Saturday, March 7, 2009

the artists way and the polar plunge

Today was a lovely spring-like 65 degrees. The folks doing the Polar Plunge today must have been quite grateful. I had briefly considered doing the Polar Plunge. Simply because it's something unique and challenging; it would give me something to add to the "completed" side of the life list. But when it came right down to it, I decided that I really didn't want to do it. It doesn't look fun; it looks cold. I don't like to be cold. In every picture I've ever seen of Polar Plunge participants, they look miserable. So I opted out.

I have a theory that there are things people really truly want to accomplish in their lives. Then there are things they SAY they want to accomplish, but in reality, they'd just assume watch other people accomplishing them and live vicariously through the participants. I'm like that with the polar plunge.

Last week, I talked about how I was stalled out in the Artists Way journey, stuck and uninspired, not completing tasks, thinking about abandoning it completely. And how I forced myself to sit down and think about things that were keeping me from moving forward, not only with the Artist Way, but with exercise, eating right, decluttering and so forth.

This week, I revisited the past two chapters of TAW and paid specific attention to the things that I felt the most aversion to. I found that the thing holding me back was that in week 9, it asks you to genuinely take ownership of your commitment to creativity and to commit to artistic goals for the year. To list specific steps to lead you to these goals. And to take one specific action this week.

It's much easier to SAY you want to accomplish something but then take no action. It's much easier to imagine that you truly have a goal but instead sit back and watch others accomplish their goals. It's especially easy to live your entire life as if everything out of your comfort zone is a polar plunge; interesting in theory, but something you're not interested in.

So this week, I spent some time weeding through and separating my triathlons from my polar plunges. A decluttering of the life list, if you will. I've listed some steps, and I've taken some actions.

It's scarier than jumping into the New England ocean in early March. And just as invigorating.


Carolina John said...

yea if you look at the finish lines of triathlons you will see the people look really happy, not really miserable. tri's are awesome, i'm totally addicted to them.

you should publish your bucket list. at least (it seems) you have one written down. I've never bothered to write mine down. My wife's bucket list included riding a camel and driving a train, both of which she has done. it's crazy, i know.

Anonymous said...

Heh - for a lot of people in LA (I'm not one of them, as I'm not from here) 65 is a cold winter day! LOL