Hunger Games

I read the entire Hunger Games series in a week. I can’t believe it’s already over. It was pretty incredible. I am not quite done processing it to write a review, but I will. I want to get back to blogging but haven’t yet figured out how to make it a habit. More to come soon, I hope…

Service Battery

So yesterday I talked about decompressing and what it looks like for me as well as how it’s an integral part of rest. If decompressing is largely focused on giving your brain a break on the amount of information it receives, recharging is filling up your emotional gas tank. It’s doing something that gives you energy again. Continue reading “Service Battery”

Squished

So this quarter has been tough. Not because Greek is exceptionally hard. Doing it as an intensive is just a bit demanding. Having one’s brain so thoroughly focused on one thing all the time drains you. As a result, you need to do to things to keep yourself happy and avoid insanity: decompress and recharge. I’m realizing these two are very different things.

I’m not really sure how to explain my distinction between the two, so I’m just going to discuss them in separate posts.

First I turn to decompressing. For me, decompressing is the more mind-centered of the two topics. When your brain is running all the time, it needs a break. The body does this somewhat naturally through dreams, but that’s mostly for the subconscious. To decompress the conscious you have to immerse the mind in something that requires less—even little to no—work for your mental faculties. This can be a menial task like cleaning, or something more relaxing like reading a book or watching TV.

As mentioned in a previous post, I watch a lot of TV. I mean a lot. It’s been declining this quarter and my DVR is actually getting quite full. I hope to remedy that after finals. So decompressing, I’ve got down. You could call me the king of decompressing. Recharging however, has taken some work. Only recently did I realize the two were actually distinct yet working in tandem. I’ll get to that tomorrow.

My question to you is this: what do you do to decompress and how often do you do it?

Quick Update

Catalyst West was awesome. This week was actually pretty awesome as a whole minus last night’s getting rear ended on the 5 Freeway. I’ve been collecting ideas for blog posts for about a week now. Had a moment of inspiration that spurred the whole thing. So, starting Monday morning, you should see regular posts from me.

Pacing

Two weeks into the New Testament Greek Intensive and things are pretty crazy. Like really crazy. It’s a back and forth pattern of getting up really early and sleeping in really late. I’ve accidentally figured out that I remember more Greek for the quizzes if I study it all that morning before. What makes that even better is that I can get the homework done faster if I do it that morning as well. So this week, I’ve gotten up around 4 am after going to bed at 9 pm. It gives me plenty of time to do all my work for class and be fairly well rested. By the time I get home, I’m ready for a nap. And I’m not just talking a nap, but a naaaaap.

Like four hours long.

So I wake up at like 7 pm and go about my evening. The problem is that I’m not tired until about 1 am after that. So, I sleep in the next day until about 10 (8 hours + the hour I missed the night before). This is a dramatic difference in schedule. By the time of done my errands it’s about 3 or 4 pm and time to hang out with people. So by the time I get home it’s 8 and there’s not enough time to do any Greek. Thus continueth the cycle.

My pacing sucks. It’s effective, but lacks a sense of anything normal.

I, with several seminary friends, am going to run a half marathon in late spring. I am not a runner. I have never been a runner nor have I ever wanted to be a runner. Yet, running with people sounds less terrible. I know that I should do it if I want to full the fitness requirement of my One Word for 2011: grow. Running is free. I can’t afford to play hockey as often as I like, so I’m running.

Pacing is important in running. I ran for the first time yesterday and was tired after 8 minutes, and I ran for a minute and then walked for a minute. I haven’t figured out pacing in running yet.

I haven’t figured out pacing in life yet either. It’s not just the routine of Greek being added. I was bad at pacing before the quarter started. I binge on things. It’s the proverbial roller coaster. I need to get off the ride.

This. Won’t. Be. Easy. I like roller coasters.

#OneWord2011: Grow

So thanks to a genius idea from my friend @gritandglory, I’m joining in on a new way to look at New Year’s resolutions. Let’s be honest, they don’t usually work. My original thought was to get so unspecific that it’d be nearly impossible for me to fail. Alece takes it to a new place with One Word 2011.

The goal is to come up with a single word to help redefine your year. I toyed around with words like discipline and realized they only really tackled one or two areas of my life. Then a word came to mind.

Grow.

Just Grow.

Grow in discipline.

Grow in faith.

Grow in fitness.

Grow in love.

Grow in community.

Grow.

It pretty much covers it all. Some of those areas I’ve never been good at (ahem, fitness and discipline, ahem). Others, I’ve never had a problem with, but I haven’t been growing.

Growing should be easy for me, but sometimes I just don’t for no apparent reason. It means: Never. Stop. Moving. Be constantly changing. Always learning. Always checking yourself. Always reading Scripture. Always evaluate what you’re thinking and why. Grow.

So, I’m gonna make twenty eleven about growing. Should be fun. It’ll be a challenge., but I think it’ll be worth it.

Grow.

Californiated Me

For a final project in one of my classes this quarter, I was tasked with doing a creative interpretation of a self portrait or self revelation. I set out to use the images of my life to create this portrait. I gathered all of the photos I’ve taken in California and created the image below (click to enlarge). The majority of the photos are from touristy forays, Ducks games, Disneyland and the like. In the end, however, they do a pretty good job of showing my life since moving to California, enjoy.

Download full version here.

On Music

I really like music. I have 7,248 songs in my iTunes library. I listen to music while driving, doing chores, walking to class, etc. However, I don’t think I absolutely love “popular music.” There are some people who are just constantly moved by popular music—people who listen to lots of different artists and know a lot about music. I’m not that person. I have favorite bands and albums, but I’m not an aficionado. I don’t ever listen to the radio. I wish I played an instrument—namely piano or violin—but I don’t. So, I’m not a musician either.

Don’t get me wrong. I need music in my life. I’m still moved by a song from time to time. It’s just not my passion. Most of my music likes come from tv or movies. I really like soundracks. I listen to lots of worship music too. I feel a bit atypical as a result of all this.

Divide And Conquer

I’ve noticed this interesting phenomenon here at seminary. Very few people go to church together. Everyone seems to split up into smaller groups and attend niche churches. I think a big reason for this is the pressure we have to nail down our internship early. Usually during the second (sometimes third) year of the M.Div. people do their required 9-month part-time church internship. As a result, people have scouted out their denominational churches early and are getting involved in them. This definitely fragments an aspect of community life here. I’m just starting to build solid relationships with people here. It’s sometimes hard to do that when everyone goes to a different church. For most of my life, the majority of my community has been found in a church-type setting. Still adjusting to the new dynamic I guess. I think I wish things were a little different.

I’ve found a couple great churches that I would be happy to attend, yet I feel like my biggest criteria for choosing a church right now is supposed to be “can I get an internship here 9 months from now?” About none of those churches can I answer that question affirmatively. That’s tough. One of the churches has a Sunday evening service. Maybe I’ll have to go there on Sunday nights and attend somewhere else on Sunday mornings. We sure have made this complicated…