Tuesday, September 25, 2012

You're Doing it Wrong

I read an interesting post on being afraid to fail over at The Fearful Adventurer. It talks about projects that remain unfinished and dreams that are never realized, all to avoid failure; about being "unpleasantly distracted for an entire lifetime." I think we're all guilty of doing that at least occasionally; that's the essence of procrastination. To choose to sit still as opposed to accepting an offer to do anything? To continue in a crap job or a crap life all to avoid the possibility that what lies around the corner might be difficult? I've frequently thought, while in the middle of doing something new or even a little risky, "I don't like this," or "I'll never do this again," but rarely have I arrived at the other side and not been glad I'd given it a shot.

The other side of the failure coin is the fear of judgement. This is one that nags even after the deed is done... "what does so-and-so think of me or of what I said/did?" Will it matter in five years? Will it matter in one year? In most cases, probably not, most other people are far too concerned with their own lives and problems. And, really, a friend wouldn't berate you over little failures and one who does is a friend not worth keeping. Then there's self-judgement... but the chance of being awful at something is a risk worth taking if it turns out to be untrue, or to lead to the discovery of an actual talent.

As a good friend put it, "If you've got the ability and the opportunity and you're NOT doing it... you're doing it wrong." I try to remind myself of these things whenever hesitation creeps in unnecessarily...

A recent example is that I finally feel comfortable driving a manual transmission vehicle, as of two weeks ago. I know, it's silly. I should have learned and been proficient long ago, especially considering I've spent the better part of the last 15 years with an avowed automatic hater. DH has only ever owned manuals and complains every time he drives my grocery getter. In my own defense, DH isn't always the most patient teacher and my early learning experiences weren't helped by the quirkiness of the 1990 Bronco... I'd get ridiculously nervous with the whole proposition and would come up with plenty of excuses for why I didn't feel like it or didn't need to deal with it. In his defense, DH is a great driver and has a lot of experience with a wider variety of vehicles and even with some sticky situations... and my best excuse was always that he liked driving and was better prepared to handle sticky situations.

Jeep, Dodge, and camper set up last fall in TN

Out of necessity (moving two vehicles at once) I had to drive our Dodge pickup a couple of times in the past few months and then, a couple of weeks ago, the 1998 TJ. I did fairly well (considering the quirkiness of four angry squirrels and no torque) and decided I HAD to drive it to work that week, no more excuses. Sure, I still stalled it a few (dozen) times, but I got way more comfortable with it and got rid of the hesitation and nervousness. Am I as smooth as DH, not yet, but he's been doing it for over half his life. Yay, me.

So we continue to make plans and work our way through realizing a few little dreams we've had, like having a more modern kitchen in our tiny 1940s house. We continue to work through getting rid of some of our stuff, or at least wrapping our brains around going from 880 square feet (that doesn't include the attic and garage/shed) to probably something like 450 square feet on a sailboat. I have given myself a deadline to photograph more items to post on CL today. Photos are done, just need to get things listed tonight. No hits on what I posted last week, although DH did have some interest in our older DSLR that he posted on our forum. We haven't started on bigger stuff and some of that may depend on whether or not we end up keeping the house and renting it out while we're gone...  but I'm hoping I can get DH in the garage to start planning an attack on the stuff that needs to go to the scrap yard or the dump or get posted on the forum... this weekend.


  1. I did not know you couldn't drive a stick. Was interested in the camera, but it's one of those things I really don't need. Trying to get rid of junk myself, but I'm not really good at it.

  2. Thanks, Gina! Rob, I doubt many people knew... and now that I *can* drive a stick I don't care who knows. ;) Thanks for the interest in the camera, if you know of anyone else, pass it along. It will probably go on CL soon.


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