To know; start to do

There’s lot of stuff I don’t know how to do. Most of the time it doesn’t bother me too much, but sometimes, when it becomes obvious that I have no idea how to make something work, it gets the better of me and I have a teeny tiny meltdown. Often the meltdown comes in the form of drinking too much coffee and pretending that I don’t really need to do the thing that’s bothering me. This time it’s my marketing plan. I keep drinking coffee and thinking, what’s the point of even bothering with all of this if no one cares about my writing anyway? Then I drink some more coffee. Soon I end up looking like this:smiley-1770265_1280

The dumb thing about no one caring is that no one can care if I don’t give them something to care about and no one is going to care at all if they can’t keep caring about whatever it is I’m asking them to care about in the first place. This is the whole point of developing a marketing plan…well, I think it is anyway, but I could be wrong. It’s rare, but it has happened a couple of times.

I struggle with the marketing plan because I really have no idea what the hell I’m doing. It seems impossible to take this giant mess that feels like a stringy blob and turn all the strings into nice lines that are functional and useful. I want to run away from it, but then I hark back to all of the difficult things I’ve dealt with like this in the past and I use those experiences to teach myself that even if I don’t know how to do this, I  can work my way through it, I just need to start DOING.

 

Stringy blob

This is a shot of my notebook. Here it’s relating to starting this website, which by the way took me two failed attempts and more than three years to get going. You can read about the hike here. Hardest Words is the title of my unpublished memoir, which took me four years to write and is 75K words in length. Fitness and wellness kind of speaks for itself.  I didn’t know how to do any of these things before I started doing them and I would have never actually done any of them if I didn’t start doing them. None of it was easy; NONE OF IT, but that was never really the point. The point was to get stuff moving. I don’t like to say achieving a goal, because none of these things were goals, they are journeys that haven’t ended yet and probably never will because they continue to enrich my life.

Not knowing stuff is an opportunity for adventure

 

 

 

 

The Book of What I Did

I’ve always thought of myself as a list maker and I believed that making lists was the best way to get shit done, even though I rarely managed to scratch more than two things off a list in a day. At the end of the day I’d look at a list with 5 or 6 things on it that I didn’t get around to and think, what the hell did I do with my time? Far out, I procrastinate too much. I really have to change that. So, the next day I’d write another list with renewed determination to get shit done, but I’d never make it to the end of the list, even though the things I had on there were only small tasks that wouldn’t take that much time or effort.  Ugh, what’s wrong with me? I’ll try harder tomorrow, then tomorrow would come, then another tomorrow, then another and rinse, repeat. My day was pretty much taken up by what I saw as not getting shit done. I’d never feel good about the things I did do because there was always more that I didn’t do.

This cool guy I’m married to came to live here after he quit his job working away in a remote location. I’d see him from time to time, but it’s been several years since we lived together all the time and I’d forgotten how focussed he is. He has this super-ability to accomplish all this amazing shit in one day. As soon as he got here, he started writing a daily list on the blackboard we have painted on the wall. Wow, he really is pretty damn cool, I thought to start with, but it didn’t take long until I started comparing myself to him and as a result became even less productive with my own list. “What’s the point of writing a list if you don’t do the things on it?” He asked me before skipping off to finish putting the guttering on the shed he’d just built.

carpenter-1453880_1280

Instead of pushing him off the ladder and burying his body in the 4 metre bore he’d just dug by hand I decided that maybe he was right and that just because I’d been telling myself I was list maker for as long as I can remember, doesn’t mean I am one. All at once I recalled all the past effort I’d put into lists, scheduling, planning, goal setting and how it just never worked: I hated it. The more I tried to force myself into a box the more I railed against it and the more it made me feel like a failure because like I said earlier I could only focus on what I wasn’t achieving instead of what I did achieve. I’ve been doing this for years. What an idiot!

My brain popped up and said, “Hey, what about a reverse to-do list?”

My mind said, “What’s that?”

“Well,” said my brain, “Instead of writing out shit that you want to get done, it’s where you write out the shit that you did get done. Kind of like a journal, but without the tears and emotional outpouring.”

So, I called it The Book of What I Did. I thought keeping all my daily achievements (even the mundane stuff like cleaning the bathroom) in one place would be a great way to see that even though I don’t get stuff done, I also get a lot of stuff done.  I feel pretty excited that I don’t have to look at a list anymore and think about how I hate everything on it.

Lists are still important. I mean, where would I be without my shopping list, or without my wish list on Booktopia? But by not having a daily to-do list I hope I can focus more on what I’m achieving rather than what I’m not achieving because:

Big achievements are made up of all the little ones, and as Paul Kelly said:

“From little things big things grow”

 

 

 

Skating

I’ve been hanging to try skating on the road for ages, but got scared about scratching up my roller derby pads (you can’t skate on wooden rinks with scratched pads because they wreck the floor when you inevitably fall over). I guess I could have gone without pads, but I was a bit scared about scratching up my elbows, knees and hands! So, I got some of this disgusting green felt stuff to stick on my pads to stop them getting wrecked. Great idea if you can fall on your pads instead of on your backside. I fell right on my arse in the first ten minutes! I know to fall forward, because that’s what I do at derby, but it’s really hard to overcome the repulsion of going face-first into the bitumen. My tail bone is still killing me!

So, I skated out along the road to the 2km turn around point and didn’t fall over again. Overall, I would have skated around 3km. Hot mix is definitely easier to roll on than the blue metal, but it’s also easier to get stuffed up on bits and pieces that sit on top of the hot mix. The wheels get caught on rock and sticks, but they roll right over them on the blue metal. It’s rough as guts though! I’ve got road wheels on my skates and the bearings are different to my rink wheels. They kind of freak me out because they spin more freely than my rink wheels.

It’s scary skating on the road. I’m always really worried I’m going to fall over. I’m very conscious of hurting my bony arse and hips, but I’m glad I did it. It was heaps of fun and next time I do it, I’ll be better than I was the first time I did it. If I keep it up, imagine how good I’ll be in a few month’s time. I’ll rock that shit!

It’s easy to give up if something is hard in the beginning, or if we’re scared. The problem with that is that ALL new things are hard (and sometimes scary) in the beginning. They’re hard because we’ve never done them before and it feels alien to engage in a totally new behaviour. Plus, most of us don’t like making mistakes because it gives us an icky feeling, but mistakes are how we learn, just like how I learnt that it’s easier to skate on blue metal than it is on hot mix, which was pretty much opposite to what I thought would happen before I tried it.

I don’t expect to ever be an expert at skating, although the idea is nice. My idea of being successful at skating is that I can do it without falling over and feel like I’m having an awesome time. If that’s my measure for success, well, guess what? I’m already smashing it!

skating1

Confidence isn’t something you can find out there. Confidence comes from taking action.

Adventure can do this.