Discipline v. Freedom?

Today, it feels great to be sitting back in the office/studio, Lexie in her chair, music on, (Listening to Rick Tiger, fyi), and planning what to say here again. There is never a total loss of what to say, there are so many things to discuss. Today, I saw these two topics:

“A life without discipline is a life without joy.” Muriel B

“Today, I will remember that self-discipline is in my self-interest.”

By moving back into the office/studio, I am practicing discipline. From probably Thanksgiving until yesterday, I’d lounge with the Chromebook, writing the blog while watching Rachael Ray. I had a great old time. It was relaxing (which I needed), it gave me time to focus on making our Christmas season special for us (and gave me time to refocus on my sadness about the season, from the kids being gone to not getting to see our youngest grandkids very often), and to force myself to focus on what we have, not what we don’t have. The have’s so outnumber the have not’s when you analyze it, I feel a little foolish to dwell on what’s slipped through my fingers instead of what’s in my hand right now. My hands are overflowing!

In life as well as in my author/creator/quilter/crafter/artist world, I need the discipline to enter the room where the magic happens in order for it to “happen.” Magic happens when I’m fully engaged. I cannot be fully engaged when I’m listening to how to make Rachael Ray’s Eggplant Parmesan with part of my brain while trying to write with what little is left to use at that moment.

Discipline has been a word with both a good and a bad definition. As kids, we grew up equating discipline with a spanking. Some kids defined it as a beating at home. Yes, there were many homes like that. While I was raising my kids, I started out with what we all learned, a mild swat on the bottom. Sometimes you had to get their attention. Most of the time, mine would be quiet, and well-behaved. Discipline meant something different to my kids, and was usually grounding, never a beating!

Discipline now may mean loss of screen time (which may trigger a tantrum), losing a special snack, or taking a time out. Discipline is also what we need to keep ourselves on any path; whether it is the Keto Diet, watching a video class for your craft, reading your idols latest publication, it takes discipline to get to a task and perform as you need to.

You will never reach whatever goal you have; losing weight, finishing your novel, learning to paint, producing ribbon earning quilts, or whatever. It sometimes takes more energy to get off the couch and open the laptop than to actually sit in the chair and write 500 – 1000 words. Done and Done!

Discipline no longer is a burden we have to do but hate doing. Doing what needs to be done is the only thing that will get us where we need to go. It’s the only way we can measure our progress, which happens to be my “word of the year.” I get joyful when I see I’ve made progress. I get joyful when I end another post for blogging. I get joyful when I put dinner in the crockpot by 9 a.m. Dinner’s done and I have more time to write, read, and learn. Bonus!

Let’s all celebrate progress by remembering discipline is the best friend we can have; it’s the vehicle that is equipped to get us where we’re going. It doesn’t matter if you’re an alcoholic in recovery, a PTSD or other trauma survivor, a person losing weight for health reasons, or an author writing a book. You soon discover self-discipline is in your self-interest. The trick is not becoming obsessive or compulsive about it, which is a topic for another blog.

Have a beautiful Monday! It’s a clear but cold day here, and at Noon or so, the Babe and I are going to pick up our granddog from the kennel where she stayed while her family was at the Dance Team competition in Minnesota. They’ll be home late this afternoon after the kennel closes. Josie needs to greet her people when they arrive home! Let’s greet self-discipline like a 50 pound lab mix greets her people; you’ll get where you’re going for sure. See you tomorrow!

Let’s Be Joyful!