A Fresh Start

I just finished a grueling semester of college–two days early. Thus begins my year-long hiatus from school. I should feel guilty for being excited about quitting college for a while… but I don’t.

I am hopeful, instead, that this will be a year of small adventures for me, and there’s a few things I’ve a mind to do…

I plan to tighten up my act in running the electrical business with my husband. Every weekday, I plan to do something in regard to making things run in a more organized manner. I plan to learn and use Quickbooks as well.

Tomorrow, I plan to clean out the refrigerator of all junk food, expired food, etc. Due to trying to defeat the demons which come in the form of research papers, I made a grocery run to Winn Dixie to gorge on Nutter Butters, Grasshoppers, and Doritos. Not one of my prouder moments, friends.

Now that I am foot-loose and fancy-free, I’m tossing my comfort food and going healthy again.

The business is doing better, so I want to use a little mad money to buy a few new shirts.

I’m gonna practice my guitar again, write some more songs, and hit a few open mics.

Gonna make more time for relatives and friends again.

Gonna work with my stepson and husband in learning to keep the house neater. I must now be officially delusional…

Want to try and blog a bit more as well.

I am hopeful I will accomplish more of these things on a regular basis, Lord willing…

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Original Music… Revisited

Well… looks like I’m taking my original music off the shelf and doing something with it again.

Every once in a while I satisfy the creative itch and perform my music… somewhere. I have a monthly nursing home gig, I play at a twice-yearly folk festival about thirty to forty miles from home, and the odd offer comes up now and then to share my music with others. I was just on a friend’s radio show last Wednesday and, about a week prior to that, was approached by an aquaintance of mine on the folk music circuit to feature my music on her radio show and do a brief interview.

Every time I get an opportunity to perform my music, I remember how much I love it and miss doing it more. There was a time I gigged more often. Then I got married. Became a stepmom. Started online college. Helping my husband with his business. Et cetera, et cetera…

My year-long hiatus from college is only about a week-and-a-half away. I may not sound like a very good role model, but I have to confess that I’m relieved about it. It’s a monster that consumes my life… all these research papers and whatnot. No time for myself. When I’m not helping my husband, I’m studying. While my butt spreads wider from all the sitting I do.

I look forward to exploring my music again. Taking frequent walks again (and, perhaps, a little running). Play out more often. Take time for friends.

Idle Curiosity

Lately I have been fascinated with this word: “efficacy”. Not only is it fun to say, but efficacy, in itself, is an interesting concept. Defining it in my own words, efficacy basically means that one has capability in doing whatever it is they are doing and are confident that they can do it well.

Last night I took a quiz to see how I rated according to each one of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. The results suggested that a greater degree of mastery in one area or occupation could help me become more self-actualized. Hmmm…

I do have the type of personality that lends itself to being a “jack of all trades; master of none”. I am interested in so many things that the thought of devoting all my time to attaining mastery in one area of life and letting other interests fall by the wayside seems devastatingly dull to me. I suppose that being a Renaissance woman, however, does not help one to excel.

Nor does my preference to “stop and smell the roses”. I don’t want to just smell them… I want to go on the internet and learn how many different varieties of roses there are, how to plant them, how to harvest them for their rose hips which can be manufactured in vitamin C capsules, what a “rose hip” is anyway… until I’ve satisfied my curiosity wanderlust through the internet rabbit trail from “artichokes” to “zygotes”. Hardly a recipe for learning how to focus on excelling at any one thing.

Am I really rabidly curious or just procrastinating? Often a little bit of both. Perhaps this is where the term “idle curiosity” comes from… when you quest to “know” produces no result other than to serve as a stalling device.

I suppose that this is why, when I re-enter a world of reality, I am often hit with a crippling sense of incompetence. Striving to learn everything quickly has the ironic effect of leaving me with nothing but feeling like a boob.

I take some measure of comfort, however, in knowing that I am growing–slowly and painfully–into some form of maturity and common sense. I am learning by the mistakes I have made in life, especially as it pertains to where I have directed (or failed to direct) my motivations and what I can do about that now. It is painful for me to lack a feeling of efficacy in many things (even if I am capable of more than I realize) and my heart hurts for anyone who understands how I feel. But it’s all a part of the process of growth; when learning to do something I fall down, feel the pain, get up, do it again, get better. This way my curiosity will no longer be “idle”; I learn by experience and will eventually become… efficacious.

You Like Me! You Really Like Me!

Maybe… or maybe not so much.

There’s always that one person that, deep down, you just know doesn’t like you. You’re not sure just why, especially since you’ve been nothing but nice to them and would like to be friends… it’s just that this person gives off this vibe that they are too good to give you the time of day. They are nice and polite as the situation requires, but you know that this person wishes for the association to not go beyond that.

It’s that thing that you (yes, I) just don’t understand. You’re likeable, darn it!

Yes… and your friends and the others who care about you think so, too. They see your intrinsic worth, are in your corner, and are the only ones you need to care about. Not that one person who comprises part of the… maybe, 3.33% of people who don’t care for you. Last I checked, there is no rule existing in the world today which tells me that I have to like every person in this world, just as there is no rule which tells them that they have to like me. Decency, however, requires that I treat even those I don’t like with common respect.

Therefore, it is probably wise to distinguish between those are nice to you because they are truly invested in you and those who are nice to you because they have to be. As for the latter, respect their wishes and respect yourself by leaving them alone. You would want those you don’t care for to show you the same courtesy. Right?

Failure…

A word nobody likes. Failure is a word that carries negative connotations; just thinking about it feels like a personal identification. It certainly isn’t something that we dare give ourselves permission to do… and yet failure is just another reality of life, much like nervousness, death, taxes, passing gas, waiting in line… add your own example here.

Where did most of us get this obsession with always doing things right ALL the time? Where did I get it? When did I stop enjoying life and start being afraid all the time? I surely don’t remember having baggage like this when I was a kid.

It starts by believing a lie… one so subtle you hardly know it’s there. It may even feel like your own thought. Hey you, Stupid. Way to go on forgetting to take that quiz on Friday. Your professor is really gonna think you’re an idiot now. The voice may sound like your mother or father, your supervisor, or your friend (or enemy). And chances are pretty good that, if you allow that voice to ring unchecked in your head long enough, you will become the lie.

By telling ourselves that we better not fail, we not only set ourselves up for it but make it all the more devastating when it happens. By telling ourselves not to feel afraid, we strengthen fear within ourselves. By telling ourselves not to eat that thing, we crave it even more. With all these things we are not giving ourselves permission to feel and to do, we make them stronger… kind of like giving your adversary extra lives in a video game.

I dare you to give yourself permission to do what you’ve been wanting to do for the longest time but have not had the courage to do. I dare you to say “You’re wrong!” to that voice that tells you that you’re a loser, whether that voice belongs to a real person or not. I dare you do the best you can with something, fall flat on your face, feel the humility which comes from it, and get up and do it again and again. I dare you to listen to the lies, see them for what they really are, laugh at them, and walk away. I also dare you to eat that cookie.

Don’t see failure, or fear, or certain other things as your enemies; see them as your friends and learn to grow stronger in spite of them. When you do, you will disarm these things if their power to hurt you and you will truly be a rockstar.

H2O…

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I was just given a book by my mother called “The Skinny Rules” by Bob Harper. Opened to the first chapter titled “Rule 1: Drink a Large Glass of Water Before Every Meal–No Excuses”. I think I can do that.

I am always wanting to change something about my life… I get bored and constant metamorphosis inspires me. Problem is, I often want to accomplish too much at once and, because I can’t, I get discouraged.

I guess the best thing for me–for anybody–to do is to take one thing at a time and make a habit of it… just focus on that one thing (or on those two things).

I don’t diet; that always backfires. I’m going to drink a large glass of water before I every meal… that is within my scope of ability, at least. Even if that doesn’t make me “slimmer”, at least I’m doing something to make me healthier.

I See Myself…

Treating myself and my body better. Taking more walks and vitamins… eating more plants and less animals… enjoying the feeling of looser jeans that don’t threaten to cut me in half when I bend over.

Becoming proficient and efficient in every work that I do… with passion and confidence.

Writing more songs, regaining my voice, and walking around with my guitar, singing it loud enough for all to hear.

Tending a garden in my backyard.

Getting rid of more clutter, old clothes, and other things from the past that don’t fit me anymore.

Remembering my spiritual side and allowing it to permeate all I do.

Sometimes Reassessment is a Good Thing

Been rethinking the college thing… I’m burnt-out. I’ll probably be taking a year-long break from it. It is not because my husband longs for the day I’ll be finished with it, or that others are being unsupportive of my college career; by and large, they are being fairly patient with my absences. No one is influencing my decision; I’m am taking a break because I know I need one and am going to crack up if don’t get it.

I simply have other things I would like to do. I want to play a larger, more useful role in the family business. It’s becoming successful, and I want to spend my efforts on something that’s growing and dynamic. Why not? This thing is hot, wants to grow, and I’m getting on board.

Besides… just because I haven’t earned that piece of paper called a Bachelor’s Degree yet doesn’t mean I don’t have intelligence, skills, and some life experience to bring to the table. I’ve already been doing my part for a while and it’s helping. And frankly… my husband is not requiring a degree from me.

No one is stopping me from finishing my education… I can always go back to it. Even if I do not… getting an education is more than the system that requires paid tuition for one to partake of the benefits. Essentially anyone can learn anything they want at anytime for very little money; the internet, libraries, and YouTube have made certain of that. Love reading? You’re already ahead of the game. Not knocking higher learning by conventional means at all; I encourage everyone to get an education but when it comes to the methods of such, one size doesn’t necessarily fit all.

Be curious! Explore! Read and learn all you can and pursue your interests. There is no one withholding knowledge from you… the halls of higher learning are already in your mind.