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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Quitters Know When to Say When

A friend of ours just published a book and we were the first (that we know of) to find it at the bookstore and of course, purchase it. It's a very good non-fiction self help book about following through with your dreams by actually taking steps and making plans and sticking to the plans, all the things that I am not good at at all.

As you faithful readers know, I'm a quitter.

You know not because I told you, but because you have witnessed my repetitive new whatevers and most likely you were just waiting for me to lose interest, change my mind or take to my bed. You
watched me take up knitting and quit knitting, numerous times. You watched me change my home decor over and over until there was nothing new I could do with it, which forced me to move to Canada so I could have start with a blank canvas.

You've been right along side of me while I wrote a novel probably betting amongst yourselves how long it would take for me to give up that project. And even though this turned out to be one dream/goal I actually did realize, I then vowed to send it out to 3 publishers a day. And surprisingly I did. For a while. I sent it out to 3 publishers a day for a week or two, and I was actually relieved when one or two publishers were mildly interested enough to ask for several chapters or even the whole manuscript, but the relief was mostly because I had a great excuse to break the daily submission vow which of course I promptly did.

Look, I have a short attention span, people. Hell, I can't even stick to one header on this blog!

And in my defense, and the defense of other quitters out there, the world is an amazing place.

So amazing is this place that how is one supposed to decide on one thing to pay attention to all the time, to put all effort into? How can you promise that you will keep doing whatever this one thing is when there are all kinds of other shiny things to look at out there?

Look, we all have goals, at least in our heads. And quite frankly, some of those goals are best kept in the head because of the reaction from others these goals would prompt when spoken aloud.

When I was a little girl I learned early on that when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, it was best to size up your audience before responding. If your audience was made up of your parents and friends of your parents you gave a rather generic, expected response, such as nurse, teacher, mommy. If you felt your audience was of the more open minded variety, or if they were under the age of ten, you could announce your dreams of being a dancer, a fairy or a movie star.

Truth is, you didn't really plan to hold any of these jobs because back then becoming a grown up took a very long time and you figured by then no one would remember what you vowed to do when this time arrived and so you could just continue planning Barbie's life instead. Which of course is what you always hope happens - and most often it does. I can't remember even one instance in my life when someone said to me "Remember when you wanted to be a acrobat?"

Ok, to be truthful, this merciful amnesia didn't always happen on it's own. There is always one annoying relative who had so little of her own life that she has devoted too much time and brain storage to remembering everything you used to say and do as a child. When dealing with people like this you have no choice but to put the Memory Loss and Confusion spell on them.

A simple spell really. All you have to do is change your dream/goals every week and be sure to let them in on your latest venture. Pretty soon their heads spin around and their eyes turn to spirals and they forget everything about you except perhaps your name and if they still remember your name you can correct them, like by saying, "Um, it's Angela. Not Annmarie" and they'll look only slightly befuddled and then apologize.

It's a fantastic spell - simple enough for beginners. There is some rather cool incantations that must be spoken with this spell, though so it's best to wait for the official instructions which will of course appear in my latest venture (the idea for which I came up with just fifteen minutes ago.)

I will write my first non-fiction book dedicated to quitters everywhere, to those tortured souls who just want to keep changing their minds without anyone nagging them. Who boldly take up new interests and careers and who just as boldly say nevermind. Whose lives are made up of a series of trials and errors and yet they still manage to wear good shoes and afford Starbucks. Who never worry about answering the what do you do question at cocktail parties because they're usually too busy putting food in their purses they've done just about everything, at least in their minds, for at least 3 days and they also have seen a lot of movies, have very very good imaginations and most often, a knack for the storytelling.

So. There you go. You are once again witness to my latest venture. Now to settle on a title. Try these out for size:

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