Archive for December 2014 – Page 2

Spruced Up

Dancing Shoes

This week, my roommate filled our apartment with Christmas decorations. Walls have wreaths, doors have bells, and tables have centerpieces. It reminds me just a little bit of home. And now that PaintMo November has come to an end, I have almost 30 paintings I can start hanging to make the apartment even more personal.

Yes, I survived the PaintMo paint-a-day challenge. Sure, I skipped Thanksgiving, but it’s not every day I have so many amazing people in my house.

All in all, I’m proud of myself for painting every day, and for pushing through the “I don’t wanna” stage in order to bring something original into the world. It was more of a challenge than I’d care to admit, but I learned a few lessons along the way. Here’s a few of the big ones I learned along the way.

1. It’s not as hard as it seems – My goal was to paint every day, not to create the next Mona Lisa. Whenever I found myself trying to skip a day, I took a step back and reminded myself that painting a basic shape still counts, even if it will never win an award.

2. Momentum is sneaky – After a week of painting, I found myself thinking of new ideas while riding the subway, sweeping the floor, and going to sleep. Without even trying, my brain shifted into “let’s paint” mode. It didn’t take very long at all, and I certainly didn’t see it coming.

3. Once a day is a big commitment – Besides basic human functions, there are very few things I do every day. Adding something new into the mix required discipline, but I was amazed at how much time I could find once I made painting a priority. It was rarely easy, but it was certainly possible.

Thanks for reading!

Commitment

I wasn’t sure what to write about this morning when I woke up. Well, that’s not entirely true. I knew what I wanted to write about, I was just going to avoid it and half-ass something else.

See, I had gotten a bit of feedback on Saturday. My boss that I wasn’t doing enough to step up at my job. Coworkers didn’t feel like I had their backs. For a place where one of the hazards includes being attacked by mentally ill teenagers bigger than you are, that’s serious criticism.

So I spent the rest of the day feeling sorry for myself. After the pity party, I decided to make a change. Turns out it really can be that simple. See, inside the pity party is the implication that I didn’t think I was able to make any kind of change. Experience has proven that this is not true.

I’ve been volunteering for more. Making sure I’m the first one there in a blowout. Offering to take over and tag out for all manner of thankless jobs and paperwork drudgery. I’m only two days in to manning up, but I think I’m going to be okay.

When I buckled down and committed, it was like a bunch of puzzle pieces in my mind clicked into place. The inaction and the leaving the crises to other people were bad habits left over from when I wasn’t allowed to do much more than shadow. Action and effort suit me much better than anxiety and inertia.

I think the lesson here is in committing to a better way of doing things. Once you really go for it, things start to line up. Dan experienced it when he got back into acting and writing. Clark experienced it when he decided to take the plunge and move to New York. And now I’m experiencing it. If it happens that often it can’t just be coincidence.

So, at the risk of being preachy again, here’s my challenge to anyone reading. You know the right thing to do. Get out there and do it.

-Austin