Happy New Year to one and all. I hope my long-time readers will remember the post I had one year ago in which I said my byword for 2014 was going to be “play.”
And more or less, I did. I don’t mean I skipped along merrily through each and every day like a manic Easter Bunny, scattering flowers and candy while ignoring chores and duties. But I did try to take advantage of more opportunities to have fun. I think even Mr. Silver Nail appreciated it; for example, in the fall I kept urging him to go on walks with me in the gorgeous autumn weather, kicking through fallen leaves like kids, before winter descended. In the summer I urged more picnics and hikes. Here’s where we went on the 4th of July:
For 2015, I want to STOP WAITING, and I’ll suggest the same for others. I am just terrible about putting things off, big and small, using the “when-then” excuse. Maybe you’ve heard some of these excuses.
“When I lose weight then I’ll buy myself some nice clothes.”
“When I have a trip to Italy planned then I’ll learn Italian,” which is negated by “When I learn Italian then I’ll plan a trip to Italy.”
“When the weather is sunnier/cloudier/warmer/cooler/breezier/less breezy then I’ll go for a walk every morning.”
“When all my nails are grown out then I’ll get some pretty polish.” (Note: at least one nail is always broken.)
“When I have more energy I’ll go to the free concerts in the park every week.” (Hint: going to the concerts would give you more energy.)
“When the kids are older then I’ll go back to college,” which becomes “When the kids are on their own then I’ll go back to college,” which becomes “I can’t go back to college because now I’m too old.”
“When no one will laugh at me then I’m going to learn to play the bagpipes.” (Good luck with the no laughing part.)
“When I have more time then I’ll take better care of my skin,” which becomes “Now that I’m retired and have time to take better care of myself, what’s the use.”
See what I mean? Do you do this too? You wait and wait and wait for things that never come or happen because you have essentially sabotaged yourself.
Let me tell you about a really silly example, but one that’s been bothering me. When we were first married, almost 34 years ago, my new in-laws gave us a set of good china. It’s lovely. I kept it carefully displayed in a corner cabinet but could never quite bring myself to get it out and use it. No occasion seemed special enough. Then when the kids came along, heaven forbid we should actually use the dishes and risk any of them getting broken.
So year after year, decade after decade, they have sat in the cabinet. I’m sure my grown kids will have absolutely no interest in inheriting the set some day because the china means nothing to them. Because I never used it. Because I waited. And waited. What was I waiting for, a visit from the Queen? I should have realized that a simple meal with my family was the most special thing of all. Better the dishes should have been used and broken (which they probably wouldn’t have been anyway) than never used at all.
What’s something you’ve really wanted to do or try that you’ve been waiting on? Learning a new language? If you have a tablet there’s a free app called Duolingo that’s awesome. Have you been wanting to play a musical instrument or sing or take up ballroom dancing? Stop waiting. Just do it (apologies to Nike).
And now a random contest. Tell me, in the comments section, what you’re going to stop waiting on and start doing, or what you want to do. Proof is not required. I’ll pick some random names and send some random stuff. EDIT: 1/5/15 — I have picked two names and will be emailing the winners soon. Thanks for all the great comments!