The Cold Penguin

expanding the box


on September 3, 2013

What’s your source of inspiration?  And not just a fleeting sense of motivation, but something that truly inspires you to make a change, do something, be better.

I read the September chapter of the Happiness Project earlier today and now am watching Julie and Julia for the umpteenth time on television.  These books/movies are ridiculously inspiring to me.  I love the idea of diving into a passion for a year, focusing your energy on it and at the year actually finishing the project.  To me it sounds so gratifying, though I know the process must be frustrating and daunting.  It also just sounds like an interesting way to live your life.  Instead of focusing on day-to-day projects and responsibilities, but to have something else in your life to work towards.  I strive to have that.

The difficult part is finding what would make me so passionate that I could devote a full year to it, or even a month.  Oftentimes I get inspired to do something, whether it’s “perfect” my body, create the next big blog, or even start my own business.  But I quickly lose focus when I find it hard to keep it up.  And I find that the hard-ness of the project outweighs my desire to complete it.  I’d rather have a cookie than have the perfect body.  I’d rather just write when I feel like writing instead of making the perfect blog.  I always find something that is more important to me than the actual goal, so the goal slips away.

So what is so important to me that something else doesn’t derail me?  Is there such a thing?  Or is it that these people are so determined (and perhaps have the support) that they are able to deal with the “something else’s” by either jumping back on the wagon or finding a way to resist them?  It’s hard to know, especially when both Julie and Gretchen are so relatable to me.  They are not perfect and are not expecting to become perfect.  They just want to better their lives.  They just need a project to help them find their way in life.

Maybe projects just land on us – like we can’t choose what our life defining project is.  Or maybe my project is not one huge project, but several small projects.  I can definitely identify areas of my life that I want to improve.  Perhaps these small projects together can help get me the overall satisfaction that I feel Julie and Gretchen had on completing their ventures/adventures.

So you may be wondering what areas I want to improve.  Fair enough.

  1. My support system.  I have the best husband in the world and am blessed with a fabulous mother who has perfected the mother-friend relationship.  I know a ton of people who I enjoy, but I don’t have those friendships outside of family that I can totally rely on.  I am not a person who needs a lot of friends, but one or two would be great.
  2. Life outside home.  This may be tied to number 1 a bit, but I need a sense of purpose outside the home.  This is why I’ve written a bit about jobs and volunteering.  I am still on the search for a good outside project, where I am contributing to the community, an organization, or something.  I need to contribute to more than just my family.  I don’t know why – but I find in many sitcoms that I am not alone in this feeling of the non-contributing “housewife”.
  3. A challenge.  I love challenges.  This again may be tied to number 2, whether a job or volunteer project challenges me.  When I think of a challenge, I think of something that mentally and/or physically intrigues and tests me.  I have always needed to learn something new, whether it’s through an educational class or a new physical activity.
  4. Communication.  I’m an introvert.  I like to hide within myself and don’t share my feelings well.  This has even gone into me not voicing my opinions as much as I should.  I was always taught to choose my battles, and I tend to choose no battles.  Anything that may lead to an argument, I avoid.  I shut up.  I need to realize that arguments and disagreements are part of life and I need to be heard.  Otherwise I just bottle up my frustration, and it comes out at the most inopportune times.  I need to say “I want this.” “I like that.” or “I don’t want to do that.”  Anything said thoughtfully and tactfully can be respectable.  So communication is something I definitely need to work on.

During my run yesterday, I was told by the podcast I choose to listen to, that it’s not enough to have goals, which I clearly have.  You need to have a plan to help you reach those goals.  So that’s my homework for today.  Plans for at least 2 of my goals, if not all 4.

Any suggestions?


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