My husband and I did some vacation planning before 6:00am this morning. We live outside of the U.S. for almost 2.5 years and we didn’t realize you can’t renew your driver’s license anymore after renewing twice by mail. California DMV would like to see us at least once every 15 years. If we had known about this “15 year rule”, we would have renewed it in person while we were still in San Diego, but then again, we didn’t know we’ll be living out here (Japan) for extended period of time until about a year before we left. Certain things in life you only find out by experiencing it. Anyway, now we know when we need to fly back to the U.S. (we knew we’d go back sometime during next 18 months), so we booked a place for our San Diego stay. Having that taken care of feels really good.
Today is also the day to go to doctor’s office (one of the two appointments I made last Wednesday). I am in home stretch in terms of this task, because I am actually not afraid of going to see a doctor. Making the plan was definitely the harder part of this one.
Yesterday’s task is complete. Now I have another task to “create a full backup of my iPhone” before visiting the store. This will be the challenge I’ll tackle this weekend.
As I mentioned in the post “Asking a favor”, I am a bit concerned about our older two kids’ English writing skills – For the record, I am also concerned about our youngest son’s English skills in all areas, but that’s for another post. Anyway, recently I was shocked to discover that our middle son doesn’t know how to spell certain 2nd grader level words. I was kicking myself about not keeping up with spelling practice for kids after we moved to Japan 2 years ago. When I was telling someone about it yesterday, she said to me “Well, you can beat yourself up about it, but it’s not really helpful, is it? Just think, “what is the next right thing”? When you come up with something, just do that”. She is right. In a way, I have already taken a step towards the next right thing, which is to find a tutor to address that challenge. I am happy to report that the mom I wrote to responded and I now have a lead for a writing tutor. Taking action towards the solution I can think of right now helps me to feel less anxious. When you are less anxious, you also come up with more creative ideas. Beating yourself up is not only unproductive, but it also affects your overall happiness negatively. I know all of this intellectually, but actually putting it into practice is a different challenge.
Yesterday’s task is complete. I’ll wait for a few days to see if I get a reply – if not, I need to come up with other ideas on how to find an English writing tutor for my kids.
Today’s task is to make an appointment for iPhone battery replacement. I purchased iPhone 6s in fall 2015, and about a year later, it started to shut down when the battery is not low. I learned that Apple is replacing battery for iPhone 6s for free if it has certain serial numbers (you can check it here). It is one of those things that is important, but not urgent, so I have been putting it off. You would think it’s easy enough but Apple store intimidates me a little. I wonder if anyone else feels that way.
Yesterday’s task was to visit doctor’s office. Well, I didn’t make it – but I called and made an appointment for next week. Also, recently I learned that someone I love and admire had gone through surgery for breast cancer. It came as a bit of shock to me because she seemed so healthy and energetic from what I could see on SNS, and she is my age. This made me think of “what if”. So I also made an appointment for cancer exam. It was liberating to have made those two appointments, it made me feel like I am slowly starting to defeat a habit of procrastination.
Today’s challenge is about asking a favor. This is also one of the things I hesitate… I feel more comfortable asking a favor if it’s someone I know well, and also have done something for them in the past. As I write this, I realize that I am operating from this “quid pro quo” mentality. I know this world is full of good people and most people will be happy to help out others, as long as it’s withtin their power and the request is reasonable. Basically I am in search of English tutor who would come to our place and teach our sons how to write essays. It just so happens that there is a dad in my youngest son’s daycare who is a teacher at an international school in the area. He is English, and his wife is Japanese. I don’t know them too well but today I’ll ask them in a way of a letter slipped in their son’s backpack, as we rarely see each other at drop off/pick up.
Yesterday, I wrote about applying for a writing gig. It was 9:00pm last night when I finally brought myself to do it, but I did it – pushed “send” button! Now wait and see what happens.
Today, I had a plan to meet up with a friend for lunch, but she fell sick. So I decided to do another task I have been dreading – visit doctor’s office. It’s one of those things that is not urgent, but important. I am not sure if I would use the word “fear” about going to see a doctor, but in any case, for some irrational reason I did not make this a priority until now. Also, I changed the title from “if I was not afraid” to “Today’s challenge” so I can throw in this type of tasks too. A friend of mine said to me that this is a bit like “Rejection Therapy” and in a way, she is right. I want to overcome something. Rejection is definitively one of them, and also last two years I let the notion of “not having enough time” slowed me down or stopped me altogether and didn’t even start doing something I have been wanting to do. I want to change that. I want to change my perspective of time.
One thing I know I need to focus on this year is to double down my effort to amplify my voice. I have so much thoughts in my head about love, relationship, partnership (married or not) and all the things you can do to make it work. One way I can make myself heard by more people is to write in a place where there is already a built-in audience. So that is what I am going to do today…I have been procrastinating this task last few weeks out of fear of failure – or success, in this case, because when more people will know my thoughts, there is an increased chance of people disagreeing with me. But that’s ok. That is sort of the point, to enter the conversation that is already happening on those topics.
Recently, a friend of mine told me that he told someone he likes how he feels about her. A few days later, he told me that it didn’t work out – she has someone else she likes and can’t be his “girlfriend”. He was obviously heartbroken, but also said he was glad he decided to tell her. Hearing his story, I realized how much I let fear of failure stop me from doing what (I think) I want to achieve in my life.
So this is my attempt to rectify how I have been operating. I will write what I would do if I was not afraid, everyday. Everyday? Yes. I can see already where I might fail….I might fail at doing this everyday. But that is ok. I will then pick up where I left off the next day, or on whatever day I can and start over. It will be brief like this post. That’s ok too.
To start, today I sent a message to someone I’ve known sometime. She is an editor of a major magazine. I asked her if I could send her a copy of the book I translated and got published last year. I have been dreading this task as I was afraid of being rejected. In a few hours after hitting “send” button, she replied “Please do”. Today is a win. Not because I got a positive reply, but because I finally sent that message – and also because I am writing in this blog, for the first time in a long time. Tomorrow I will pick another items on my list of “things I would do if I wasn’t afraid”. Come join me.