Thursday, June 11, 2015

To try is not to do.


Now I’m not one to shy away from commitment. After all, I have several tattoos, have been in long-term relationships and am about to be married (yay! eating cake and dancing all night!). I’ve committed to wearing the same studs for what seems like forever, and I practice the five Tibetan rites every weekday morning…When I was in my teens, I used to give myself these weird month-long commitment challenges, “No chocolate for a month!” or “No beer for a month!” A commitment-phobe? Ah don’t think so!

So why am I bragging about how awesome I am at committing to things? And what in the world does commitment have to do with the title of this post?  Well, let me tell you. You need to commit to DO, and you need nothing to TRY.

And, although I see myself as a committed person, I too, catch myself ‘trying’….

Trying to get the underwear/pencil/flip-flop out of the puppy’s excitable jaws; trying to understand an important website; trying to tidy up my desk; trying to express my feelings. When I think or say try, I end up not achieving much. No- that’s not true- I become impatient and demotivated. Awesome.

Tim watches me ‘trying’ to playfully retrieve the pencil I was writing with from Portion’s mouth, and says, “ B! You gotta commit to catching her! 100%!” And, with those smiling words hanging in the air, he pounced off the couch, lunged at the dog and reclaimed the pencil (Tim played (almost) pro rugby so really, he was reliving his youth and showing off small).

Truth is, when I decide to stop procrastinating (way more fun to pretend to get my pencil back from the pup-pup then lesson plan); when I walk away from the tormented computer and take a break from attempting to fill out an online form; when I consciously put the objects back in their designated place (or as my mum says ‘where they live’) or when I organize my thoughts into logical sentences that contain pretty and precise words, I get shit done.

The idea to blog about trying v doing happened when chatting with Tim’s best friend, who told me about his former business partner that said, when a deal fell through, “ …Well buddy (insert sigh here), we tried.” and how, he explained, implicit in that word 'try' is a lack of commitment.

With this news my brain exploded- DUH! When you lack commitment, you’re low on passion, dry of drive and ultimately, fall short on the road leading to success, personal and otherwise. The word ‘try’ prompts laziness: a half-baked attempt at the world, a lukewarm sentiment for change.  

The dots connected, the pattern strikingly clear- “OH MY GOD I KNOOOOOW!”  I almost shouted back at Tim’s friend, “My students say ‘Oh, I’ll give it a try, or- my favorite ‘Well, I tried! But Miss B, I tried my best!’ And I always, and I mean always retort with: Don’t try your best. DO your best.”

Don’t try to memorize your timetables. Just memorize your timetables!
Don’t try to put your stuff in order. Just put your stuff in order!
Don’t try to not push and shove when lining up. Seriously that’s wicked annoying; just keep your hands and feet to yourselves, geez!

So- with that, I’m going to extract the verb TRY from my vocabulary. Let’s be honest: trying is worthless and accomplishes nothing. It only makes you feel better when you fail.  Well then, I’m going to stare failure straight in the kisser and Dare to Do.

P.S. Tim last night started a sentence with " oh yeah and then I'll try to do it- no, no I mean I'll do it-...."  Love this, and love him. Stop yourself from using the word and you'll see how empowered you are.  
Ciao for now xox

Friday, May 15, 2015

A beginning

As some of my former Dolce Vita followers witnessed, living in India opened me in a wonderfully wordy way- I had so much to say there, and a lot of time to say it. Choosing to begin my weekdays at 5:30 and then again at the same time in the afternoon, all I basically did was practice yoga, drink oceans of chai, eat a mountain of samosas, teach grade 1 (wow they were cute), teach a social skills program (gee whiz I learned a lot), and blog.  Blog about observing a place ablaze with colour and odor... in love with malas and saris, dupattas, and the clang clang jingle jangle of bejeweled wrists… sigh… head bob.

But now, I am in Nigeria, and I have nothing to say. Well no, I have tons to say. Yet. Yet I can’t harness the passion to share with others how I feel about working here. Gripped with guilt about not really jiving with my second West African experience; riddled with insecurities of sounding unoriginal; racist; and worst of all- cold hearted and unfair. Working in Nigeria has awakened a dormant self I am grateful to meet face-to-face, with all her trepidation and ugly truth. I met a side of me that comes to terms with LIFE. Life can suck. People can suck and can be content doing the minimum, all the while chortling to themselves and their neighbour, feeling mighty superior in giving their very least and getting away with it. And with this dawning came a clawing, hungry desire to better myself; raise my standards; give my 100% and, actually Do Everything With Love. (Oh- and to find true balance by mastering the blasted HANDSTAND!) I have upped my game. Being satisfied with my less than perfect work self is gone. (I am not a perfectionist, I actually believe perfectionism is a waste of time. Yet you can strive to DO your best WITHOUT agonizing over every detail or turn perfectionism into procrastination… but I digress) Now a striving, strong, and ever smiling B lives in my heart and head; knowing that a life well lived is a life where you go to bed properly knackered, sandwiched between your loving partner and a soft scruffy scrappy pup pup with the faith that you DID. YOUR. BEST.

With my Nigerian time coming to a close, my stomach grumbles with appetite to write.