I’m on day 119 of the 120 Day Do What You Love Challenge! It has taken 119 days to reveal, but I’m prepared to admit that yes, I am a slacker, a lazy, half-assed, idle, lethargic, languorous, indolent sloth! 119 days ago I would have hotly denied it, but it has become abundantly clear in the course of this challenge, that staying power is not my forte and that a certain lackadaisical malaise kicks in with almost everything I do.
I never realised until today that I’m truly a bum, although I did wonder why I had so many wish fishes swimming around in the back of my consciousness – things that I really wanted to do with my life, but somehow never did. Like becoming accomplished at the piano, finishing writing a book (or many books), travelling all over the world, growing nice-looking nails, having a thriving vege garden. A short review also uncovers three incomplete/never begun degree courses, a half-baked National Park Ranger training, a flimsy working knowledge of at least three languages, need I go on?
At a certain point in any creation, I begin to tell myself tales to justify dumping whatever it is and moving on to a fresh paddock – this isn’t really what I wanted, I’m not that into it, I’m pregnant (that’ll excuse one from pretty much anything), I have a young baby (trouble with that one is that you have to keep having them to keep it valid) or, most frequently of all – I’m too tired.
I have watched another participant in the Challenge show up and draw something every single day, even when she had to stay up until midnight to complete her task. I am awed by her staying power, her talent and self-discipline. I actually caught myself thinking I would never be able to stay up late to complete, I’d be tired for days afterwards.
You might be with me on that one, after all I have a whopping big family to attend to, a book to share with the world, a baby who likes to sneak his chubby form through razor-thin gaps in the fence and run for freedom and so on. What I have understood through the Challenge, is that the tired thing is just a story I tell myself. It’s a strategy to avoid excelling, evade success and sidestep joyful creating. It’s a weird fact that Little Me would prefer a lame reality that’s safe and comfortable, even if it is untidy and littered with half-finished projects, some of which I have clung to limpet-like for 20 years!
I have spotted you now, wicked story, masquerading as reasonable excuse for failure! I’ve got your number. Now you’re out in the fresh air, I can keep an eye on you while I create what I want to create.
Aside from recognising a most insidious story, in the last forty days of the Challenge I have:
- completed my book about relationships;
- sold a guitar, violin and flute that I haven’t played for years;
- learnt how to write a press release and a synopsis;
- rediscovered my love of creating poetry and art;
- created an incredibly creative, supportive community;
- got up off my butt and created a new home in the forest (where I’ll write my next book);
- discovered that I can do anything I choose to; and
- found the vigour, enthusiasm and confidence I remember having as a kid.
We truly have no idea what we are really capable of creating! Imagine what I could have done with my life if I was wise to my stories at eighteen. I’m imagining I have another 30 or 40 years left (unless I’m taken out by a blog-hating axe-murderer) and I’m absolutely up for creating everything I would love, tired or not.
What would you love to bring to life?
© 2011 Pollyanna Darling
For a butt-kicking that you will really enjoy, join the 120 Day Do What You Love Challenge. You will be astonished by what you are truly capable of and you’ll love the support and feedback you’ll receive from our creative Facebook Challenge community!