Entries in #reverb10 (2)

Tuesday
Dec212010

11 Things That I Don't Need

photo by Dan BrazeltonHere is another of the Reverb10 posts. This time I stuck with just one prompt, #11 - What are eleven things I can do without in 2011? I picked some hard ones, I have high expectations, but it was a good exercise in really asking myself what I think is holding me back. What in my life do I not need? So here they are:

1)    Self-Doubt – This is a hard one to eliminate, but I also realize that it gets me nowhere. I will not try to completely erase my self-doubt, instead every time I feel it creeping up I will remind myself what I’ve accomplished so far and the support I have around me to help when things get tough.

2)    Procrastination – I’m going for the big ones this year, but why not. Again I think it’s overkill to say I will eradicate it completely, so instead I will do my best to not let it overwhelm. I find that I procrastinate most when I feel that I have large tasks ahead of me. So when I feel the compulsion to play solitaire for hours on end I will instead look at my to do list and break that bigger task down into littler tasks. I will start with something I can complete in less than 20 minutes. By knocking the small stuff out of the way the bigger task not only feels less daunting, but I also have a sense of accomplishment that carries me through to the finish. 

3)    A Second Job – This is something I’ve already eliminated, I quit waiting tables in August of 2010. However there is this lurking feeling that I will need to go back to make ends meet. To eliminate both this feeling and the actual second job I will use the desire to not go back as my motivation to push harder to make this business succeed. Undesirable consequences can be a strong motivator to make things work. I am going to use it as my fuel to keep myself moving forward, trying new things, and being optimistic.

4)    Frivolous Spending – This comes from my desire to fully eliminate #3. Things will undoubtedly be tough at times with an unsteady income, but if we are conscious of our expenses, stick to a budget and make wise choices with our dollars we can make it feel more secure. We’ve already proved to ourselves that we can live well on a tight budget; we just have to stick to it. Reminding ourselves why we’re doing it and that it’s also temporary will help to pull us through the inevitable frustrations.

5)    Blinders – I mean this somewhat metaphorically. I have a tendency to focus on the unnecessary and even get swept away by the negative. This coming year I will remind myself to look at the bigger picture. This will help me not only see how manageable my current frustration is, but will also often allow me to see the solution.

6)    Wasted Time – A little like procrastination, but different and with a different solution. Some days I still struggle with working at home and find myself doing things I shouldn’t be. Yes, this is usually a symptom of a larger problem, along the lines of why I procrastinate, but often it’s also a symptom of not having a regular schedule or routine. This coming year I will strive to build a routine for myself and follow it. I will test ideas until I find what works best and then I will create the habit.

7)    15-20 Pounds – I have many reasons for wanting to lose weight and yes most of them are vain. I am healthy enough, but yes dropping the weight would make me healthier. I look fine and my fiancé doesn’t care what size my jeans are, but I can’t deny that I would feel better about myself, which would carry through to other aspects of my life. It’s also not a hard goal. I can achieve it and I owe it to myself to take care of this body. I will do it the old-fashioned way. I will workout regularly, eat less, and drink less alcohol. It really is that simple.

8)    Clutter – I like to keep things, you just never know when you might need that note or piece of paper. I also think that part of my problem with letting go is that I don’t have a system for what I keep, which receipts I need, what scraps of paper have useful notes and which ones have already been incorporated into a project. I need to organize my filing system and then organize my desk with a place for everything to go. If the thing I’m struggling to let go of don’t fit into a folder, cannot be categorized, then I don’t need it. It may be too simplistic, but I’m going to try it.

9)    Guilt – My new mantra, “If I tried my hardest it’s not my fault that things didn’t work out the way I planned.” Another process of reminding myself of things I should probably know, but just can’t seem to internalize. In the New Year I will do my best to accept that my best is all I am responsible for.

10) Tiredness – I am often tired and it’s not because I didn’t get enough sleep or had a particularly long day. I think it’s because I’m not taking care of myself as well as I could be. So I will try to be more active on a regular basis, drink more water every day and drink less alcohol. I will find things that energize me and I don’t mean caffeine or sugar and will incorporate them into my lifestyle, into my days. I want to have more energy; I have a lot to accomplish this coming year.

11) Debt – This may be too hard given a few of my other items to eliminate, but I have more credit card debt than I feel comfortable with even though it’s low compared to most Americans. I’m hoping the living frugally will help and even when money is more plentiful we can keep it up and make big dents in that debt. It will take years to pay it all off, but I want to make it a priority. There are enough other things hanging over my head.

What is just one thing you want to get rid of in the New Year?

Tuesday
Dec142010

A Little Reflection For The End Of The Year

Image by Gestures PhotographyI stumbled across this project last week and right away wanted to join in, both for myself and to share with all of you. It’s called Reverb10. Through a series of daily prompts participants are encouraged to reflect on the past year and share their stories. There are close to 3,000 people writing as a part of this project. The posts are being shared through Twitter and Delicious. I encourage you to poke around, read a little and maybe even join in yourself.

Since I’m coming to this a little late in the game I’m going to jump around and pick the prompts that speak to me most. So for my first reverb10 post I’m combing #1 - One Word and #3 - Moment.

This year has been an amazingly Transformative year, however that’s not the word I would use to encapsulate it. Instead I would use Trust. The numerous changes that happened this year all came about because I trusted. I trusted that I had support, that I had the knowledge, that my feeling was right.

I’ll start at the beginning to give you a scope of what manifested. In January I took a 14-week class in which I wrote the business plan for Lightbox SF and started acting on those plans while still in the process of finishing it. In June I left a business I had been working on making successful for the last 3 years. It just wasn’t working and I needed to let go. That same month I moved out of my apartment for the last 7 years and into an apartment with a man I had met only 6 months before. The last two weeks of August brought the biggest deluge of change. I quit my “day job” to work on Lightbox SF full time, accepted a proposal for marriage and turned 35.

I tend to be a worrier and a planner. I don’t like uncertainty and I hate the thought of failure. So you can imagine that every one of these leaps, that’s what they all were, scared me to death. I did it anyway because somewhere in the last few years I learned to trust not only that things would work out, but also that I was capable of making it all happen.

There is one moment that comes to mind bringing all those leaps together. It is the first 200 Yards opening in mid-August. We had a great turnout; people were excited about the concept and what it might turn into. The photos looked amazing on the wall and I had such a sense of accomplishment that we had made this happen. My boyfriend (he wasn’t my fiancé yet) was there not only to support me, but as one of the photographers in the show. It was a great night. I felt a part of something great and optimistic that things would only go up from here. I had a week left in my day job and I was going to make this thing work.

The last few months of this year have taught me even more. I have worked on this dream called Lightbox SF. We’ve made some mistakes and seen things turn out differently than we hoped or planned. We’ve also seen some amazing things happen. People coming out of nowhere excited about what we’re doing and willing to help in anyway they could. Ideas that seemed so simple turned into amazing new paths for us to explore. I have to keep trusting as we have a long road still ahead of us, but that first butterflies-in-the-stomach inducing leap is over with and we came up swimming.

This next year, 2011, I hope to look back on many nights like that first opening and have a hard time choosing what was the best. I also want the word that comes to mind to be Success. I want all my trust to manifest itself in the goals I set for myself and to allow me to succeed at each one.

Look back on this last year, what word or image comes to mind first? How would you sum it all up?