Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Where I Am At the Moment

And I did fail.  I applied to the prestigious writing colony Yaddo, and I wasn’t accepted.  I pitched a column to The Wall Street Journal, and although it looked promising, the editors ultimately told me there was no room for it.  I was dismayed by the sale report for Forty Ways to Look at JFK, which didn’t sell nearly as well as Forty Ways to Look at Winston Churchill. . . .  I talked to a friend about starting a biography reading group, but the idea fizzled out.  I submitted an essay for the back page of The New York Times Book Review, but it was rejected. I talked to a friend about teaming up to do webcasts, but that didn’t work out. I sent innumerable e-mails to try to get links to my blog, most of which were ignored. (80)

I’m reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin because I know someone who is very unhappy and I thought this book might be inspiring for her. (*)  The above paragraph really spoke with me because I have come to think of 2013 as my year of false starts.  Several people agreed to read different books with me at different times of the year and each person lost interest fairly quickly. (**)  My son and I had an idea that we thought would be great and he seemed enthusiastic but never followed through with me and the idea just died a slow death due to neglect.  My daughter and I agreed to work on our penmanship together but then she was busy and, when the summer came, she was too busy to come over for our monthly sleepovers.  (***)   My mother and I agreed to practice our Eden Energy Medicine daily and watch the very expensive DVDs she bought for us both but she never did—practice, finish reading the book, or watch the DVDs.  (****)  And Rob said he would start exercising with me:
  • after the New Year (January)
  • after I came home from visiting my family (April)
  • after his birthday (June)
  • after we came home from our honeymoon (October)
  • after Halloween (November)  (*****)
Has any of this stopped me from making plans for my new year, from throwing out suggestions to the important people in my life of things we can share together.  Nope.  I wanted to bring all of my lovely women friends together on the Saturday before New Year’s Eve so we could think about the upcoming new year and maybe set an intention for what we hope for ourselves and our lives in 2014.  Of the ten people I had hoped might be here, only one showed up (and everyone had a good reason for not coming so it was disappointing but not heartbreaking).  I found a very inexpensive online writing course I thought would interest some people but didn’t.  (******)  I signed up for a MOOC course because I thought someone else would sign up with me but I think she forgot and now I’m debating going on with it or dropping out.  (*******)  I created the “Read Along With Me” page in my blog, hoping one or more of you, my readers, might find one or more you want to read along with me.  I reached out to a few people on g+ with different things but everyone already has other goals for themselves. 

And I’m accepting it all while keeping myself open for other opportunities.  I did say that this year I was going to focus on acceptance and compassion, didn’t I?  Well, it looks like I’m off to a good start.

* As it turns out, I quickly realized that this book would not be a good fit for the one person but will probably be a fun book to read for someone else I know. 
**  The Bible, Infinite Jest, One Year to an Organized Life, Younger by the Day, and probably some others I’m forgetting.
***  Originally we agreed we’d pick up where we left off after September but we never did.
****  I’ll lay two to one odds that she has misplaced the book and DVD and someday will rediscover them.  I am my mother’s daughter and I know how quickly we are both likely to do something like that.
*****  The other day he said, “I’m going to start on Friday with strength because Saturday I have to work and that’ll be my cardio.”  I literally waved my hand at him dismissively, and not kindly.
******   I thought $7.50 was inexpensive enough to be alluring, anyway.
*******  After all, my MOOC experience hasn’t been the best—one really bad experience and one good albeit not great one.


  1. I sometimes feel like life is about throwing things out there and seeing what sticks. I'm really bad at predicting what will stick and what won't.

    Joy's Book Blog

    1. I think it's hard, sometimes, to keep putting myself out there but then I remind myself that I'm not really putting myself out there so much as I am ideas/projects/whatever. I did like what Rubin said about failure and her mantra. I need to remind myself that I've failed and survived at so many things, one more thing or less isn't that big a deal. Plus, if I fail it means I'm trying and I'll never succeed if I don't keep trying.

  2. I hope a great opportunity that interests you comes along. Only structured thing I'm doing this year is working through How To Train A Wild Elephant and other Adventures in mindfulness. I've also committed to reading 3 books about Buddhism but I believe you have already studied Buddhism.

    1. I am continuing to read about Buddhism. Right now I'm reading a book on self-compassion that is based on Buddhist practices of mindfulness meditation and the metta meditation.

  3. The Thomas Edison quote comes to mind, "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." Just keep coming up with ideas and plans, one or two successful plans will make all those others seem meaningless. If you don't keep trying you won't succeed.

    1. That is definitely how it feels. I obviously am not giving up. And I'm convinced someday Rob will actually join me in my exercising. Hope springs eternal.