When I'm running, "all downhill" is a sweet phrase. But in this post, I mean it in the "I've arrived at the peak and now I'm on the way down" sense.
At the Summit
Or the "it can only get worse" sense. Not because I'm a pessimist, but because there is nothing in my history to indicate that I'm capable of sustaining this for any length of time.
I'm only telling you this because I want people to remember me as I was at the peak when they find me mumbling and drooling while I feed my family Costco pot pies for the third week in a row.
On most every personality indicator I've completed I am told I have an ability to adapt to different environments. I am able to quickly assess what is required to thrive in a situation and perform accordingly. (It doesn't take much brain power to figure out how those powers could be used for evil as well as good.)
Over the years, Richard has affectionately named my adaptations. They are all genuinely 'me', but I do act in predictable ways in many settings. Kind of like Malibu Barbie and Townhouse Barbie--they're the same doll in a different wardrobe.
So here are a few of my favorites:
Vacation Kelli: This Kelli is nonstop fun. She doesn't take naps because she doesn't want to miss a thing. She doesn't worry about money because 'she's on vacation!' and will probably never get to do this again. She stays up late, gets up early, and can't soak up enough of the sites. She begins dreading her return to real life as soon as she arrives and may mourn for as long as a week upon returning home.
Upfront Kelli: This Kelli is full of energy and passion. She talks fast, sings loud and generally expresses a full range of emotions. In spite of years of practice, she still usually regrets about half the things she says in this mode.
Celebration Kelli: This Kelli freaks out at every birthday celebration, major holiday or special event that involves a formal or informal gathering. Afraid her efforts won't adequately portray her affection for the honored guest or her creative skill, she spends way too much money on things like streamers and glitter.
Burnout Kelli: This Kelli can be found playing games on her phone, checking her facebook and laying in her bed reading. Anywhere, really where there are no people. If forced to be in a social situation she is distracted irritable and impatient. A real charmer, this one!
Domestic Kelli: Ha! Just kidding. There's no domestic Kelli.
Introducing....Getting It Done Kelli!
This week I discovered another possible adaptation--Getting it Done Kelli. This Kelli lists her roles at the beginning of the week, then considers the primary tasks she must accomplish in each of those roles. She crafts a to-do list for the week, including exercise, social interactions, and spiritual desires. She creates a menu on Monday, along with a shopping list. Each day she revises her to-do list to reflect what she has already accomplished. She actually does the things on her to-do list (this may be the key!). She spends quality time with her family, she leads a small group, and sends encouraging texts to her niece and son--with Bible verses, no less! She does laundry, exercises every day, and spends time with God each morning and evening. She writes three pages of ideas each morning as part of her 'morning pages' ritual and actually returns emails and phone calls in a reasonable amount of time. She prepares the budget for the next month and completes all the coursework for her online class. She makes dinner two nights in a row! She writes even when she doesn't feel like it and finishes projects. She reads for fun!
How much do you hate this women? A lot! And I was her for five fantastic days!
And now for a dose of reality...
Its not that there aren't some really good things that came out of this refreshing experience, its just that all the stars had to align for this to happen. It is nice to know that, if I were able to control everything, I really might function more effectively in the world. But the reality is...life happens. Kids get sick. They need the car. They damage the car. We run out of money. I get sick. I get depressed. I lose a job. I never make it to the grocery store and we're eating cereal again. I write and write and write and its all crap. You know how life works.
Not to mention that, at this pace, one little hiccup and "Getting it Done Kelli" quickly becomes "I'm Freaking Done! Kelli"
So boys and girls, what have we learned today?
I'm actually not trying to be a downer. In my own sick way, I'm celebrating! I had a really good week. I'm going to remind myself about this week many times in the next few months. But I've also learned to hold experiences like this loosely. To soak up the gift without demanding a new standard. I trust I'll have some more weeks (or hopefully, at least hours) like this in the future, but I'm growing in my acceptance of my imperfection and weakness and inconsistency. And in my ability to recognize the grace that was afforded to me this week by God. All I can say is thank you, thank you, thank you!
Kelli is a writer, speaker and consultant equipping leaders for a deepening intimacy with Christ, greater impact in ministry and more effective intentionality in all of life.
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