Thursday, April 8, 2010

Fool's gold, new "stuff", and SPRING!!!

So now what? Easter has come and gone, my Biggest Loser contest has ended. Did either of them making a lasting difference?


How about you? Where are you on New Year's resolutions, fitness plans, financial goals?

It's so much easier to start than to finish, isn't it?

All gung-ho, committed, ready for a change, a new you...

Sometimes it is exciting, the same way buying a new car brings a thrill.

Here's some hard truth...a car is only new for a couple months. Even if you keep it clean and are diligent about maintenance, it doesn't stay "new." And , of course, there are payments. What started as something fun and exciting is now a means of transportation and monthly expense. Doesn't mean you don't like it, just that it may not always be a "thrill."

Life is so like that. We get easily caught up in "new" and "shiny" and "cool". Fool's gold.

Instead of fixing old things, we prefer to get new things.

A new spiritual peak, but no change in heart attitude.

A new piece of exercise equipment, but no change in food choices or how much we use the new machine.

A new car, new clothes/purse/shoes, new techno-gadget, new friends...all of which stop being new and stop satisfying our desires.

And, at some point, the truth in these words (from Emily Saliers) hits us hard:

All the shiny little trinkets of temptation


Something new instead of something old


All you've gotta do is scratch beneath the surface


And it's fool's gold...

Which brings me back to the original question...now what? The emotions of a High Holy Week are over, the challenge of winning a weight loss contest is done...do I have take-aways that will improve my life for good? Will I be committed to the hard work of improving ME? Or will I take the easy road, look outside of myself, divert my attention with new, shiny stuff that will ultimately lead me to a place of looking in the mirror at the same old me?

Throwing out old things and getting new ones is easy.

Thinking my life will be better with new people, a new fad diet, a new popular spiritual approach, is easy.

Hurtful and ineffective, but still easy.

I don't want fool's gold.

I want the old me with a renewed relationship with Christ. I want the old me with a new BMI and new fitness habits. I want the old me with a new appreciation for the family and friends I have loved for years - because I have changed, not because they have changed to suit me.

I want a Spring filled with renewal and growth in MY heart that is so vibrant it makes life better for everyone in my path.

How about you?

2 comments:

Matt said...

Thought provoking post, Beth, thanks.

I am definitely on track with where I want to be this year. However, there were many years when this was not the case.

What made the difference? I finally figured out exactly what you describe, namely, that new things do not stay new. In other words, things that were originally extra-ordinary had become ordinary. I discovered that in order to make a long term commitment stick, I had to become content the "ordinary" in life because this is what the extra-ordinary would eventually become. In essence, I figured out that it was/is necessary for a long term commitment to become part of the ordinary in life, no different than brushing my teeth.

A diet, for example, generally has an end date while a commitment to a healthier way of eating and exercise does not. A person does not commit to brushing his/her teeth for 90 days and then stop. For the past three years I have gotten up almost every day at 5:00 a.m. and worked out. This routine is now an ordinary event in my day, no different than brushing my teeth.

It does help to have goals to guide our lifestyle, however. For example, I have been working since the first of the year on training for the Pittsburgh Marathon. Just knowing this event is coming up influences my daily decisions in terms of what I eat and how I workout.

As you said in your blog post, Beth, “now what?”.

After the marathon I will eye up some other race and start the process over. This works for me. Others need to find similar activities to keep them on track.

One other thing that struck a chord with me in your blog post was the reference to looking outside yourself as the easy way out which will ultimately result in looking at the “same old me”. You rightly identify that the direction a person needs to be looking within for a lasting change.

Now that the biggest loser is over, Beth, do you have an answer to your question “now what?”

Beth said...

Hi Matt,

Thanks for your insightful words.
You should be commended for your workout schedule. The daly regimen has been a challenge for me - I am on a Biggest Loser continuation program, however.
It is so true that the extraordinary becomes ordinary...if we are always looking outside ourselves to be inspired, our lives will be largely unfulfilled!