Saturday, June 22, 2013
I'm intrigued by others' success stories--what they aspired to, like marathons, and what they rewarded themselves with, like amazing vacations. Sometimes I've tried reward systems for myself, but I know that the reward I enjoy most is the pride and pleasure I take in accomplishing something ambitious for me. This has held true in academics, travel, hobbies, and physical activities from rowing to bicycle tours.
I'm not a natural athlete, but I competed with others and myself enough to prove to myself that I can do it, and to know that consumes more time than I'm willing to give up anymore. There's so much I want to do that I haven't yet, that is more important to me. I will keep fit with activities that bring me health and joy, but what hopes and dreams have eluded me?
Sure, I'd like to travel to Europe with my family. But that's not big enough. I've done it by myself before, and it would be enjoyable but it wouldn't change me or anyone else in any major way. I have so many good intentions that fell by the wayside, not just my health: learning other languages fluently, writing and painting for an audience, promoting causes I care about in some bigger and more powerful way. My dreams are too big--I don't know where to start, how to sort them, what to let go of.
I want to write. I want my writing to make a positive impact on others, whether it motivates them in a subtle or direct way.
I want to paint, to draw. I don't want to do that full time, because I fear it's too trivial. I think that, even though I am thankful for others who devoted themselves to their craft full time, and images can be just as powerful an inspiration as words.
I want to teach others about the things I care about. I'm no expert at teaching, but I have enthusiasm I want to share.
I want to be there. With people. Not off by myself, apart from the world, but with those who are lonely and want a friend.
I try to figure out where to start, and my head spins, talking myself into and out of choices. I'm not sure how to decide, except that to be wise, my choice needs to be based on my hopes, not my fears, my possibilities, not my limitations. Just like with health...if it matters enough, I'll figure out how.
I don't know what my big goal or reward should be. I'm only nearing my one-month anniversary of sticking up for myself, to myself for my health, getting beyond good intentions. I'll need to stick with this for months to lose my overweight/underfit, and then I'll need to stick with the next version of this forever to keep my fitness. I worked long and hard for my first degree, then in my profession, and now in my stay-at-home mom role. What do I most consistently regret not doing yet? Gee, that's not so hard to answer after all. Painting, and illustrating a children's book. The painting ideas have been waiting decades. The children's book for 3 years. I have been too busy. I have been too stressed. I have been too isolated. But I also have been afraid to start, because I want the outcome to be perfect before I even start. Maybe it's like trying to look like someone else instead of just being the best me I can be. I need to stop fretting about the end result, do the work, and let the result be what it will be. Getting a children's book published, now THAT is a goal that excites me, I just have to dare to do it.