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My New Life Plan: Doing Things I’m Not Good At

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My New Life Plan:  Doing Things I’m Not Good At


1.  Draw something every day

2.  Learn about art

3.  Read blogs and learn how to promote my own blog

I’ve been writing this blog for nearly a year now, and I’ve decided it’s time to change the format a bit.  Read on to discover how and why…

In a little over a month I will turn thirty-two years old.  I am currently an unmarried, childless girl-woman living at home in Virginia with her mother and working part-time as an ESL tutor for Ukrainians…  Not exactly where I expected to be at this point in my life.

On the other hand, I do have some plans.  I’m getting ready to move to Seattle with my boyfriend.  Paul has gotten a position that requires him to work for one year in Seattle then one year in Minneapolis, and then look for another job.  I’ve decided to go along for the ride.  I don’t mind, since I have no real job and no real need to stick around in Richmond, Virginia.  I can do my part-time jobs from anywhere, and lest you think I’m a directionless bum, the part-time jobs allow me time for writing, which I’m hoping will morph into a paying career at some point.  (Not sure how, though.  By magic is the only logical way I see that happening.)

These plans of mine — to follow my boyfriend across the country while bumbling along with this “writing” stuff — would be fine if I were twenty-four,  but I’m really too old to be floating through my life saying things like, “one day I’m going to publish a book” and “one day I’m going to learn how to cook a chicken.” Not that cooking a chicken should be on the same level as publishing a book, but it is one of those things that, along with playing an intrument, reading the classics, and running a 5K, that I’m always saying I will do “one day,” and yet I never make the move towards actually doing them.

The other day I started planning out the future in my mind. Age 32: Seattle. Age 33: Minneapolis. Age 34: If I’m still with Paul, we’ll have been together three years by this point. Maybe this would be the point we’d settle down somewhere.  Maybe we’d make some sort of marriage-ish type commitment to each other, and maybe this would be the time I’d start trying to get pregnant.

And THEN, my life would change drastically. No more long, lazy hours in front of the computer. My writing would be done in stolen minutes between breast-feeding and diaper-changing. For the next few years at least I’d be pretty busy with motherhood.

So let’s go back to playing the guitar, cooking chicken, reading the classics, running a 5K. Why in the world am I not doing these things NOW, while I have the time?  The answer, I think, is two-fold.  One:  I always think I have more days ahead to do these things.  Two:  Many are things I’m not good at.

So wrote a list of things I’m always saying I want to do one day. Turns out, they are all things I could do in the next year if I put my mind to it.  Here is the list:

The Artistic Side:
-study poetry: read it, write it, and evaluate it
-draw everyday and learn about art
-learn to play an instrument (probably the guitar)

The Mind:
-watch and read classic books and movies like Dostoyevsky and The Godfather
-study German
-learn about wine

The Body:
-join a volleyball team and/or take a dance class
-train for and run a 5K
-get more serious about food and cooking: buy and use a crockpot, eat more organic foods, try new recipes, learn to cook a chicken

The Spirit:
-meditate everyday for a month to see how I like it
-strengthen relationships with friends and family: talk to my grandparents about their memories and call all my friends/family more often

-grow a plant and/or plant a tree
-splurge on a nice item
–record a story for the Moth Podcast and research how to start my own podcast
-reach out to other writers and blogger; read blogs and figure out how to promote my blog

-when I’m about to say a negative thing, say a positive thing instead
-be loving, kind, and patient as much as possible to as many people as possible

There are three items in the first four categories, totaling one challenge a month for an entire year.  (The miscellaneous goals I can sprinkle throughout the year as needed.)  I will write about my progress and what I learn along the way.

So this is my newest plan for writing and general life improvement.  I am calling it the “My Life Starts…NOW” plan, or the “Doing Things I’m Not Good At” plan when I’m not feeling so optimistic.

June is Art Month.  I will draw something every day and read/learn about art.  I’ve decided that I can’t indulge in this “one day” crap anymore.  My life is going on right now, and I’m going to start making better use of it!

Related Pages and Posts:

Bucket List Publications

Life Starts…Now

Ways Drawing Can Improve Your Productivity

The Happiness Project

100 Things I Want to Do in My Life

I was really proud of myself on New Years Day when I went to an art museum and sketched this painting.  Let's do more of this art stuff!
I was really proud of myself on New Years Day when I went to an art museum and sketched this painting. Let’s do more of this art stuff!

About evalangston

Eva Langston is a writer, among other things.

7 responses »

  1. What keeps your motivated to do these tasks or execute the plan?

    • Good question. The fact that I put the plan in writing and put it out there for the world to see. The fact that I have to report about my progress on the blog. I think these things will keep me motivated.

  2. Val Harbolovic

    My dear Eva! I am unspeakably old, and yet I have taken the past two years off to complete my UNO thesis and continue writing full time. Have I had stuff published? YES! Could I make a living at it, or get a job teaching it? HELL NO! It seems to be a very closed shop. During all these apparently fruitless activities, I have followed my similarly ancient lover-boy around the country. You’re never too old! Take it from one bum, who was born in the mists of prehistory and still lives under the delusion that she might one day be a successful writer, it IS possible, but it might just be posthumously for me and I simply don’t let that enter into my consideration!
    Your friend,
    Val H

  3. James Woolwine

    Hi Eva,
    I enjoy reading your blog, and your last two entries especially caught my eye. You are brave to express yourself so publicly, and I can relate to your dilemma. I’m approaching 33 and still trying to be a musician, but adulthood and the responsibilities that go with it are impending. Marriage? Kids? A real job? I don’t want to have to choose between those things and my passion. I hope you won’t have to either. I applaud you for being proactive and making yourself accountable by telling the world. I look forward to reading your updates.

  4. Kimberly Clouse

    Oh, god! How this brings back memories of feeling exactly like you are feeling now. And, I mean recent memories. Like yesterday! Here I am at age 54 and saying some day I will… So I’m keeping your list in my inbox and will use it as a model to write my own “List I will Do Starting Today” list–which I will write tomorrow! Ha ha! Today is always tomorrow, isn’t it?

    But, if I can give you any advice from my 22-years-ahead-of-you vantage point, it is this: Don’t wait!. Time really is limited, and it is much, much easier to do things when you are younger than when you are older. I don’t believe it is ever too late, and Im living proof of that, but, again, it is much easier when you are younger. Easier on the body that is. Although, if I’m to be completely honest, it does get easier in one sense when you are older. You tend to care less whether or not others approve of your choices. You live more out of your heart and a place of love. There is a certain freedom in that. But still, don’t wait. Find the freedom now. That’s not really an age thing, that’s a believe in yourself thing, and that’s a thing that you really can’t afford to put off. So let me know when you’re having your first art show, and when your putting on your first concert. Oh, and when you’re having your first book signing. Oh, and I expect to get those notifications within the year!

    No more delays. No more excuses.


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