Perfectly Intentional

I’ve had this idea in my head, a romantic idea, of what living an intentional life looks like.

For me, this means each morning when I get up and run through my morning routine. That routine includes morning pages, writing to my goal word count and perhaps a morning walk, all in my own time. In my mind, I am able to continually work forward in my goal of finishing my novel and getting it published.

This intentional living carries over to other parts of my life. Eating healthy, appropriate finances and interactions with my family are all part of my dream of intentional living.

Perhaps a reminder of the definition of intentional living is in order:

performed with awareness; done deliberately, consciously, or on purpose

The reality is so different than the definition.

The truth is I tend to stay up too late to have the ability to rise in the morning. For years, the only time I’ve been able to truly be alone is after my hubby goes to bed. I like the hours between 10 and midnight, but that means the 5:30 am alarm is ignored. I still write every day, but it is most often at the end of the day.

I tend to live in my own little world until a patient, or not so patient, reminder that I need to connect with people, family and otherwise.

I deal with stress by spending money and throwing my life out of balance.

Intentional living this is not.

As far as the rest of my intentions, planning and making healthy food is but a pipe dream and I would much rather be alone than in a crowd, so interactions with others is a struggle. Even appropriate finances are often out of my reach, through a lack of intention.

I cannot be alone in this. People everywhere make New Year’s resolutions, and by February, most of them have been broken. We set goals only to completely fail, even if we set SMART goals.

Our intentions are good; the problem is in the execution.

Life, it seems, is a nonconformist.

Oh, there are some mornings where I manage to sit down to my morning pages and even get my writing done, but something always has to give. Seldom is there enough time for everything I think I need to live my intentional life.

So, what are the next steps?

You keep going. Every day, you wake up and try again.

If that means that I am only able to write one of my usual three-morning pages or perhaps a few hundred of my usual 500 to 1000 words per day, I still do it.

If that means that I have to make my morning coffee rather than purchase it on my way to work to keep the finances in balance, that’s what needs to happen.

If that means the only dishes that you wash are the forks so that the family can eat the take out you’ve managed to bring home, then so be it. At least you are together.

An intentional life isn’t meant to be perfect. Sure, I still have that perfect picture in my head of what intentional living means to me, the reality is that life simply goes on. It doesn’t wait for perfection.

Neither should you.

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