, so it sounds like “nyr”).

I turn my nose up to them, those NYRs. If I wanna make a change, why not start now? No need for a date on the calendar. That’s been my philosophy anyway. Who’s with me?

And I do feel that way….mostly.  But is it possible I balk because, if I make some NYRs, I may not succeed in them?  At varying points on the timeline of a year I may be forced to look back and feel disappointed?  The lookback that produces feelings of, well, icky-ness (=guilt) and disappointment (=shame). If I don’t make any resolutions – don’t list things to do differently on an all-year to-do list I’m saving myself from those feelings, right?

But this New Year’s Day was different…fresher; more inspired. Less concerned with self. I felt it the moment I woke up.  Still lying in bed, I felt a smile creep onto my face.  Hope. The dawning of a New Year. I felt lighter. Freer. As if there was a line in the sand separating me from the past…as if the turning of a page on the calendar signaled a reason to be different.  To do life differently.  Not drastically crazy different… just a bit better.

All of this before I even got out of bed.

And it stayed!  This feeling – it didn’t go away the moment my feet met the carpet and I heard the “Mommy, mommy!” shrieks.  Still there in the shower and on my ride to church.

As the Lord would have it, I heard a message that morning at church that reinforced it…this idea of Not Settling…of returning to boldness – back to the basics for the one who knows Jesus.  How can we really forget?….how can I forget? I don’t serve a timid and meek God.  I serve One who sent a Son to challenge every Status Quo that ever showed its face.

I kept getting idea after idea.  Three of them I actually remember.  And, all of a sudden, [fast forward] it’s March and I’m realizing -all those good ideas – I haven’t actually followed through on a single one of them.  I’ve talked about them.  I’ve thought about them. But have I set them in motion? And I’m reminded….ah, that’s the tough part for me…the follow through. If I don’t make resolutions I can avoid The Follow Through.

That’s where the rubber meets the road and the traction begins and I’m forced with the decision to stay or to go.  And, I don’t know about you, but when I decide to go it’s usually at one speed – fast.  And so I’ve conditioned myself to only go when I have the energy.  Going fast is tiring.  I’m getting older.  I don’t have the energy I used to. I need to learn to be in “go mode” but be okay with different speeds at different times. And I am…..learning, that is.

And why don’t I always follow through? Hmmmm…lack of time, lack of energy, lack of focus? Any other reasons? Possibly….and this one’s a pesky one….what is it? Fear of failure? Fear of rejection? Those could ring true on a different day….but today, they don’t fit.  Don’t quite hit the nail on the head.

[Long pause to lay on the floor and ponder and take a trip to the pantry for some cookies].

And, yes, it hits me!  It’s the fear of disappointing MYSELF.  Ah, the toughest critic of all…The Me Critic.  It’s stayed around a little longer than I’d like.  Like an overstayed-their-welcome houseguest: this self-judgement.  This self-condemnation.  Wow that sounds strong!  But isn’t that what it is? When I say I shouldn’t start something until I’ll get it right and be really good at it, when would I ever start? When would I take that first step? When would I write that first post? When I’m “out of the woods” and I’m sure I’ll never write something I regret or, or, write something that I read later and decide I don’t like? Where’s the freedom in that?  Where’s the life in that? Where’s the lightness of the Fresh Start of a feeling that I had when the inspiration first came?

So, here’s to my start…on March 4th, no less.  [Raise your glasses, mugs, flutes for a virtual toast with me please].  Gotta start somewhere….why not here?

The nearby church has a marquee that says it well: “If you want to finish you have to start.” I absolutely love that church.  (And by absolutely love I mean I really don’t know anything about that church since I’ve never stepped foot inside but every phrase they’ve put up on that sign has been right on). Holy Spirit inspired.

Which brings me full circle:  I do love His inspiration.  Am I following through on what He’s inspired me to do? That’s the question I’m asking myself today…

But that's enough about me…what about you?

What’s He inspired you to do? What’s He churning up inside of you? Are you following through? If you gotta start somewhere, why not here?

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  • sglewis

    How neat! I feel with everything each of us has going on day to day, even the ideas I get throughout the day I won’t be able to remember at night! This is where list making and writing things down is supposed to help the ADHD brain, but I’m not so sure ;)
    PS maybe it’s just me, but even for us “young folks” going fast is exhausting!
    Sara Grace

    • http://therightvolume.com/ Samantha Livingston

       @sglewis How refreshing that is to hear Sara Grace…that even the young folks wear out too! :)  Also I love your suggestion to make lists….something I’ve been doing more of in a cheap & simple spiral….or a more special moleskine. :)