It’s now halfway through August and I still haven’t decided what my next “project” will be. I know I don’t have to have a project. But I would like a focus at least.
I was so pleased with how my Happiness Project went, I want to design a similarly profound program for this upcoming year. I’m just not sure how to do it.
Where my Happiness Project was designed around a breadth of activities, I would like this year to be more about depth. I want the assignments I give myself to be free from the “one month” duration. If I feel like I want to focus on an activity for longer than a month, I’d like to postpone the next activity. If I don’t like the chosen activity and want to move on after nine days, I want to feel free to do that without feeling like I’m breaking the rules.
Of course I could have done this even with my Happiness Project. But that would have broken the rules I’d set for myself, and we can’t have that. Living outside the rules is chaos. Anarchy. Or something like that.
I also know that right now I’m hungry for learning. I want to absorb information, assimilate it, digest it, make it my own.
In addition, I recognize that right now, I’m not really in a position to add much more to my plate. I’ve got a homeschooling first-grader and a toddler who just learned to jump with both feet at the same time and a new home and a blog. Either I need to drop something, or I need to find a way to be more efficient so I can eke out more time for new projects.
With all of this in mind, I’ve got a whole slew of ideas of things to do for this next year. I cannot do all of these. I know that. But I’m having trouble narrowing down the list, which means I can’t seem to pick a manageable number of things to work on, which means I can’t seem to decide on anything to work on.
Here are some of my ideas:
-Finish Levels 1, 2, and 3 of Rosetta Stone Latin American Spanish.
-Complete a naturalist course so I can be the smartypants who names all of the plants and animals on our hikes.
-Join Toastmasters and attend weekly meetings.
-Read Classics of literature, poetry, biography, drama, history, math, and science, and start a book club in order to discuss these Classics.
-Continue the two other monthly book clubs I’m part of already.
-Enroll in the online/off-campus Master’s Degree program through George Wythe University.
-Take piano lessons.
-Take a sign language class.
-Take an online Buddhism class.
-Go to a bible study at at least two different churches of different denominations.
-Attend the weekly Buddhist meditation at one of the local UU churches. (There aren’t any Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Temples in Massachusetts. I’m a little surprised at how much I miss going to the Shin Buddhist services.)
-Write a novel for National Novel Writing Month in November (again).
-Implement the FlyLady housework, meal planning, and self-care routines.
-Join a gym, buy some personal training, and become buff (as buff as a 35-year-old mother of two can be in no more than thirty minutes a day).
-Play flute in a community band/orchestra.
-Do a 365 photo project.
-Attend an entire Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction series (I only attended three classes worth before we moved from Utah, so I’ve reduced my stress a little, but imagine how laid back I would be if I went through the entire series).
-Just going to town on my vast “to-read” list on Goodreads, reading like 50 books in the course of the year or something ambitious like that.
I was going to do something like a zero-waste challenge or a “buy nothing for a year” challenge something trendy like that, but I just don’t think I can do that without it being tremendously taxing to me emotionally. I already agonize over expenses and waste. No need to intentionally increase the intensity of that agony.
So I’ll just agonize over my wish list instead.
(Update: I forgot the online fermentation class I’m considering. That should be added to the list, too.)
7 Replies to “Paralyzed by Indecision”
I just jumped on board with the five precepts class, I just wrote to Heather actually, LOL. I know, and it is the strangest thing too because I’ve never really met a mom here who was interested in Buddhism, and for the SAME person to be interested in leadership education, it’s kind of weird ;). Homebirth too…
I did a couple of online Buddhism classes with Jacqueline Kramer (author of Buddhamom) that i enjoyed. Unfortunately, the class always dwindled in size as time went on, and toward the end, either we would have to wrap things up early or just have a couple people left. There is a Yahoo group based out of Worcester called Turtle Path which posts event, classes, meditation groups, etc.
Another thing that might interest you is a thing called Abigail Adams Academy that facilitates starting your own leadership education. They offer several classes. I think it is just abigailadamsacademy.com I learned about them via the TJEd yahoo group (tjed muse).
Looks like you have a lot of choices! Good luck in finding your path :).
Melanie, I really wonder if we might have met online before we met in person because it seems our paths have crossed at so many points. I’ve also taken online Buddhism classes with Jacqueline (met her at a LLL conference in California just after I’d read her book. She was promoting Hearth and that’s how I learned about the classes). I signed up for The Five Precepts that’s supposed to begin Sept 11, but there are only two of us signed up and Jacqueline wants a few more to make the class a go. So if you’re interested in The Five Precepts, drop Jacqueline a line. Maybe we can get enough people to make a class!
Thanks for the information about Abigail Adams Academy. I’ll check it out!
I did a 365 photo challenge a few years ago and really enjoyed it. I consider doing it again occasionally. Then I forget, and move on to the next thing. 🙂
What were some of the things you enjoyed about the 365 photo project? I’ve read how it’s supposed to improve one’s photography skills, but I’m not sure how it would do that without other instruction.
What if you did categories- like you would implement one self-improvement project, one intellectual project, and one home management project. That way you could take a class, do fly lady, and play your flute in the community band. Then you could switch it around and do other things once your house was sparkling clean all the time and they asked you to leave the band because your sheer awesomeness was making everyone feel intimidated. Or something like that.
Categories is an idea. I’d also thought about focussing on one or more of my Personal Commandments (anything I do outside the house falls under “Risk Looking Silly”).
I like the idea of freeing up time through my sheer awesomeness, I’ll tell you that much.