By: Marilyn L. Davis
The Cycle of Wishing and the Top 4 Excuses
Most people, including me, waste too much time not pursuing their passions; sitting around complaining about their lot in life or sigh longingly when a TV show features deep-sea fishing, and yet, do not marshal the will, resolve or resources to actually make that trip and catch a marlin.
- What about the book that you have written in your head or gathering dust in your journals?
- All those people, telling you for years, that you are authentically funny, yet you never seem to make it to open mike night at the local comedy club.
- Have you always wanted to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Times Square? Yet, you can’t even muster the energy to watch it on TV.
- You know that you have excellent entertaining skills. All of your friends envy how you know themes, decorations, and serve the best food, but you lack the courage to open your own event planning business.
Unfortunately, many people have a dream, but give up after the first attempt. They feel discouraged and let down. Too many then just give up on the idea. Or they use some of the usual excuses to give up or create barriers to their happiness.
How often have you used one of the timeless excuses, only wish, and not work to fulfill your dreams and wishes?
1. I don’t have the money for those big wishes and dreams.
2. I can’t have an adventure, write a book, or climb a mountain; I’ve got to work.
3. I’m too old.
4. I’ll get around to it someday.
Then there are people out there who are having an experience, writing their book, or climbing a mountain. Think of Carter, from the movie, The Bucket List. Looking at his list, he throws it away when he finds out he only have one year to live. His roommate finds it, and the adventure begins.
Are you more like Carter or his friend, Edward Cole?
I Understand the Excuses
My daughter was on the first Student Culinary Olympia team from Johnson and Wales, a culinary arts school, so exotic foods are not new. However, most are not in my budget. But The Bucket List’s coffee choice made me think of other expensive things that would be interesting to try, so I took a look at Carter’s friend’s coffee.
These are beans from coffee berries are eaten and excreted by the Asian Palm Civet, usually cultivated in Indonesia and Philippines, and East Timor. It is considered to be the world’s most expensive coffee at $700 per kilo.
Nor would I leave out the sweets, so here’s the most expensive sundae in the US, the Golden Opulence. It’s a $1000 ice cream sundae. The Serendipity describes the Golden Opulence Sundae as follows:
“5 scoops of the richest Tahitian vanilla bean ice cream infused with Madagascar vanilla and covered in 23K edible gold leaf, the sundae is drizzled with the world’s most expensive chocolate, Amedei Porceleana, and covered with chunks of rare Chuao chocolate, which is from cocoa beans harvested by the Caribbean Sea on Venezuela’s coast. The masterpiece also has exotic candied fruits from Paris, gold dragees, truffles, and Marzipan Cherries. Topped with a tiny glass bowl of Grand Passion Caviar, an exclusive dessert caviar, made of salt-free American Golden caviar, known for its sparkling golden color. It’s sweetened and infused with fresh passion fruit, orange, and Armagnac”.
Researching for this, I would like to try that dessert; however, Atlanta to Las Vegas for a sundae – who am I kidding?
- What if I broke down on the trip? Who would repair my car?
- My vacation isn’t for another year!
- At 71, I may be too old to be wishing about a sundae.
- I don’t have $1000 to spend on a treat.
See how quickly we come up with reasonable excuses not to have an adventure?
Let’s Modify the Wish and Get Close to It
My truck wouldn’t make it to Vegas, but it can make it to the Dairy Queen. So, I’m going to take a 30-minute break, drive the 7 miles to the Dairy Queen; spend $5 on a hot fudge sundae, and remember being a kid. Oh, and knock one more thing off my wish list.
Conquering the 4 Big Excuses for Not Following Your Dreams
1. It’s Not Always About the Money
Money or lack of it is a determining factor in making a wish come true. However, sometimes modifying the dream or wish list can get you close to the mark. Simple Pleasures to Enhance Your Life and Comfort Your Soul by Tracey McBride shows you ways to feel pampered while not breaking the bank.
My mother grew up on a farm in Indiana. She had an opportunity to live with a family while she was in school during World War II. The husband was English and had lived in Europe during his early twenties. She accompanied the family on a trip to New York City, and as she put it, “Gawked her way down 5th Avenue.”
At a French restaurant, she ordered the Vichyssoise soup as it was one of only a few words she had heard someone else say. She thought ordering it would be easier than struggling with so many other unfamiliar words. Years later, when she served us “plain old-fashioned potato soup,” she would dress it up by saying it was “Le Hot Vichyssoise” or Soupe de Pommes de Terre.
Just give me a bowl of potato soup made with butter, carrots, onions, and just the right amount of pepper, along with an excellent crusty rustic bread, and I immediately transport myself to France.
2. Time: We All Get the Same 24/7/365
Regardless of where you live on this planet, you have the same 24 hours that every other person has. How you choose to spend your time is typically dictated by your responsibilities; primarily work and family.
However, once those have been satisfied, you do have discretionary time.
If you want to write, make an effort. Allocate the time to do a little each day, say 20 minutes, or set aside one night and write for several hours. Either way, you’re going to get the writing done because you’ve made it a priority.
Enlist your family’s cooperation in this; negotiate for a writing night, offset by a family night – board games, kid’s choice dinner, or a movie, and then you won’t feel guilty when you have your quiet time to write.
3. Yonder Mountain
Yes, we are too old for some youthful dreams – an Academy Award Winning performance; a Singer/Drummer/Guitarist is a famous rock band or a professional baseball player.
That doesn’t mean that you can’t bring forth your inner diva. Explore options for local theater productions. Is a part of the reason you never pursued acting because you have stage fright? Then see if painting sets, singing in the chorus or a non-speaking part wouldn’t satisfy your inner Barrymore.
You’ve always wanted to climb Mt. Everest, but you realize that isn’t going to happen. See if a family trip to an area with a reasonable mountain trail would satisfy both your inner Sherpa and your young son trying to get a Boy Scout badge. Plan that family vacation so that all members get to do something memorable.
Take a flag with you, if the site permits it and imagine that you’re Hillary – stand proud and tall and know that modifying the dream doesn’t diminish the feeling of satisfaction.
Know a lot about baseball and even played as a high school student? See about coaching Little League. They won’t know you never played in a stadium, and your knowledge could help develop the next Babe Ruth.
Wanted to form that band, but never learned to sing, play, or know what a Zildjian is? Explore options for taking lessons. You may find that singing in the shower at the top of your lungs, or twanging out a soulful melody or learning to multitask with hands and feet keeping time to some classic drum beats is enough.
4. Realize that Someday is Now
See if there is not a way to make these daydreams, wishes, and bucket list activities happen. If not, how close to the intent can you get? An online friend of mine told me years ago that he wanted to be a writer. I asked him what he thought it would take to fulfill this dream. I got a long list of things that he thought were necessary to be a writer:
1. Literary Agent
3. Excellent press reviews
After a few more messages, he agreed that he would have all of those things if he were a published, recognized writer. I then asked him if he had any idea how the great writers – Shakespeare, Wolfe, and Hemingway got started. He replied that he did not; I told him that they committed to putting pen to paper and letting their hands record what was in their heads.
Then all of them needed help; they gave their newest creation to someone with a critical eye to edit. Some of their editors made the writing more accessible to the public, and others played devil’s advocate with the confusing or too lengthy passages.
After we messaged, we started talking by phone, and he made an effort to write. Submitting articles to magazines; his manuscript to publishing houses; accepting rejection or negative comments from some, and sometimes feeling discouraged.
In other words, practicing and learning his craft.
Today, this man is a published author of a book of poetry. That genre is not the easiest to write. Nor is it likely to gain him a top slot on the New York Times Bestseller list. His book of poetry is also not going to let him buy the mansion on the lake, either, but he’s a dedicated to his passion, personally fulfilled, writer.
And Your Dreams, Wishes, and Aspirations Are….
Are you still thinking about something and know you want to try it? Is there a burning desire to accomplish a particular thing? Do you wish you could do something exciting? Then ask yourself:
1. If you can’t hit the moon, can you reach a star, or how close to the intent can you get?
2. Is there a way to make these daydreams and wish list activities happen?
3. What can you modify, alter, or get close to on your wish list and stop making excuses?
Let me know what you dream of doing and if this encouraged you to try another approach.
Bio: Marilyn L. Davis
As the editor-in-chief at Two Drops of Ink, Marilyn wants to encourage other writers to share their creativity and talents. She believes in the power of words and knows that how something is said is just as important as what is said.
Her focus at Two Drops of Ink is publishing posts that entertain, educate, and enchant readers through memoir, fiction, writing advice, punctuation problems, grammar shorts, and poetry.
Editing, revising, finding the bones, and taking the time to develop posts with writers is something she enjoys, because she understands that Two Drops of Ink is a collaborative effort, and that takes teamwork.
A recovery curriculum author with 30 years of abstinence-based recovery, she advocates for and writes to the addicted population. Her recovery curriculum, Therapeutic Integrated Educational Recovery System (TIERS) offers time-tested exercises for healing. This curriculum was used in the award-winning recovery home she opened for women in 1990, as well as Accountability Courts and other recovery homes.
Closing the house in 2011, allowed her to spread the message that recovery works to a broader audience online. Her other blog, From Addict 2 Advocate explores addiction, recovery, making positive changes, and codependency.
Her primary focus is writing encouraging, honest posts about addiction and recovery so that more addicts and their families can end their struggles with addiction. She does this through reflective writing, memoir, and sharing her darkest moments so that those still suffering from addictions can know a person who got out of the vicious cycle.
She hopes that through her writing, she encourages the addicted population to make changes and become the best person they can be.
Marilyn is a regular guest writer at The Sober World and Keys to Recovery Newspaper.
Marilyn was selected as “Woman of the Year” for 2018, by the Recovery Writers, Editors, Publishers, Poets, Authors, and Readers Group. In 2017, she was given the Hero Award in 2017 for her writing on Facebook pages about addiction and recovery. Her passions for writing, recovery, and helping others means that collaboration works for any type of blog.
In 2016, the Friends of Recovery Book Reviewers group awarded her “Best Addiction Writer” of the year.
She is excited that her words may help another recover.
In 2008, Brenau University created the Marilyn Davis Community Service-Learning Award: an ongoing award given to individuals advocating for mental health, wellness, and recovery.
In 2010, she was awarded the Liberty Bell Award by the Northeastern Judicial Circuit, given to non-attorneys for contributions to the criminal justice system and communities.
She began advocating for rehabilitation rather than incarceration for non-violent offenders in 1990 and continues to provide treatment services in her job as Program Director at a men’s facility in Georgia.