Monday, May 18, 2009

Doin' It Badly.

Has it really been nearly a month since I've written anything?

Aye, it has.

I have been very busy perfecting my life and ignoring my blog. Case-in-point, last week I bought an audio CD: 100 Ways to Motivate Yourself, by Steve Chandler. And you know something? It's actually quite effective! Consider that Steve says that one of the reasons we avoid doing a particular task is because we are afraid we'll do it badly. The solution, then, is to just do it, and embrace doing it poorly! In fact, do it as badly as you must, as long as you are doing it. I liked this one a lot. I hope you do as well, as I present an exceptional foray into mediocre blogging. Won't you come along?

I have spent a lot of time and energy making lists, setting deadlines, and trying to achieve my goals - the lofty ones, and the daily ones. To date, I've:

  • Made a bonfide chore chart! It's true. I brainstormed and jotted down all of the chores that need to be done on a weekly, bimonthly, and quarterly basis (no seriously) and created an excel spreadsheet, which I printed and fill in whenever I manage to get something done around the house. Yes, there are still more "J"s on my chart than "M"s, but this is progress.

  • Run, a lot. I was completely overwhelmed on the eve of Mother's Day, as per usual. Each year, J and I prepare a lovely meal for our immediate families to celebrate our mums, which means we host roughly 10 people. I am always consumed by the task, though this year I vowed to be calm by preparing to-do lists well in advance, and having a test run of the proposed meal the week prior. When the test meal wasn't quite excellent enough, I was in panic mode. I whined to J out of frustration, and silently thought that I would have to nix the Susan G. Komen 5K that Sunday morning. Now, because of my lack of preparedness, I've foregone the 5K for the past two years. The fact that I even entertained the idea of bailing a third year made me angry. So I stopped moaning; J and I went to the grocery store and resigned ourselves to a meal of pasta and meat sauce. I rose the next morning at 5:30 AM, caught the 6:11 train for Center City, and made my way through the race festivities, alone. And it was glorious. It's quite humbling to stand among breast cancer survivors, feeling their hopeful energy. It makes it impossible to complain about your trivial troubles. By the time I started the race, I felt positively giddy. I made it through the course in 30 minutes and 2 seconds, which was good enough for me. More exciting was the turning point; the decision to take action, and the subsequent feeling of triumph. I could do it! Since, I've run roughly every other day, 2 or 3 miles at a time, and I am committed to running the Philadelphia Half-Marathon on November 22nd. And you know what? This time feels different. This time, I know I can stop making excuses and accomplish a damn goal already. I'm ready.

  • Made lists, and then more lists. For work, I made a list of what I need to do on Monday mornings (shit- must do those things ASAP); I made a list of what to do on Friday afternoons. I hung it up in front of my desk, and, when I am working from my office (i.e., not now), I know what needs to be done (change VM to accurately reflect weekly travel; return emails/VMs, etc.) It's all terribly mundane but conversely very exciting to me, because it alleviates the pressure. I don't have to hide or cower; I just have to do these things. Brilliant! I also created a Master List of things to accomplish in the month of May, which I have been attacking little by little. Again: progress.

  • Developed a new found respect for Arnold Schwartenegger. I am not being facetious. In 100 Ways To Motivate Yourself, Chandler discusses the time he interviewed Arnold in the mid-70s, around the time his first movie flopped at the box office. He asked the future Terminator: "Now that you've retired from professional body-building, what are you going to do next?" To which Ahnuld responded calmly: "I am going to be Hollywood's biggest box office star." I, along with Chandler, was floored by that; here is an Austrian man who had an extremely successful career as a body-builder; a massive career as an actor; and an equally impressive career as a governor of one of the largest states in the country. And yet, seemingly, he had it in him all along. He told himself it would be so, and it was. Respek.

So, that's the gist. I am trying to get my affairs in order, and also trying to ascertain where my writing fits into it all. J and I spent last weekend in DC with lovely friends Matt and Maria, and at one point Matt asked me if I was still blogging. I wasn't sure how to respond to that; nor could I expostulate on exactly why I have been so reticent to write lately. I am sure all will become clearer as I continue in my odyssey of organization and self-actualization. Stay tuned.

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