Friends – I’m constantly learning things about myself.
Just last week, I learned (duh) that I’m a big dreamer and less of an actual doer.
I can dream big dreams but rarely make my way to the end of the rainbow. It only came to my attention as I said so much to a girlfriend sitting across from me at my kitchen table. I’d never admitted this to myself before, mostly because it had never occurred to me.
I don’t necessarily see this as a negative discovery. In fact, now that I’ve realized it and actually said it out loud to myself and others, maybe I can funnel some conscious energy into the actual doing of my dreams.
Another thing I have finally admitted to myself? I have a penchant for overcommitting myself.
because of the aforementioned dreamer characteristic.
“Sara”, a friend texted recently, “Can you put together a team of volunteers for our next fundraiser?”
Me: “Ooo! Maybe!! What do you need?”
She followed up with details and we spoke on the phone. I even blubbered on about another dream I have percolating in the nether regions of my brain (which is quite big and nearly impossible for me at this juncture of my life – the dream, not my brain. . . ), and when we closed our conversation I had pretty much committed to finding six volunteers for an event a month away.
And you know what I did?
I didn’t do any of it.
I thought about it – in spits and bouts of panic, like, “Oh my gosh!! I need to make phone calls, I need to send emails! I need to get this done! I’m failing my friend!!”
And I blew it.
In fact, I need to write her and apologize profusely for completely dropping the ball.
The thing is, I kind of knew. I sincerely wanted to help her. I wanted to support her and her cause. I believe in them both deeply. In fact, you can check them out here.
But I shouldn’t have taken on another thing. And even though I was feeling all rah-rah shish-boom-bah “I can do this!” in the moment, there was a very practical reprimand grumbling under the surface telling me I couldn’t. And not that I couldn’t because I’m a bad person, but just that my days were already full, and there was no way I could possibly add in something else and still keep afloat with every other commitment in my life.
But I told her yes anyway. Then I failed her.
This brings me to a sort-of mathematical equation to describe me as I know myself in this moment:
Bigtime dreamer (minus) the actual doing of things get there (plus) overcommitting to other things and people (equals) setting myself up to fail and feel like a loser. Set on repeat.
So as all of this was burbling to my consciousness, I very smartly looked at this 31 Day Writing Challenge and thought, “Oooh! I can do this! It’s just what I need to jump-start blogging again!”
Hashtag: I never claimed to be a genius.
So before I recognized the supreme irony of this commitment as I was just realizing my lack of doing/overdreaming/overcommitting, I emailed some friends and readers and asked, “If you could make me write about anything for 31 days, what would it be?”
I threw out some suggestions, but I wasn’t feeling all that creative. Maybe because I was working on a painting/ doing homework with the kids/ starting dinner simultaneously. . . .
hashtag: common sense was never my best quality.
As responses trickled back to me, I noticed something.
While each person was interested in slightly different topics, there was a common underlying theme.
We all want to know someone is in the trenches with us.
We want to hear things that make us think, “Hey! ME TOO!!”
We want to relate and know that So-and-so has crappy days just like we do, and struggles with the same things. We don’t always want it wrapped up pretty and smelling like roses, because quite frankly, that makes us feel a little like doo doo to watch someone’s perfect life from the sidelines.
So this is what I decided. I’m going to write to you all for 31 days (26 now, actually). It’s going to be random and possibly misspelled and full of grammatical errors (however – and I mean this FOR REAL – If you spot a mistake, please tell me, for the love of proper grammar!! I’d rather be told I have a chunk of spinach in my teeth than waltz around a cocktail party with wilting leaves composting in my pearly whites. Such is the same with writing mistakes). I’m working on developing a thicker skin. So just say it, friend. You’ll be helping me out.
I also am removing my self-imposed requirement for accompanying photos. I’m trying to keep this real. Remember, I just discovered I have a tendency to overcommit. So I’m trying to set the bar low to begin with. This is just going to be raw notes from me to you without all the foo-foo fancy stuff.
This seems like the best way for me to do this thing, which is basically a good and forward moving thing, while keeping it within manageable paramaters. Setting the bar low from the get go, folks. I’m a work in progress. . . .