No More Challenges Challenge

It’s so easy to click a button, enter my email address and sign up for another challenge. Then they pile up on me. Something sabotages any progress I make (ahem, me!) and then my plans get derailed and it’s hard to jump back in. Because I have too many train tracks in front of me. I don’t know which one is the right track, off track, on or off a beaten path, or flat out hitting a dead end.

Planner challenge. Yoga challenge. Scripture reading. Prayer pledge. Drink half your weight in ounces-of water-per day. Run the year in miles. Exercise every day. No spending for a week. Read a (picture) book a day. Read a book a week. Sugar. No sugar. Fasting-but did I sign up for the 12, 14, or 16 hours? What the heck, put some cream in that coffee and just give me a cinnamon roll already! Oh, but didn’t I sign up for the no-carbs challenge or was that last month because it’s already February and I might have put that one on my list, but I messed up two days in when El Panadero, pulled out a batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies and the kids insisted on homemade pizza for dinner. On the same day. And I didn’t eat a salad.

Walk every day challenge. Then we get the random once every 12 years legit snow day and I’m a cold weather wimp, so I don’t think I walked farther than the length of the couch that day. Dry January. But there was that snow day and I added a little brandy to my Mexican hot chocolate. And the one day I bought the cute little “single” serve bottles of Prosecco.

Well, at least I’m doing well with my planner. Until the third week of the month when I had a wacky week that was busier than the whole month put together and I just left a bunch of blank calendar squares. Do I go back and fill them in? But WHY? Seriously!

Okay, well, there’s the Morning Pages. And those were going really well until, surprisingly, AFTER we had to start working on campus again. My usual commute became my time to get some writing in before logging in to work from home. I have, for the most part, kept those up. Three pages of random nonsense to help me make sense of things first thing in the morning. I’m on year 2, week 17. Sure, I’ve skipped some days here and there, but out of all of the challenges so far, this one I’ve managed to tame.

What else did I sign up for? Something on Shut Up and Write! I missed, already, the prompt for the day and the first day isn’t quite over yet. But it’s also day 1 of the February Yoga with Adriene calendar. I completed up to day 22 or so of the January “challenge” until, once again, life just caught up to me. Which is a good thing. I’m getting better about letting things go and a teensy bit better about thinking twice before I sign up for something else. That’s the easy part. Showing up is the hardest. Unless you count the mindless trigger fingers entering my email address. Anyone want to join a “No Challenge Challenge?”

2 thoughts on “No More Challenges Challenge

  1. Dear Alice,

    How endearing this post is! Sadly, I see myself in many of these tendencies to overtask, though filled with excitement, only to find myself often running on fumes.

    The hilarity with which you’ve laced your almost lyrical post softens the piercing truth that sometimes, we just commit to more than we should; but, how healing is this thoughtful notion. We must focus more on taking care of ourselves than unintentionally overextending ourselves.

    As you’ve shared this message with the masses, please know I am one (I hope of many) who are sitting up to listen. Fatigue is probably one of the things I struggle with most as a mom of 4 boys, team member, entrepreneur, committee contributor, freelancer, bright-idea-haver, doctoral student, tutor, (trying to consistelyt be a) blogger, pastor’s wife, sunday school teacher, praise team singer, and…

    Well I think I exhausted myself in just looking at that list, and I see all of those similarities again. I am reminded by those who care for me most, that I need to remember to slow…down… And as you said, perhaps, stop signing on to so many challenges for which I don’t necessarily have the physical and emotional bandwith. I think sometimes our enthusiasm can take us to places where our energy can’t sustain us. Thank you for this helpful reminder that we are most effective when we can be healthy, thoughtful, rested and efficient!

    I won’t soon forget it. What a wonderful post.

    With All Sincerity,

    ~Carla Michelle #nomorechallengesthatwecanthandle :o)


  2. Oh, I saw so much of myself in this post! I tried the January Yoga with Adrienne…for one day, when I saw that she wanted us to sit criss-cross applesauce, and my hips just don’t do that right now. I joined a walk-a-mile-a-day FB group, have yet to actually walk-a-mile-a-day. But YOU have inspired me with morning pages, though I only manage one page each morning. Now the challenge will be to keep it up while I do the March SOLSC…lol. So nice to have you in our Tuesday slicing circles now!


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