The Monotonous Middle

I have a confession to make, so get out your clerical collars and prepare to stick me with a few Hail Marys. I’ll wait while you put on your regalia.

You back? Good.

Confession: I didn’t want to post a blog this week.

Like, not even a little bit.

Nevermind that I have a dozen half-written blogs waiting for me to finish. And yep, I had an amazing idea to take advantage of Valentine’s Day and reveal all my secrets to a happy marriage (twenty years and still going strong!). But it seemed so trite. It felt like one more mundane thing I had to do (no! I’m not saying my marriage advice is trite or mundane!!!), because honestly none of it was on my heart to say.

And thus lies the problem. I have nothing to say.

There. I’ve confessed.

I’ve got nothing.

This week has been loaded with tons of processing and no big conclusions. I had zero epiphanies. Basically, blog wise, I’ve had a boring week.

But still, I’ve made a commitment to myself to be a professional, which means blogging every week like clockwork. This has nothing to do with you (sorry! I really do value you I promise) and everything to do with me fulfilling promises I made to myself. I want to be able to trust myself, and blogging every week is one of those promises I made. So, bailing on a post is like bailing on myself. I won’t let that happen.

Maybe, I thought, what if my blog topic is hidden in what I’ve been processing. There had to be some gems of wisdom in there somewhere. You tell me. Here are my most predominant thoughts:

  • Working out what I believe spiritually, with no answers or forward movement.
  • Contemplating writing a memoir. So many options. Which one?
  • Putting off looking into my next step of Lyme treatment. (Don’t worry. I’m not actually putting it off. I started antibiotics this week and I need to do some research on the new meds I’m taking. Hating research = dragging my feet.)
  • What will I blog about this week?

See? Boring.

But as I thought about it, I found the hidden gem, and it’s so simple.

I’m in process.

I’m somewhere between inception of the goal and interstellar master of my dreams. And I’ve mistaken this in between state as mundane, because, well . . . most of the time the process is boring. I’m in the dregs of the journey, the part where it seems like nothing is happening, but really, with each forward step, I’m getting closer and closer to where I want to be.

In my pondering of the process, I realized people rarely talk about this part. But, why?

My guess? Because it’s BORING!!!!

We all have heard those fantastic transformation stories. I was a drug addict and then I kicked the habit. Now look at my amazing, successful life. You can do it, too!!!

Or, My life sucked until I decided to ditch the fear holding me back. Now I’m tan, in shape, and gorgeous, living my dreams!!!!!

We hear these stories in sermons, in podcasts, at conferences, in the grocery store line. They are everywhere and are so inspirational.

The problem?

They leave out the loooooooooooong (sometimes decades) monotonous middle process.

Leaving out the middle is counter productive to us laymen. It only serves in getting us jacked-up on a motivation high. We will do this thing. We got this. We are committed. But then, the day-in day-out of it gets monotonous. We drag our feet. We decide to skip it, just for today. And eventually we forget why we were doing what we were doing and we quit. (Hello, this was my week, and because of it you almost didn’t get this blog.)

My point?

Don’t hate the middle. Embrace it. Love it. Have its babies.

I’m saying this as much to you as I am to myself.

The middle is what gets us there. Embrace the boring monotonous process, because in the miniscule tweaks and millimeter steps forward is where the change happens. It’s where we have our victories. Without the lame middle we would never have the after story.

I know you’re in process as much as I am. Sometimes it helps to call it what it is. It helps remind us why we stick with it. So, here are my boring middles:

  • Editing the Gatekeeper series to (hopefully) start publishing in July 2018.
  • Getting well.
  • Being financially disciplined so we can travel in three years.

See. Not exciting stuff. But when I get to July and hit publish, sending Gatekeeper out into the world, I won’t feel bored and monotonous. Most likely, I’ll feel terrified and accomplished. When all trace of Lyme is out of my body and I can be as active as I long to be, I won’t think the process to get there was lame. And when I’m in my RV, mesmerised by that sunrise over the Grand Canyon, I won’t bemoan all the times I said “no” to going out for a steak dinner.

Now it’s your confession time. Where are you in your process? Tell me about your monotonous middle in the comments. And let me know you liked this blog by signing-up to get them every week or sharing it on your favorite social media.

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