This is where I'm at

Although my personal New Year’s is on October 1 (that’s they day when I always feel renewal and refreshment in my soul… fall air, October skies, colorful leaves, apple cider, pumpkin spice everything), it seems like I have a pattern of always tending to want to blog around the January New Year’s every year. My last post was two years ago. Last year around this time I set up this blog with Michael on his downey.net domain, but never ended up posting anything other than recipes.

Two reasons for this lack of writing:

  1. I have a completely disorganized digital life recently — too many devices, too many apps, too many clouds, too many passwords, etc. It’s difficult for me to find clarity in cluttered and disparate environments.
  2. I have a general internal discomfort in blogging anymore. Because I’m in my 30s now, and being in your 30s is clearly only for adults, and adults are supposed to more or less have their identity figured out, and be super-mature in their faith and spiritual habits which form the basis for one’s perspective from which to write about anything. All these things. And… I don’t. I’m not. At least not to the standards I think are appropriate.

However, I’ve had a good number of days off of work lately, to work on the organization of my digital life, and I’m finally making some really good progress on that, and thus making good progress on my clarity. And as a result of that clarity, I’ve decided that as for being an adult, I’ll just grow up; instead of avoiding talking about what I’m thinking about in fear of its “correctness”, I think I’ll just work on actually getting to where I think I ought to be. I can’t commit to publishing on a regular basis, but I can commit to writing on a regular basis. So that’s where I’m at.

So here are my 2015 priority categories. Not so much resolutions as much as they are status updates:

1. Spiritual

I recently bought a Bible. Why did I do that; I have 2 Bibles already? I bought it because I haven’t been reading it. For a long time. I’ve tried on many occasions, but I’ve never found a routine that works for me in a meaningful way. So I bought a Study Bible — one with commentary alongside it, and background on the individual books. That has been helping me a lot with the context I need in order to really comprehend it and apply it.

I also bought a Beth Moore daily devotional book. I’ve never read any of her stuff, mainly because the first time I’d ever heard of her was in a Bible Study where someone suggested something like “we could do a Beth Moore study”, as if she was a brand, which I guess she is, and that immediately turned me off. Because as much as I know about brands, having worked for marketers my whole career, I’ve always found it a little odd to follow any churchy brand, whether it be a Bible Study brand or denominational brand. I mean, I’ll just take the Jesus brand, thank you. Because all humans are only human. Whether you’re just a normal person, or a Bible expert, a theologian, a clergy member, a pope, whatever. Even the best of us screw up something. No one can ever know everything.

But I bought the book anyways, because it was about Bible characters (after being sure of the return policy), and after 4 days of it I’ve decided it was a good decision and I won’t return it. Not because I’m joining her bandwagon. And despite all of her critics. I’m reading it because she’s written about humans of the Bible, in a human way that I appreciate and have needed for years now, and that’s where I’m at. I am through with worrying about what are the “right” things to be reading. That has been a stifling approach to my spiritual life and my relationships with those close to me for 20 years now, to the point where I simply don’t read much at all. So I’m just going to read. I’m going to read things by everyone.

2. Relational

3. Physical

And for the record, some updates on my resolutions from 2013:

  • I read some nights, and intend to read nearly daily this year although sometimes mornings might be better. I have actually finished a small handful of books, which is something.
  • I’ve scheduled my cross-country ski trip for later this month, snow-pending. This is unbelievably exciting for me.
  • I did start volunteering. It definitely helps that my company gives us 6 days a year for this. I enjoy Habitat for Humanity, and I have recently also helped out People for Urban Progress. I also sometimes do projects for Michael and OpenMRS.
  • I still have 28 more pounds, minimum, to go. This is a long story for another day.
  • In the spirit of organizing my digital life, I put the Dutch lessons on my phone so I can listen to them while walking to and from work. That’s progress.

Hannah Downey

CX Design Consultant at Salesforce focused on content & sustainability. I love information design, the art+science of text, guac, sweet potatoes, & amazing people.

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