What’s Your Dangling Carrot?

I'm Not Going To Try Anymore

I’m so tired of trying. It’s a repetitive process that never moves me forward. It feels like doubt before I even leave the starting line. And that dangling carrot is always miles ahead of me. If I squint I can even see it smirking back at me. Imagine a smirking carrot. It’s not intimidating, it’s condescending. I want to sneak up behind it and bite off its root - its foundation.

But I know it’s smarter to concentrate on my own foundation and not some smirky carrot.

I dive into inspirational quotes with a sense of abandon. Inspire me! I say. And the quotes they come. I came across one recently that seems to resonate with my summer and me:

Think about who you want to be. And be her.

Oh. So easy, right? And I’m not being sarcastic. I want to be so many things and do so many things and it’s just a matter of a beginning. We begin things every day.

There shouldn’t be any hardship in beginning anything. For me, it’s the finishing that’s the hardship, although not always hard. And what will be won by finishing? Exactly what I wanted!

So then what’s the deal? I’m partly going to blame summer. As a teacher, I’m off for my summer and with that comes relaxing, quiet mornings and a slower pace with more time with my children and family and friends.

If I think about the amount of things that I’ve worked on and completed this summer, versus the amount of things that I do during the course of my day when I’m working, my working-me does so much more than my summer-me in a day. In my defense, that’s how it’s supposed to be. But it’s not wasted time. For instance, I’ve cleaned out cupboards and closets and pantries and rooms and disposed of a lot of “stuff.” I’ve gotten new furniture and sent old furniture on to charities and I have been editing a book that’s been in the works for a while. I did a girl’s weekend away with close friends and spent it next to the beach with people I adore. I’ve logged about 30 miles or so since summer began walking on the beach - which is how I keep my peaceful mind peaceful. I’m home more often so I’ve spent less money instead of rushing in and out of stores. In essence, my summer theme has been about out with the old and in with the new, but it’s all made me quite tired. And something is still missing.

What is my dangling carrot? I think it’s living in the moment.

Even my dangling carrot is enjoying the moment albeit with a sarcastic smile, but I seem to be putting everything on hold until I get this done and until I have that finished. I feel good after the changes I make, but then I’m already looking for my next to-do.

I think I’m more worried about running out of time to finish it all when instead I should be enjoying it all as it happens.

What does this mean for me? It means I’ll be resolving my issues in a way that I KNOW makes me feel better and accomplished. Daily. Because I can. Because that’s who I want to be.

No more trying, just doing.

I think my sudden feeling of dissatisfaction comes from realizing that we are already half way through 2015.

Life is a bowl full of cherries, but not if you keep them hidden inside of your pocket all squished and uneaten.

I had a dream last night that was way-weird. I was at my ex’s house and for some reason I was staying at his house using his guest bedroom. In the dream, I woke up in the morning and I went to use the bathroom, but the toilet was gone. So I went to another bathroom and found the toilet missing there, too. He has a house with lots of bathrooms so unfortunately I had to walk through his whole house searching for a toilet and if you’re anything like me you know what it’s like first thing in the morning when you really have to go. Each and every time, each bathroom was meticulous and spotless, but each toilet was gone. There were just sealed up holes in the floor where they had been. I finally searched for him and asked him where all of his toilets were.

He told me, “we really have to go.” I wanted to tell him that I really had to go, too, but dreams don’t always let you speak.

Because I'm a dilly-dallier, he has said those words to me a gazillion times over the course of our marriage. It seems he squeezed it in one more time even after our marriage, in my dream yet. Is his shadow in the corners of my home shaking his head as he watches me follow around one shiny-object-distraction after another? I make a path through my home that I'm sure I would not be proud of if I watched my day on rerun. Countless, aimless steps back and forth, to and fro.

My ex is always in a hurry. He won’t slow down his pace until his task is done so that he can then relax. I think he was in my dream because he and his nephews had kindly helped my son and me haul away my old furniture, and I was reminded of his hastiness as well as my dilly-dallying. I was also reminded that one of the benefits of being single is that I get to dilly-dally to my heart's content. Laaaaaa.

Then while still in my dream, my sister came up to me out of nowhere and asked me to have a sleepover with her, but I didn’t want a sleepover. I just wanted to pee.

That’s where I’d had enough and woke myself up. So I could pee, of course. Sitting there on the toilet, I was thinking, WTH? I put a lot of weight on my dreams. I always find an underlying reason for them when I take the time to question and dissect them.

The dream made me feel like I wasn’t able to go forward. I was being blocked from the things that I really needed to do.

So whatever it is that’s missing from my days lately, I need to find it. And I think I can do that by not trying anymore.

I will no longer try to plan special outings. I will do them. I won’t try for accomplishment every day. I will accomplish every day. I won’t try to exercise daily. I will exercise every day. I won’t try to have fun. I’ll just have fun. I will no longer try to eat healthier. I will eat healthier. And I’ll be munching on healthy (although ass-inine) carrots while I’m at it. (Evil grin)

Many, many, many bloggers love to ask final questions at the end of their articles. I don’t. I don’t know why. It’s like a thorn in my side. I feel like if I ask them a question, I’m dislodging the path of their thoughts that I've just put them on. I love to write. I write for me. But when I write, I like it to be a piece that makes people think. So whatever it is that I make them think of, I want them to continue thinking about it. If I ask them a question in the end, if they’re anything like me, their mind will change tracks and go in another direction.

Instead, I want to unearth a memory or a feeling or an inspiration in them. I want to dislodge something in them that’s stuck or not quite fixed. Or just make them chuckle at stupid carrots.

But this time I'm asking a question: What is your dangling carrot? Where are you headed and what do you want to reach? How do you do that? And will you? When I had that dream about my ex, I could easily compare him to me. He can’t relax until the work is done. I don’t rush like him; on the contrary I’m a tortoise that eats carrots (versus a hare, get it?). But I don’t always enjoy the process.

How will you enjoy your process?

Okay…so that was more than one question I’ve just asked you, but take heed, when you do something that you don’t normally do, or something that you don’t want to do, go big!

Go big AND go home!

Katherine Baron (me!) is a preschool teacher, author and blogger, and most importantly a Mom. You can find my work on Amazon.com under my pen name Katherine A. Rayne.


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