Friday, August 12, 2011

Change your Life with Baby steps

I have been caught in the doldrums for several months now. Doldrums, to put it bluntly, suck.  They weigh me down and cause foggy vision.  I hate it. I haven't felt inspired to create any new art or try anything new. Just get up, go to work, come home and fall into a vegetative state.  It causes me to watch too  much television and play computer games. AND-it's kind of embarrassing. Someone asks me "What's new?" I don't have much to talk about. How boring is that?  Then I came across a video on  If you haven't yet discovered this website-you should check it out. It's full of videos of people talking about or demonstrating what it is in the world that they are passionate about!  And I love that!  Interesting and for me, inspiring.  Anyway, I found a video of a young man who is a computer nerd/professional. In his work he sits in front of a computer all day and when he would go home at night-same thing.  He was caught in the DOLDRUMS! (sound effects please). He needed a change. So-he decided to try one new thing and do that new thing EVERY DAY for 30 days.  His first choice was to take one photo every day for 30 days. Next, he rode his bike to work, every day for 30 days.  It changed his life. He eventually went on to climb mountains!

Well, I wanted to change my life. So I decided to try it.  For my first new thing I decided that there were some criteria that I needed to follow. It had to be something that didn't cost money and I had to keep it simple. I don't own a camera or a bike-so those ideas were out!   So for my first new thing I chose to identify a tree every day. Made sense, I am in an area where I am surrounded by trees. We are known here for the views of trees from mountains and the fall show of leaves draws tourists from around the world. And I have always liked trees.

August 1st I got my first tree. August 2nd-my second tree. August 3rd-the third tree. By the 4th day I found that I was not into trees as much as I thought I would be.  So I tried to find interesting facts or folklore about each one. I don't know if it was the trees I had in hand or if it's a subject best suited to science/botany nerds. I did not like doing this!  And being a person who pretty much requires a certain level of instant gratification-I stopped.  But what's interesting about this process is that I learned some things about myself: 

1) I like trees -as they are- a massive, beautiful backdrop. Individually-it depends on the tree.

2)  If I look deeper (go down the rabbit hole), I do not commit to anything anymore. There-I said it! Identifying trees won't hurt me or kill me-so why not just do it?  I believe that part of the reason is that there was no thrill of discovery; no rush of any kind.  And that is a cultural conditioning that we all have, so no surprise there.   The only thing I have ever committed myself to is raising my daughter and whatever "job" I happened to have. I don't invest-I don't get hurt.  (Boy, does that ever look stupid in writing!)   If I continue to go through my life just skirting the edge and never diving in-then what's the point?  Even if what I choose doesn't work out I should just pick something else. Move on, get back on the horse.  AND  keep in mind that it will not change my life overnight.  It's all about the -Baby steps.  So I am re-committing myself to this idea.  I have bought a cheap little digital camera and I will take one new photo everyday. And I will post them here. It's the action, the commitment on my part that is important here.

It's like Maude says in the movie Harold & Maude, " have to try new experiences, meet new people, otherwise, you got nothin' to talk about in the locker room."


  1. I love that quote, especially since I think I'm normally very bad at small talk!

  2. Haven't thought of Harold & Maude in years!! Great movie. This is a great post, Irene. We all get caught in ruts and only we have the power to get out of them!