I don’t know if it’s the rapidly approaching new year or some vague sense of being in a minor rut, but I’ve been doing a lot of new things lately. In just the last few weeks:
– I created my new blog which required I learn how to set up my hosting account for multiple domains and that I learn to set up a WordPress blog from scratch.
– I began working on a new contract job to help a small business get its books set up on QuickBooks. I’ve never actually used QuickBooks before, but I’m figuring it out pretty quickly. The fact that the business owner knows less than I do is helpful, and it makes me the expert.
– I began a new project to document the financial policies and processes of a non-profit organization to which I belong and serve on the finance committee. I’ve written lots of documentation in my career, but I’ve never had to document procedures I didn’t know well.
– Today I start another extremely part-time gig as a trainer for some newfangled cola dispenser being installed in restaurants. I haven’t even seen the dispenser, much less used it, so I’m thinking this will be interesting.
– Oh, and on Saturday, I rode Roger-from-down-the-street‘s recumbent bike:
::pause for digression:: One word: want! Totally different muscle group used than a regular bike, and very unlike the recumbent bike at the gym with respect to core work. I couldn’t see myself riding it long distances, but you never know. Since I don’t have one and none of the aforementioned jobs even pay a living wage, I don’t think we have to worry about it.
Anyway, back to trying new things. Many of you know of my love of trying new things. The planning and anticipating, the novelty of unexplored-to-me territory, the accomplishment or the, ahem!, “lesson learned”–those are the elements that make trying new things so rewarding! I didn’t always feel like that. Way back when, I shared a story of a new endeavor that didn’t go so well:
Years ago, I made a mistake at work (disclosure: it wasn’t the only one) that resulted in 5 people having to stay late on the very night the Lakers and Celtics were playing Game 4 of the NBA championship. That bit of trivia stands out because one of the guys reminded me of it every few minutes.
As I sat there trying to recall if there was a nearby rock to crawl under, one of the managers of the group stopped by my desk and offered me a bit of wisdom that has stayed with me for all this time:
The only ones not making mistakes are the ones not doing anything.
I use that phrase a lot for inspiration for work, yet never thought about how it applies to this healthier living stuff until a few years ago. I realized that I wasn’t even trying to address my weight and health because I was so afraid of failing again. So I didn’t do anything.
Fear is often what holds us back. That’s only natural. It’s disappointing and embarrassing to fail. At least, that’s what we’re conditioned to think. What I understand NOW, thanks to my friend’s words and the wisdom of age, is that in trying and failing at something, we focus too much on the failing part and don’t spend enough time acknowledging that we were at least trying. (Provided, of course, that we were trying and not just saying we were trying. Not that I’ve done that, mind you.) And that hyper-focus on failure can cause us to miss some potentially life-changing lessons to be learned from it.
None of the new things I’m trying these days is particularly fear-inducing. Well, other than the first 5-10 seconds on Roger’s bike. I can quit any of them at any time if they’re not my thing. At least I’ll know they weren’t for me because I tried them, and that will be a reward in and of itself. If ishould be presented with a “learning opportunity” along the way, well, that’s just a double bonus.
What new thing have you tried recently? Or what’s something new you’ve been wanting to try? What’s holding you back? What are the chances you’ll give it a go this week?
Today’s celebratory Serentipity tip:
If you’re using a marker that’s just about breathing its last breath (so to speak), dip the tip of it in distilled vinegar for a second or three to bring out the last bit of color.