The term “bucket list” has become popular. These are things we want to do before we die. Sometimes these are really challenging ideas like base-jumping or climbing Mt. Everest. Others might simpler like following the Grateful Dead on a tour (too late for that) or reading all of the works of Dostoevsky.
We all have different dreams and thresholds for what we are willing to do. If you have a fear of heights, try zip-lining. I did. I am still a little nervous up high, but much less so.
My 3 Things are more what I have started, but never finished.
Maybe it is a lack of confidence or even sheer laziness that prevents me from just doing these things. Time isn’t an issue. If I want to do these things I merely have to sacrifice some time and dedicate myself to meeting the goal.
I have fallen into a vicious little cycle. Lack of confidence leads to laziness, which leads to more lack of confidence, which leads to eventual rationalization that doing such and such is a “waste of time and energy” anyway. Then I feel guilty or bummed out about it. Then I start up something completely different to feel better thus starting the cycle over.
So here they are. I thought I could do them this year, but I have not even scratched the surface.
Read 25 Books in a Year
Many people will read 50-100 in a year and might not understand why this is such a hard goal to achieve. I can’t remember if I have ever read this many books in a year! Part of that is because I have never kept count. I had to have at least in school.
If I can point to a reason it is burnout. I think I did not let myself recover from the stress of finishing a dissertation and defense in 4 months time. I simply could not bear to pick up another book. I had all the intentions of reading something I really wanted to read but could not, but each was a 50 pound weight my fingers could not handle.
I have started up my reading habit once more. You know what got me back into it? Comic books. I found my inner geek once again and started reading comics. It is the perfect medium of text and images which helped wean me off of movies. Netflix and Redbox have been getting business from me this year. Time to hit that unread library which is…extensive.
Write a Book
If I can’t get myself to read, how can I get myself to write? The issue is confidence. When I think I have a good idea, somehow my mind goes into panic mode and recoils. The negative self-talk starts into a crescendo, “You are not interesting enough,” “Who would care about what you have to say,” “You don’t have any good ideas anyway.” The voices go on and on.
This blog may be my comic book for writing. If I get some feedback and start a conversation, maybe there is an idea that will work.
My goal with writing anything is to find something helpful to someone else. I also over-think. I don’t want to impose what I think is helpful on others. What if I am writing for a selfish purpose? Is this all about me? Is that ok if it is?
See what I mean? Over-thinking. Paralysis by analysis. I can rationalize myself into thinking a bear trap is fluffy and soft.
I have about 6 starts to different ideas, but I just don’t think any of them are good. That, my friends, is called a writer’s block!
Help a Struggling Student Achieve
School was rough for me for at least grade K – 7. My family situation was less than ideal, and I had what I call emotional constipation. With trauma packed into my brain, there was no room for anything else. Social skills never came easy. Meeting new people was, and still is, not a natural skill of mine. I had the potential, but it was all so difficult.
I eventually got help and made it. In fact, I more than made it. I was on the honor roll for 4 grading periods my junior year of high school, graduated with a 3.0 from undergrad, a 3.5 from my M.Div, a 3.7 from my Th.M. where I won a fellowship and a scholarship, and a 4.0 from my Ph.D. I went from special ed student to doctorate. Pretty solid.
But I needed help to get all the way there. Family stepped in big time. That is where I am fortunate. I have a very supportive and loving family. There are kids who are out there, alone, and with no presence to protect them. I know what that feels like. Most just need one champion. I know I could be a champion for some kid who has no hope today. My kids will have me and their mom who will be there to push, hold accountable, and love them. Some minds with a ton of potential just don’t have that support.
I started the Big Brother’s and Sister’s program this year. I did not have enough time or energy for it. Maybe some other time.
So I start and then stop projects I really enjoy. I have a tendency to sabotage myself that way.
This blog, taking up cycling, and reading comic books have been my baby steps.
What are your near-accomplishments that you might be struggling to complete?