So I have found myself in yet another funk. I know that there are a lot of things that I want to do: take some college classes, start another blog with a different focus, thoroughly go through the house and clean out all of the stuff/junk that we no longer use, write...
The list goes on a bit longer, but I am certain you're tired of hearing about my unfulfilled aspirations. This is probably because you yourself have the same list. Now, this isn't a bucket list. I don't plan on kicking the bucket for a very long time. It's the "I'm nearing the milestone birthday and what do I have to show for my life?" list.
We have all of these dreams and set all of these goals for ourselves, but for some reason, most of us never seem to quite get there. Why is that?
What makes it so stinking hard to start these projects, or if we've started them, why does there seem to be a wall that blocks us from going further?
The key phrase in that last question was: wall that blocks us.
Let us pause and let that one sink in. I'll wait.
Attention everyone, face front and eyes on the board. I am going to share with you a secret I have discovered while dwelling on this question for longer than I've ever admitted to anyone. Even my dear, dear sister. (Sorry sis.)
The secret is this: Those walls are excuses. (gong!)
I know, I know. You're disagreeing with me right now, because you've thought of this and these walls weren't built by you. They were put there and built up by your spouse, your kids, your job, your parents and basically the needs of the world around you.
I concur. My walls have the same initials etched into them. This layer was laid by my 17-year-old, and that layer was added by my 14-year-old, and this one I can tell is from the entire 8th grade football team (thanks guys). Who can blame us? We've got a lot of stuff going on in our lives!
But, you must now see that we, and we alone, allowed those walls to be put there. In that exact spot. I think in a sense we are hiding behind them, and yes, using them as an excuse, to not do what we really want to do. And maybe this is because we are afraid to fail. (That's right, I used the 'f' word.) We're afraid that if we write that book about the perfect topic that we thought about while staring at our computer monitor at work, that we then won't know how to take the next step by getting it published. And once you find out that that step isn't that difficult, especially since you can now send it to nearly all agents and publishers via email, you're afraid that they will write back a sneering email that you can seemingly feel the laughter through. Actually, the denials are short and sweet and they, from the feeling I got, are strictly business. And there really are a few agents out there who will wish you luck in your effort.
Well, as I mentioned earlier on, I am nearing a milestone birthday and over the past couple of years I've been spiraling on the edge of a huge whirlpool. Just on the outside edge. I still have the chance, if I'm strong enough, to swim myself out of the strong current before it sucks me down.
I don't need to break down the walls and stand on top of the mountain of rubble with my mighty sledgehammer shouting "No More!" I just, very simply, need to slightly angle myself a little different so that I am not ramming my head into my walls.
Easier said than done? Not really. The truth is, is that we can live without a lot of the 'stuff' in our lives that we think we can't live without. I thought once upon a time that I couldn't live without d.v.r.-ing Survivor and watching it faithfully, season after season. Guess what? I have not seen one episode of the last two seasons and I am still here, despite closing in on that big milestone. In fact, since starting my blog, I have watched a lot less television than I ever would have thought possible. I spend less time on facebook. I still do a daily scan of email and updates. But now, rather than spending hours facebooking, our volunteering for school activities, or being the team mom, or being the one to drive for all field trips, or being the sole grocery-getter, I have retired, in a sense. I am stepping down in some of my activities and letting some of the other peers and family members take the reins for a bit, while I start finally getting to all of those dreams. I can't tell you how tired I am of talking to people and saying "Yeah, that's something I've always wanted to try." or "I meant to sign myself up for that but I was so busy that week."
Bluch! Just writing it now, I'm thinking "blah, blah, blah...Shut up!"
And to end today's topic, I am going to give you a gift. A phrase that I'd like you to keep in your back pocket. But you can only use it if you promise to say it with a smile while giving yourself a pat on the back for trying. It's "Oh well."
So you tried to write the novel and you're not having luck finding a publisher. Oh well.
So you've tried for the first time to make homemade pie crust and it's falling apart. Oh well.
So you've finally started that blog and you have two views (in three months). Oh well.
So you took a week off from your job to clean your house out and have an amazing yard sale, and then you ended up sitting at your computer and writing a months worth of new blogs instead. Oh well.
I think maybe it's starting to dawn on you now. That to try your dreams is the biggest step. Until you've tried them out, taken that car for a test drive, you will never know if they would have worked out for you or not. You'll never know if you were meant to be the lead IRS Special Agent helping with the investigation of a dirty congressman. And you'll never know if you were meant to be the next famous novelist on the best sellers list.
Myself? I guess I would much rather make the attempt. Whether I complete the task at hand in a week, in my lifetime or not at all. Oh well.