The innocent chit chat had suddenly made me nervous. My hands involuntarily found one another and my body tensed up. I shifted back and forth in my heels, rocking slightly as though I was holding a newborn. I confessed to them my fears, and they observed my obvious emotional discomfort with amusement. Even I found it funny how much one woman mentioning her upcoming dental appointment could affect me. I fear the dentist. It’s honestly one of my biggest fears in life and I would rather birth another child than have to go. There are many mildly traumatic situations that have led up to this anxiety, and as dumb as the fear is, it’s there.
We all have those things in life that just get to us for whatever reason. Could be unreasonable fears, pet peeves, etc. One of my biggest pet peeves is people mixing up the words “less” and “fewer”. But I digress…I wanted to talk about another fear of mine—this one less “ah I’m scared!” and more “I’m going to overcome this if it’s the last thing I do”.
Some people fight The Man, others fight The System, but I fight The Mundane. Boring and predictable are one thing (actually two things), but to settle for the mundane would be like selling my soul. Again, just my exaggerated perspective since this is obviously a hot-button issue for me. To explain this fear of mine I would like to present Exhibit A: a poem-ish I wrote a few years ago but when I say it in my head it’s more like a rap. Did you know I fancy myself a rapper of sorts? It would probably be better for the world if I did not enter that industry, however. Anyway, below is just a small portion of an otherwise too lengthy white girl (attempt at) rap. Enjoy and try not to laugh at me too hard…
I am smothered by an enemy
It’s fed by my apathy
I’ve christened it mundanity
Since it appears so casually
Disguised as normality
It brings a heart fatality
And a numb mentality
That ends in tragedy
We each have capacity
For this catastrophe.
It would be a calamity
To be a victim of mundanity
A terrible travesty
To trudge along endlessly
And miss the vitality
Of life and its majesty
Be thankful for the family
Seeking to avoid the depravity
With an adventurous mentality
That wards off mundanity!
Okay so now that we’ve gotten through that interesting reading experience together, let’s get to the real reason we are here: I want to share my newest weapon for fighting off mundanity in my life. And yes, I realize that is not an actual word but I kind of like using it anyway. Like most people, I go through seasons of life. Well in my current season I’ve found myself in a little bit of a funk. I have big dreams and ideas, but they can’t cram themselves into my limited capacity schedule. However, I still know that I have more potential to do big things than I am getting around to. In order to build up my self-discipline muscles and work towards something greater I’ve implemented a weekly challenge for myself. I came up with 13 things (figuring that in the course of a year each item will come up 4 times–although I will draw them randomly, so I’m sure some challenges will be taken on more than others). Here is my list; feel free to copy it for your own usage:
- I will tell someone why I am thankful for the season I am in. (always good to focus on the positives)
- I will try something new that is healthy. (could be a new food, new habit, etc.)
- I will do something kind for a stranger. (pay for someone else’s coffee, say something nice, etc.)
- I will establish a fast for the week and focus on something else in the absence. (fasting from something I enjoy on a regular basis like lattes, wine, mindless internet surfing, etc. prompts me to think or pray on something else)
- I will pray for someone (in a way that they “hear” me pray). (it’s so easy to just say “I’ll be praying for you”, it’s another thing to actually sit down and pray with them)
- I will set something in order. (maybe a junk drawer, maybe something bigger like finances)
- I will reach out to someone I haven’t talked to in a while. (I think about old friends all the time but don’t always take a few moments to call)
- I will take care of something I’ve been procrastinating about. (has anyone else taken months to get around to canceling internet service you no longer use?)
- I will memorize something that’s been placed on my heart. (I already know I want to memorize Isaiah 58)
- I will find time to do something nice for myself. (people always say we need to take care of ourselves so that we can better take care of others)
- I will do something unexpectedly generous. (there is no encouragement quite like unexpected generosity)
- I will let go of something I’ve been holding on to. (maybe an old pair of shoes, maybe a grudge or old wound)
- I will write down my goals and how to achieve them. (if I fail to plan, I plan to fail?)
So as you can see, they are all little tiny baby steps towards doing something greater with my life. I don’t want to be stagnant and I don’t want to use the season of life I’m in as an excuse not to grow. I intend to use this list as a catalyst towards having more small adventures. Some of these challenges are harder than others, but the point is to be intentional about seeking adventure in the normal day to day. This is how I make sure that even if my season of life isn’t some super cool novel-worthy chapter, it’s at least not mundane.
My first week’s challenge:
Dear Lord, thank you for this day. Thank you for giving me big dreams and ambitions even if I have no idea how they will be fulfilled. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to seek adventure in daily life. Thank you for revealing needs to me—both in my life and others’ lives. Thank you for being a patient God as I slowly work towards living up to my potential. Please bless those reading this, and inspire them to live more fruitful lives. I love you, Lord. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.