I’m part of a really fantastic experiment right now. It involves a group of women (most of us who didn’t know each other before we started meeting) who all have a common goal of finding out where our passions lie and pursuing them. The group was started by my super dee duper awesome acupuncturist, Jen Larsen of Vital Point Acupuncture (go see her, she’ll make you feel like a kazillion bucks) and her friend, Danica, and the idea came from Danielle LaPorte’s book The Fire Starter Sessions. It’s a book about, yes, you guessed it, finding your passions and pursuing them in an effort to make life easier and to shine as brightly as you possibly can – both from within and without! We call ourselves the Circle of Fire, but during our last meeting, while some of us were dancing in the Jen’s living room (because we’re cool like that), she decided we’re more like “Passionistas”!
Our last couple meetings have been all about analyzing what we are passionate about and, more importantly from my point of view, what we really suck at or really don’t enjoy doing at all. The idea is that if you figure out what you really don’t enjoy doing, you can find ways to either stop doing it, get someone else to do it, or make it as easy as possible so you don’t have to feel as BLECK about it.
As part of my homework for the last session, I sat down for around 30 minutes and made a list of things I suck at. It was fun. I suck at a lot of things – more than I actually thought I did – and the best part is that I’m perfectly alright with sucking (uhm…that doesn’t sound quite right…)
I’m going to share some of my list with all of you. I’m also going to ask you in advance to NEVER ask me to do any of these things because, well, I suck at them, and I wouldn’t want you to be disappointed when your expectations don’t meet my reality.
Things I Suck At
- Multi-tasking: I am not and never have been any good at focusing on more than one thing at a time. In fact, every job I have ever had that involved multi-tasking was like torture for my soul. I ended up miserable, unproductive and usually got fired or quit in a fit of melancholy or anger. My dads (yes, plural) used to get on my case about this and make fun of me not being able to hold down a job for any length of time, but really, the only jobs I couldn’t handle were the ones where I was supposed to multi-task (and, well, okay, any jobs that didn’t let me exercise my creative brain, but that’s an entirely different topic). Give me a job that allows me to focus on one activity or task at a time (especially one that I find interesting) and I will last forever (or until my extreme A.D.D. kicks in and I run away after a shiny object). I will no longer attempt to multi-task at anything. Period. Phew! That feels great!
- Coordinating…anything. Coordinating involves multi-tasking. See #1.
- Tidying up my house. I have A.D.D. – not kidding here, at all – so trying to get my house put back in order takes me forever. I start in one room and gather up everything that needs to be returned to another and then each time I get to another room, I do the same thing and it keeps going like this until I’ve visited each room in the house about 20 times and haven’t actually put much away. I flit, flit, flit from room to room, never really getting anything done. Greg can tidy the entire house in about an hour. I have watched him a few times and have come to the conclusion that it’s because he actually focuses on one room at a time, instead of trying to do everything at once, which is exactly what I do. Since I can’t actually stop tidying my house, I’ll have to try his trick and force myself to stay in one room until it’s done and then move on. Omg, look at that shiny object…
- Cooking. HATE. And, to be fair, I actually don’t suck at cooking at all, I just don’t enjoy it. Bleck. I’d much rather snack on raw foods all day long or eat my own arm than ever cook a meal. Of course, I can’t get out of this one either because I don’t think my husband would let me justify hiring a full-time cook, so I also have to find a way to make this more fun. Music and wine at every meal prep sounds like a good start. Although, I’ll probably be drunk most days from now on…btw, drinking wine is something I definitely DON’T suck at!
- Concentrating on anything that doesn’t spark my interest. If you want me to fall asleep or disrupt an entire room, try to make me watch, listen or read about something that is of zero interest to me. This pretty much summed up every class I took when getting my Chem Degree that involved organic chemistry, analytical chemistry, calculus or physics. Really, the only ones I thoroughly enjoyed were the inorganic chem classes and labs and biology classes. It’s a miracle I ever passed any of those other courses. Obviously, I need to stop paying attention to anything I don’t find interesting.
- Grocery shopping. You might be thinking that it’s pretty hard to suck at grocery shopping, but it’s not so much that I suck at it as much as I detest it. It makes my list of Things That Suck So Bad They Make Me Want To Stick A Fork In My Own Leg. I can’t tell you what the other things on that list are because they are either dirty or they would hurt people’s feelings – nobody wants to know that they make me want to stick a fork in my leg rather than be in the same room with them! I’m going to brainstorm a way to make this fun. Maybe I’ll run through the store and stab other people in the leg as I go, just to keep my mind off of the task at hand.
- Cleaning my car. Yes, super suck at this. I usually just leave it and let it get so filthy and full of papers, clothes, derby gear, etc., that my beloved husband can’t handle it anymore and he cleans it for me. Ha ha ha. It is, clearly, okay to suck at cleaning my car. The problem takes care of itself.
- Not speaking my mind. I have struggled my entire life with saying things in a sugar coated way or not at all instead of just blurting out the truth as I see it. I should just stop talking to people…forever…I’m not sure if this one will work out for me. And, really, being blunt is one of the reasons that many people like me – I don’t mince words and I don’t waste my energy trying to blow smoke up anyone’s ass.
- Keeping in regular contact with my friends and family. It’s not that I don’t love them or want to talk to them, hang out with them, etc., it’s more that I don’t make the time to do it as often as I should. FAIL. Time to pick up my socks and start contacting one person per week to say hi! I can do that.
- Staying on task. Refer to #3 above and then apply that to everything in my life. A.D.D. much? To actually get anything finished, I have to lock myself in my office, set a timer and make a deal with myself that I’m not allowed to move from the task at hand (even to go potty) until the timer dings. True story. And yet, I still manage to get sidetracked trying to get through the simplest things…it has taken me three days to write this blog and I’m still not finished. The truth is, I’ve always been this way and it works for me, so why do anything to change it. That was an easy fix.
- Calming my mind. Even with 10-15 minutes of meditation to try to calm my shit down, I still struggle every second with shutting my mind off and not over-thinking everything. Short of a lobotomy, which I’m fairly sure I’m not interested in signing up for, I’m not sure that I’ll ever truly be good at this. The best part about that, though, is maybe I’m not supposed to be. Maybe my chaotic mind is part of who I am and why I am. What a simple concept.
- Not procrastinating. In the Fire Starters book, Danielle LaPorte suggests that procrastination is our natural intuition letting us know that the time to do something is not quite right (or maybe we shouldn’t be doing that task at all for any number of legit reasons). I sometimes put something off for weeks and weeks and weeks and then find myself in a mad scramble to get it done by a certain deadline, only to realize that it turned out fantastic, even though I was rushing through it. I’m starting to believe that there may be something to Miss LaPorte’s theory…
- Following a schedule. Just. Can’t. Do. It. No matter how meticulously I plan my day, make To Do lists, or whatever else, it seldom, IF EVER, goes according to schedule. I love to plan many things out, but my schedule is not one of them. I have realized that I should just stop doing this completely and then I won’t feel pressured to get things done and I won’t have to beat myself up for putting things in the schedule off because I just can’t seem to get to them. Ahhhh, sigh, freeeeeeeedommmmmmmm
- Doing what I say I’m going to do. This is a huge one for me and a giant source of guilt as well. When I think about it, I only follow through with what I say I’m going to do about 70% of the time. So, I either stop trying to take on as much as I do, or stop telling people that I will get things done by a certain time. Either way, it will take a lot of pressure off of me and that’s a good thing.
- Being patient. It has never been something I’ve been particularly adept at, even with years of trying to work on it. I welcome any suggestions on how to go about fixing this or eliminating it from my life. I can hardly go around screaming, “I WANT IT NOW, NOW, NOW!!!!” to people.
Okay, truthfully, there were 43 items on my list of things that I suck at, but I don’t have all day to jot them all down for ya’ll. And, just to clarify, I also made a list of things that I don’t suck at! I’ll share that another time.
So, what was the purpose of this long-winded, slightly annoying and more-information-than-you-ever-needed-about-Jo-sucking blog? It was to let you know that it is totally okay to SUCK at stuff and it is also totally okay to admit that you suck at stuff because, hello, everybody sucks at stuff. Too many of us try to be good at so many things so we can come across as well-rounded and worldly. What a waste of energy. The trick is to admit what you suck at and change it if you can or let it go and stop doing it (if possible) if you can’t. Then you can really focus on what you are already good at and put your energy into becoming great at it! No more beating yourself up because you aren’t good at certain things and no more busting your ass to try to get better at the things that don’t interest you and don’t come naturally. Eliminate the suck from your life and move one to bigger and better things!
What do you suck at?
Have a great day, my friends. I wish you all enough…