Monthly Archives: October 2010

30 Things Maintenance

– Contributed by Wee C

In June I proudly finished my list of 30 Things. I rode that high for about two months until, like a shadow that grows with a change in light, some old habits began creeping back in. A reticence to try things that made me uncomfortable. The rate with which I was challenging myself and evolving, decreasing rapidly. And, perhaps worst of all, an increasing inclination to say no to things that I would normally say no to…rather than living the 30 Things mantra of saying “yes” to those things.

The shift back to my old ways was subtle. Like putting on a comfortable pair of jeans that you know you’re not supposed to wear out in public, but sneak out of the house in them anyway. But about a month ago, I could feel it settling into my bones, causing me to stiffen up and begin to crack.

After all the change, all the evolution, all the enlightenment I had experienced from 30 Things (and as a result, all the boasting I had been doing), I couldn’t admit that I was sliding back to a place that I thought I had successfully released myself from. I was different now…wasn’t I?

I started to panic, thinking that I had failed. But then it hit me. I haven’t failed at all. In fact, I’ve succeeded in a much bigger way than I could have anticipated. I succeeded because I recognized. I recognized what I was doing, what was coming, the slippery slope I was at the top of and about to descend down. That recognition was something I had previously been unable to do. I would get so far down the road that it felt like too much work to turn back, so I’d either give up or just keep going.

In the midst of all of this, what I have discovered is the need to not become complacent. Being a passive participant in my life is no longer an option. At all. So in October, I entered 30 Things Maintenance Mode. The challenge isn’t as great as it once was (30 Things in a year), but I am committing to do one significant thing each month that I normally wouldn’t do.

This month, my “Thing” is signing up for Zumba and sticking with it. Yawn, you say? Au contraire! See I’m quite certain that my hips and back are fused together, forever preventing me from gyrating, twisting, turning and Shakira-ing it up in any sort of sophisticated or desirable manner. I can assure you that my Meringue is a sight NOT to behold. But what makes this 30 Thing notable is that I’m generally not good at doing what I’m not good at. So the fact that I’m awkward and lacking any ounce of sex appeal when I Zumba would normally be enough to send me and my 80-year-old hips back to the sofa.

Not this month. For the past four weeks, I’ve been learning the moves and embracing my clumsy self, and truthfully finding a good deal of joy in my three-times-a-week class…now that I know the moves (as dreadful as I am at them).

Month one of 30 Things maintenance is nearly complete and I’m so happy to be back in a place that is comfortable, challenging and fulfilling. And wait until you see what Big L and I have up our sleeve for next month. November will be a month that is about conquering our deepest, darkest fears and the painful experiences that have haunted us for far too long, and throwing them into the fire. Keep an eye out for the smoke.

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Introducing…

We have something we’d like to share with all of you. Something we’re pretty darned excited about…something we’re publicly talking about for the first time in this very blog post.

Before we do the big reveal, let’s set up the pins for why this post is such a big friggin’ deal. There are three principles we generally adhere to in our personal and professional lives:

  1. Never do anything half way.
  2. Strive for 110% (otherwise known as super-perfection).
  3. And above all, you only get one chance to make a first impression, so knock their socks off.

Today, we’re breaking all of those rules. We’re throwing caution to the wind and sharing something we’ve been plotting for the past couple of months. We have no idea what it will look like in the end. We’re not really certain what it will be called. Heck, we’re not even sure if it will come to fruition at all. How’s that for freeing ourselves of rule-abiding shackles and embracing the Nike mantra?

So, you know that little project we like to call 30 Things? (If not, here’s a refresher: in one year, do 30 new things you’ve never done before. Specifically, say yes to 30 new things you would normally say no to. New readers, please refer to¬†this link to learn about all the wonders). Well, after about a year and a half of talking about this personal project of ours, it seems like there are lots of people talking about it. They (you!) love our idea! So much so that they (you!) want to do it themselves. Except they (you!) are uncertain where (or if) to start – a pretty common problem when embarking on an unfamiliar journey.

So we got to thinking. What if lots of people embraced the 30 Things project? What if we had an entire community of people all doing 30 Things at once, all gaining support, ideas and encouragement from one another? What if we could create a movement?

30 Things has changed our lives. It’s called us to action when we didn’t want to take action. It’s caused us to see the world in a different way, and as a result, has changed how we feel about our lives. Can you imagine the impact of many people all experiencing this together?!

So here’s the big idea: create an online community where people can commit to the 30 Things project. Once you do that, you become part of the larger group, able to share your experiences, challenges and revelations. Community members can share ideas with other 30 Things participants and with friends and family.

What do we hope to achieve? A movement. That’s right, a full-on united and inspired movement. And with it, a whole whack of people who are feeling better – maybe more motivated, appreciative, entertained, proud, or satisfied – about their lives.

Truly, we love this idea. And, yes, we’re terribly modest. But, really, we love it because this 30 Things community would give people an easy place to start. It would provide the encouragement they need to push through. But, most importantly, it would give people a place to live their lives for today. Forget the Bucket List. That’s a list that helps you plan for death. 30 Things is about grabbing ahold of the day, TODAY.

We still have our work cut out for us, and we’re still not sure what the final outcome will be. A recent “blue sky” session listed everything from a scrapbooking kit to a podcast to a monthly newsletter as ways for the 30 Things community to start. But between our weekly Wee C and Big L meetups and some support from our inspirator (like the new word…inspiration + motivator?!), Molly Mahar over at Stratejoy who is helping us figure our way through this idea with her Get It Off The Ground workshop, we’re focusing our efforts and have our sights set on success.

So there you have it. Our big idea. The premature baby that’s being nurtured in the incubator that’s not quite ready to come out into the real world, but is gaining strength by the day. Sharing this with all of you, not knowing anything more than we have an idea and we’re hell-bent on pursuing it, is really scary for us. But, in the spirit of 30 Things, we’re breaking a few of our own rules. And we kinda like it.

PS – if you love this idea, tell us! Yes, we’re praise junkies. But more importantly, we’d love to know who might be “in”.