I’m not sure what I want but it’s not what I’m doing. Don’t get me wrong…I’m grateful for my life. My whole family lives in health, loves each other, we have a nice house, we travel, we buy and do much of what we want, a great dog, a few good friends, and steady well-paying jobs. Sounds ideal, I know. But something’s missing. That something that billionaires still go to bed feeling empty about. Is it PURPOSE? Is it MAKING A DIFFERENCE? It’s that “Void in my heart” that John Mellencamp sang about. So when I start to feel guilty for wanting more…no, not more: Something else…no, not something other than what I’ve got…see? I can’t pinpoint what it is. FULFILLMENT? Shouldn’t I have fulfillment from all those things I listed above? Religious people might say I need more God. Maybe they’re right, but what I don’t want is more religion. More sitting in a seat on Sundays facing forward, greeting when I’m told to greet, reciting meaningful things so many times they become meaningless, doing things this way because that’s just what we do, saying words I don’t feel or sometimes mean, singing the same songs over and over… Acting a very specific way that’s been deemed “right;” cookie cutter behavior. You do this and don’t do that and have these opinions and feelings about these issues or people who act like that. I know there’s a right and wrong, but I also think there may be more shades of gray than people think. I think it’s more about love than anything, but I’ve still got some holes in my thinking. It’s tiring and monotonous. I don’t want it. The God who created the whole universe and each individual person with all their differences, all of those crazy animals, and space…has got to be more interesting, adventurous and engaging than this! Maybe what I need is a taste of the REAL God. But that would require stepping away from what I’ve been ingrained as the right way to live and do things. It sounds dangerous, and what if I’m wrong and I wander down some weird path that’s all messed up and I can’t find my way back? I do believe that at the root of my unrest is this acceptance of the way things are and should be. Something about it feels wrong or at minimum, not enough. I love the books that tell me to live the adventurous life, and how much joy it brings along with risk and mistakes, with people who won’t like what you’re doing because it rocks THEIR world too much. I come away from books like that and think, “That’s it! I’m going to be more adventurous! Change things up a bit. This is going to be great!” And then, I stand up and realize I need to fold towels before I go to work and after work I have this or that errand to run. By the time I get home I’m pretty tired and burned out, and just want to have a drink and go to bed. I don’t know HOW to be adventurous. That’s what it boils down to. Then the mind games start, like in Bryan Duncan’s song “Yes I Will”, where I realize just how boring I am, and I start kicking myself around for being like that…how the fact that I don’t even know how to be adventurous shows what a loser I am.
One thing I read today, though, was called, I think, the 5% rule, from some Oriental thinker guy in the early 1900’s. The idea is that you do something new for 5% of your day, every day. The next day you could even do 5% more of what you did 5% of the day before. The idea is to tap into something new every day without overwhelming yourself. Then, those experiences could lead to other things that are meaningful and/or that you really love. Let’s see, 5% of a 24 hour day would be…72 minutes. Um, wait. I don’t have an hour and 12 minutes to spare each day! Maybe I do, but I’m not currently willing to give up that much time. So, how about 5% of waking time, say 16 hours. That would be…48 minutes. Still a stretch. I feel a little pressured. Ok, well, this Oriental guy doesn’t know everything. What if I did 3% of waking time…that’s 29ish minutes. Round out to half an hour. I think I could do that. As a matter of fact, this writing is something new. Remember…this is an idea. No pressure if I don’t accomplish it every day, like tomorrow when I work 10 hours.