We’re three weeks into 2013. The excitement we had about how amazing this year would be has begun to slip away, and we find ourselves sinking into the comfort of “things as usual.”
That phrase can have a host of meanings. It could be the coziness of my couch, as opposed to the hard work of forcing my feet to hit the pavement during the daily walk I promised to take. It could mean the complacency of staying rooted exactly where I am, rather than forging ahead into scary, new territory.
Whatever “things as usual” means for you, it is a dangerous place to be.
A week turns into a month. A month turns into a quarter. The next thing I know, it’s nearly December and I’m whining about how the year has gotten away from me.
Last year I took definitive steps to achieve my dream of being a published fiction author. It wasn’t easy. But it paid off. My debut novel will be e-published by Carina Press on July 22, 2013. My goals for 2013 are, of course, to forge ahead on that path. But another dream–that of being a consistently-published writer for some of my favorite glossy magazines–is the one I keep side-stepping.
Every time I get a receive a reminder in my inbox from Linda Formichelli to get my buns in gear and take specific action, I smile, nod, and say, “That’s great advice. I’ll get to it as soon as I have time.”
As we enter the last week of January 2013, I’m reminded that very soon one-twelfth of the year will be gone and I haven’t done a thing to inch one iota closer to achieving my dream of being a freelance writer for magazines. Commence the whining, and the doubt, and the flat out fear that I’m not good enough, that it’s too hard, that no-one will take me seriously.
Enter the Dowager Countess of Grantham. (Downton Abbey fans: Enough said. Everyone else: Go watch Downton Abbey now. Seriously.) With a gift for stating her opinions in poster-worthy soundbytes, she has provided just the motivation I need.
In the most recent episode, her granddaughter Edith bemoans her fate, having suffered the humiliation and pain of being left at the alter by a man more than twice her age. The countess is patient and comforting to her. For about two seconds. She then offers her a piece of advice that we would all do well to heed.
You’re a woman with a brain and reasonable ability. Stop whining and find something to do.
Right away, milady!
Getting out there and trying exposes us. There’s the potential to fail. To crash and burn spectacularly. Whether it is in a private hell of our own making, or in the most public way possible, like poor Edith. (Shh! I know she isn’t real, just roll with me on this.) However, creating a plan and taking action can also lead us to the joy and pride of achieving one goal, and then another. To making our dreams come true.
No more whining about how hard things are, or that we don’t have enough time. Make a plan. Take action. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other, and suddenly we”ll discover that we’re much closer to where we want to be.
So get out there and take 2013 by the…handle. Make it your…you know, whatever you want to make it. And for the love of Pete, stop whining and do something that will make 2013 every bit as wonderful as you believe it can be.
What represents “things as usual” for you? How are you going to stop whining and take action? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.