Enjoyment Leads To Progress.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1-3

I was prompted the other day to make two lists. One listing all of the things I “should” do, today, this week, this month this year etc. The second list was a list of all the things I could do that would bring me great joy. I don’t particularly like these little exercises because I’m not a very deep thinker and I fret that my answers don’t sound very mature or educated. What’s funny is I am the only one reading them but I still feel like they should have a bit more depth and I struggle that I can’t seem to find any.

After I got over myself and began to make the lists I realized that my should do list and my could do list were almost identical. It was kind of nice to see that a lot of the things I should be doing, working, running, writing, working out, and cooking are all things that bring me great joy. What was also interesting was to look at the lists and realize how much effort I have to put in to get myself to do these things each day.

Why are things that bring great joy difficult to begin? Because every single one of those things is hard for me. I don’t excel at any of it. What I do at our office doesn’t come naturally to me, I have to focus and be detailed with paperwork and processes. My favorite part? Interacting with our clients and catching up on their lives, I love the people part, the detailed paperwork? Not so much.

Running and working out make me feel great when I look back at what I have accomplished for the day but I am a bit on the fluffy side right now and well, let’s be honest even when I am not fluffy I am not great at either one. Yes, I am putting in the work and yes it makes me feel good about myself. But, it’s a struggle to get out that door 5 days a week when I am also aware that in the gym classes I am consistently one or two moves behind everyone else and out on the road I can always be found at the back of the pack.

Ready to Run! / TiffanyAOlson.com

26.2 Baby! Spring, 2018

I didn’t learn how to cook until I got married. I didn’t get married until I was 30. I always joked that Mr. Wonderful, Rachel Ray and Pioneer Woman taught me everything I know. What I really loved to do was bake. When the kids were little and the days were rainy, we baked. I measured the ingredients and they dumped everything into the bowls and mixed it all together. I so enjoyed that time with them and what we were able to create together. What greater joy there then making something yummy from nothing with the people you love most?

Easter Cake 2014 / Tiffanyaolson.com

Easter! 2014

In my post breast cancer world, I have attempted to be much healthier. I still find joy in creating something amazing but changing how you do everything midstream is difficult and not nearly as fun or tasty as it once was. I have not mastered the art of making vegetables taste so good that my family is overwhelmed with joy at what is placed before them. There are many nights when my 13-year-old son doesn’t eat because lentils and kale make him want to gag.

And then there is the writing. Once I get going and get in the zone, time flies, the thoughts keep coming and the world around me fades away. The key phrase above is “once I get going,” I am getting better at sitting down and forcing my fingers to move until something begins to formulate but I have a ways to go. Writing is my therapy. When I was 15 we moved from Eugene, Oregon to Coronado, California. (Poor Me, Right?) My mom gave me a journal and told me to use it to process my thoughts and feelings regarding all of the changes we were experiencing. I have seasons where I didn’t journal but for the most part, I have been journaling for the last 34 years. The other day I pulled out those old journals to see if I could find a thread throughout that would give me insight and direction about who I am and how I am wired. The only thread I found is that I was never a deep thinker and I was boy crazy from the womb. At least I’m consistent.

Let it out / Tiffanyaolson.com

Filled Journals From The Last Few Years

When I look back at my list, however, I am wondering if maybe the struggle is part of what brings the joy. Each time I make the choice to get out the door for a run, come up with a new recipe to try, write down some thoughts or love on the people I encounter at work.  I am choosing to hunker down, give it my best shot and hope that I do it a little better today than I did it yesterday. I take pride in looking back at my day knowing that I have intentionally added in things that don’t come easily for me because it makes my little world a better place to live in.

 

Have A Beautiful Day My Friends!

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