Category Archives: Fun Fridays

Looking for a Lab-Rat

Last week in a comment to my post about rethinking the blog, James from Men With Pens suggested that I get myself a lab-rat – I mean volunteer – who would be interested in sharing their own Someday Journey on an ongoing basis. Always willing to steal – I mean acknowledge – good ideas when I see them, I’m going to implement this when I redevelop the blog in the coming weeks.

I’m therefore looking for someone who wants to start their own journey to get rid of the word someday from their life. You don’t need to want to go my extreme route of selling everything and moving to a different country. I just want someone who wants to make a conscious decision to pursue happiness and to share the journey with the world (the sharing can be anonymous).

Each week, I’ll give the lab-rat – oops! volunteer – a Someday Exercise related to one of the three Someday variants (Someday My Ship Will Come In, I’ll Get Around To It Someday, and I Might Need It Someday), then via email, you’ll tell me how the exercise went and I’ll comment on it in the blog.

If you’re interested send me an email to the link on the left-hand side of the blog briefly describing your current situation and why you believe you’re affected with Someday Syndrome.

Someday Lessons:

  • It’s not all about me.
  • Learning happens best when we get multiple perspectives on a subject.
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Do It Now, Not Someday

Yesterday we hopped on the train down to Madrid to celebrate Pride and return home Sunday. Next weekend we go down to the Barcelona area for a friend’s birthday, then Cate’s visit starts the 22nd and I return to Madrid to meet her.

When I lived in Toronto, I never did this much traveling. Montreal was no farther away than Barcelona is now and yet the last time I went to Montreal for pleasure was in 1990. There was always a good reason not to go – lack of money, lack of place to stay, lack of time… but really it all came down to a lack of momentum. When I had a house, had a large group of friends, had full time work, I fell into a comfort trap.* I said that I wanted to travel more, but I never got around to it. I told people that I would do it someday.

Now, I travel when I want to. I don’t live for someday any more. I live now. Of course I’m not extravagant about my traveling – for example I did say no to Cate’s suggestion of doing Bulgaria/Romania this summer because I didn’t want to travel on my credit card. I might be more adventurous now, but I’m certainly not reckless.

After all, if I don’t do it now, when will I?

Someday Lessons:

  • Don’t live for someday – break free of your comfort trap.
  • So, what’s the someday you’re waiting for?

*As always, I highly recommend Judith Sills’ book, The Comfort Trap.

Manifesto for World Domination

Thanks to Sandie at Geeked Off, I just discovered the Art of Nonconformity and read Chris’ manifesto for world domination. In it he says:

True Success: Contrary to what you may hear from the latest self-help book, true success does not come from passive visualization or wishful thinking. It takes action, planning, and sacrifice. Like surfer-turned-songwriter Jack Johnson says in one of his coolest songs, “Don’t let your dreams be dreams.” Make them real.

This man is super cool (and not just because he quotes the sexy Jack Johnson). He knows what he’s talking about. He has never lived a conventional life. He’s always made conscious decisions about everything, and he’s figured out how to mix selfish personal goals with unselfish giving back to the world.

I’m not going to quote more, although I could rave on and on about his easy-to-read writing style, his enthusiasm, his use of specific examples, the way he… oh wait, I said I wouldn’t rave.

Just go visit his site and read the (free) manifesto – now. Seriously. Go.

Someday Lessons:

  • When you find something you like, spread the news and let others share in the fun.
  • Enthusiasm is contagious.

Recording My Progress

(Part 5 in a series where I’m working on creating a profound and lasting change)

The final step in the process of creating change that lasts is to write it down. I already do this every day through my online writing group. At the beginning of each week we tell others about our goals and then comment on what we’ve done each day.

Next week I will look at the five other tips Tina mentions in her blog post. This weekend, however, I won’t think about my writing at all as we’re heading down to Girona province (near Barcelona) for a wedding (and finally the weather has turned hot and sunny!)

Someday Lessons:

  • Sometimes what you’re already doing will dovetail nicely with what you want to be doing.
  • Progress is best made when you take time off as well.

Expanding My Circle

Tonight I get to socialize with my fellow language teachers. The owner of the academy I teach at has invited everyone who works there out to dinner at a fancy restaurant. Other than the administrative staff, I’ve never chatted with any of my coworkers for more than a minute. I arrive only a few minutes before class and leave immediately afterwards, so I don’t interact with anyone. Fortunately I have an outgoing personality, or it could end up a disaster. It still could if the other teachers all stick together in small groups.

I’ve been to parties like that, where everyone is content to stay in safe little circles and newcomers have to be pretty much obnoxious to break into them. And I’m so not obnoxious (siblings – say nothing!). Given the brief encounters I’ve had with the professors, however, I’m certain that won’t be the case tonight.

Of course tonight’s dinner happens two weeks before I’m done teaching for the summer, so this won’t help integrate me into the academy’s culture much. But at least I’ll have made some connections for when school starts up again in September.

Someday Lessons:

  • Even if an action seems pointless, look for a way to create lateral or unexpected benefits.
  • Never say no to a free dinner, especially at a good restaurant.

Achieving an Abandoned Goal

In 2003 when I started my business, I also decided to change my body. I made it my goal to reach 17% body fat, the North American healthy percentage for adult males (in Europe it’s lower). Using the US Government’s waist-neck ratio charts, I sat at 24%. During my anti-yeast diet year, I lost 30 pounds but only 2% body fat. A year later, when my ex-boyfriend started doing WeightWatchers, I did it with him, only managing to lose 5 pounds and nothing off my waist or neck. Plus I was hungry all the time, so I abandoned the goal.

When I moved to France in 2006, I walked lots and lost more weight, but again not off my waist or neck. Then last spring I spent three months working outdoors and toned my body. I lost weight again, but who knows from where because I put it back on (and more!) during my two month stay in Canada last fall.

In February of this year I went back on the anti-yeast diet and then in April went on an anti-reflux diet (which I’ve bitched to you about many times). With this latest cleanse, I’ve slimmed out completely, finally reaching my 17% goal (as well as rediscovering my jawline).

My change in eating patterns had nothing to do with weight and I’d almost forgotten about this goal, but then I was cleaning up my computer and came across the body fat chart I’d saved as reference. Curiosity got the better of me so I took my measurements and discovered that I’d finally completed my goal.

Someday Lessons:

  • Dreams may come true even after you’ve given up actively pursuing them.
  • Although you may decide to put aside a goal, keep it in mind as the opportunity to achieve it might come up later.

Too Much Fun?

Cate has booked her flight, so it’s now official: I will have a Canadian visitor here in my new home and I can show off Raul to someone!

In deciding when Cate should come I had to go through what plans we had for the weekends through the summer. We have something happening at least one day on the weekends from now until the middle of August.

I wold love to be more spontaneous, to not make plans and let the mood guide us, but then again, Raul and I are both a bit control-freakish so not having plans would drive us both crazy.

Starting tomorrow, here are our next eleven weekends:

  1. Friends over for dinner
  2. Parentsitting Raul’s dad (and a beach picnic with my Euro-cousins?)
  3. A work dinner (just me)
  4. A wedding near Girona (Catalonia)
  5. The San Sebastian Pride Party (and our anniversary)
  6. Madrid Pride
  7. A friend’s birthday in Barcelona
  8. Friends from France visiting
  9. My birthday/Cate’s visit
  10. A long weekend away, likely camping
  11. And friends visiting from Madrid for a week (and a visit to the World Expo in Zaragoza).

Someday Lessons:

  • Don’t wish to be something you’re not – accept your nature and enjoy it.
  • Surround yourself with friends and family – no matter where they are.