Saturday, June 8, 2013

"Do Better" or "my inability to finish most of what I start"

Lately, I've been simply trying to 'do better'.  While this is a noble notion, it has absolutely no meaning.  Where are the goalposts?  How will I know when I'm done?  And, most importantly, when can I look down on others with smug satisfaction that I'm 'doing better' than they are*?

I've recently started two new courses through coursera.org.  The first is an intro to art course (a refresher for all that crap I claim I can do), and the other is an intro to finance (so I know how to better pay for all that crap I claim I can do).  These have both started in the past two weeks, with the art course starting first.  I was rather excited about it, but so were a few thousand other people, so when I went online, I discovered that live streaming the material was quite difficult for me.  Even when I paused to give it time to load, there was a lot of lag.  "No problem," I thought, "I'll just download the videos.  That way, I'll have them in the future if I want to revisit a specific technique."

Well, for some reason, downloading the videos doesn't work for me either.  When I try to trouble-shoot, it tells me there's something wrong with the sound device - clicking through the other steps on the troubleshooting page only tell me that the sound device is working find, and I've had trouble with other videos.  The overall result being that I get increasingly frustrated and usually find something else to do with my time.

This is directly related to the most recent piece I've been working on with my therapist.  The issue being that I don't seem to follow things through to completion.   My track record has become so bad that I often feel defeated before I've even started, and don't sign up for a number of things.  The 101 Things in 1001 Days is a good example of this.  My friend, Colleen (http://101thingsforcolleen.blogspot.ca/) had started this project for herself and encouraged our mutual friend, Katy (http://seekatydo101thingsin1001days.blogspot.ca/) and myself ( http://kidamy.blogspot.ca/) to try this.  The general idea is that you make a list of 101 things you'd like to accomplish and then set out to finish them in a specific time frame (1001 days, to be exact, hence the name).  I was the last one to join, as I had feared I would get part way through and...fizzle out.

I did several things, some I'm proud of**, but I had a heard time coming up with 101 things.  My list is incomplete.

I recall being in Brownies for about a year and getting very frustrated with it.  Each week, we were given something to do and time to do it (collect leave, paste them in a book).  Now, one of two things happened.  Either:
- I was a slow performing tasks; or
- They didn't allot enough time for us to do these things

It's most likely a combo of the both, of course.  As a result, my projects were never finished.  I remember being told to put it away and get my coat on, ("you can finish it next week") a few weeks in a row.  The following week, that project would be forgotten and we were on to a new craft or whatsit.

Like Sysiphus, only with a shit brown outfit and some glitter glue
It's not often that you can pinpoint the beginning of some attitudes, but I'm almost certain those episodes of not being able to finish things (and being lied about it for the next week) was the true beginning of my cynicism.  I was 7, and already scoffing at the university level.

Now, to lighten the end of this post, here's a clip of Sam Raimi in one of my favourite movies, Indian Summer:




*I think I'm being facetious on that last one.  Let's say I am.
**this is how I started singing again

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