Thursday, November 24, 2011

Why you can't achieve your dreams... yet

I'm in Toronto because I had to visit a certain consulate about a certain visa so I can fulfill a certain dream.

(I don't mean to be so mysterious, but I'm letting you in on my plan on December 27th, which also happens to be my birthday.)

This visa application was more than just filling out a form. It was over two weeks of running around. I had to get a police report, travel health insurance, ask friends from other countries to run around and send me papers, find a lawyer to notarized a letter, save and prove I had enough money for this trip, make two appointments at the consulate and arrange to be driven to said consulate each time, which is a two hour drive.

It was a whole thing.

And the moment the interview at the consulate was over, BAM! I wanted to blog again.

I have been going through a slow down with the blogging lately. I'm sure you noticed because I'm sure this site is the first place you check every morning. In fact, you probably can't even think of me without wanting a morning coffee. I can imagine it. It's chilly in the morning so you put on your favorite cozy pullover, make a cup of coffee and sit down to read whatever wit and wisdoms Janice is sharing today.

Or it's 4 pm, you're at the office and tired and you want to look like you're working but not actually work so you check out the blog.

Either way, I'm glad you're here.

Before I wanted to blog again, I had to take care of that visa thing, which took up a lot of my time. Prior to the visa paper harvest, I had to move out of my Santa Monica apartment. And before that, I was blogging par usual.

And that's why you just can't achieve your dreams as soon as you'd like to achieve them.

You lost me.

Okay. Imagine this. You want to achieve a dream, but first you've got to get that big project done. Your project is necessary and takes up a lot of mind space. Once the project is complete, the mind has room for dream achievement.

Your head is only so big.

Unless you're Kid Rock.

Now don't go bad mouthing Kid Rock. You were singing All Summer Long/Sweet Home Alabama along with the rest of us.

I'd love have gotten my visa papers together AND moved out of my apartment AND blogged every day AND done all the writing that I wanted to get done BUT, even though I WISH I was WONDER WOMAN, I'm not and CAN'T do all of it at the same time.

Balance is bogus. It makes us juggle rather than hunker down and finish something. It makes us stop doing something that is UP for us and start doing something that isn't.

Look, I'd love to meditate for an hour, go to yoga, climb the mountain, write the greatest blog post ever, and take care of all my paperwork so that at the end of each day I could lay in bed and feel perfect/satisfied/content/bliss/whatever.

But that's not how it goes. Today, I am going to bed knowing that for the last two weeks I haven't written creatively, I haven't gone to yoga, hiked or returned that email/voice mail/whatever.

But I took care of that paperwork. And the interview happened. And now it's over. And that's awesome.

And the two weeks before that? I didn't go to yoga, write creatively or do the paperwork.

But I moved out of my apartment. And now it's done and over. And that's a good thing.

Sometimes we just have to take care of business before we can chip away at our dreams. 

Like last year. I wanted to quit my job and travel. As I looked around my apartment and thought about the reality of ACTUALLY quitting my job and traveling, I realized I had a lot of stuff in my apartment. I'd have to deal with it before I left on my travels. Big things like my furniture. And small things like canceling or changing the addresses of my loyalty program cards. Do I really want an Express card so I can buy MORE office clothes? And I didn't have enough cash to quit my job yet anyway. Plus, I didn't know where the heck to go. So I spent the better part of a year cleaning out my apartment to get it ready for when I WOULD have the cash and idea of where to start my nomadic journey. 

The dream was to quit and travel. For a very long time, the reality of that dream was less about packing bags and more about cleaning out closets. Pondering as I went.

So if you're wanting to achieve a dream right now, look at the steps it will take to get there and plug away at those first. Take care of business. Pay off those credit cards. Give away those books you'll never read again. Take that jar of pennies to the bank. Your dream will arrive soon enough.


  1. Yes it's like curling. All that furious sweeping isn't about getting clean ice; it's clearing the path so the rock can do its thing. You had to finish sweeping so we could have your blog to enjoy again.

  2. Everlost's comment is brilliant.

    So a travel visa, eh? Hmm I'm thinking it's for France but kind of wishing it was for Italy. :)

  3. What's bogus to me is the idea that you can't do more than one thing at one time without finishing either. For me, the choice isn't to either juggle or hunker down and finish something. The choice is to either manage my time in a way that allows me to complete what I need to even if there's more than one thing going on, which there always is, or not. Balance doesn't make us stop doing anything. We do that all by ourselves.

    Don't even get me started on Kid Rock.

  4. Ooh- only a month before your big reveal! It feels great to get all the nitzy details out of the way, doesn't it? Now your mind can be clearer so you can write those posts for us to enjoy over morning coffee...

  5. Christopher van der LikNovember 27, 2011

    Your house where your heart


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