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dear reader | what are you afraid of?

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When I posted my first “dear reader” post, I asked for suggestions of what you, my readers, would like me to write specifically to you.

I received this suggestion from Krista and I really loved it, so this is what I’m writing about today…

“I do have a suggestion for the “Dear Reader” series, “What are you afraid of?”  What I mean by this is I have ideas, plans, goals for my own business/craft projects but I always put them off.  I’m too busy with house cleaning, gardening, and kids to just do my own thing.  So I never ‘do my own thing’.  And I wonder why.  Why can’t I just make time for me to do what I want to do?  Certain things can wait so why don’t I try?  I think I’m just afraid to do it.  How did you do it?  How were you able to justify time on what you wanted to do when you first started out?  Do you know what I mean?”

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Dear Krista and other readers who keep putting “it” off.  Whatever “it” may be,

First off, Krista, yes.  I know what you mean.

For so many of us, today crowds out the someday.  Someday seems easy and full of possibility, but then someday becomes today and it’s just another ordinary day filled with errands, laundry, picking up, helping with homework, playing chauffeur.  And then that someday, that was once so full of possibility, is now a forgettable yesterday.

And those yesterdays start stacking up and you realize that for the somedays to live up to their potential, a change needs to happen in the todays.

(If you’re not tracking with me, have a cup of coffee and then try reading it again.)

In other words, if you never do anything, you’ll never do anything.

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So, you have to take those first scary steps today.  Not tomorrow.  And definitely not someday.

This can apply to starting a business, a weight loss/health journey, working on your home, a project, anything.  Big or small.  It’s those “if I could only…  I would…” kinds of things.

So, think about that for a minute.  What would you like to do?  Who would you like to be?

For me, I would like to be more balanced.  I can be so lopsided in life and I wish I wasn’t like that. I would like to be more organized.  I would like to be thinner and fitter.  I would like to design a line of furniture.  I would like to go to France, Belgium and Sweden and fill a container with amazing things to bring back to the US.  Just to name a few.  Off the top of my head.

Less then a week away #France #Monpazier

A photo posted by Dreamy Whites Lifestyle (@dreamywhiteslifestyle) on

Now.  What is stopping you from doing the things on your list?  What fears start to prickle when actually think of taking steps towards those things?  What barriers do you hit?

I know, for me, I’m afraid that if I strive to be more balanced, my business will lose momentum.  I know that being fitter and thinner means self-discipline and that I can’t eat all the chocolate chip cookies whenever I want.  Designing a line of furniture is so intimidating!  Why would a company even want to partner with me?  Miss Mustard Who?  And what if it was a failure?  And France…ah, yes.  It seems an eternity away, because it means a big savings account just for that trip.  And there are bigger priorities right now.

You’re probably having similar conversations with yourself right now about the things on your list.  These are reasons A, B and C as to why I can’t fill-in-the-blank.

So, I’m not suggesting that those reasons aren’t valid or sensible or huge obstacles.  I’m not saying that you just disregard them.  Throw responsibility and commitment out the window and do what you want.

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I’m suggesting that you make small investments, baby steps to work towards what you want.  Sort of like the change jar that can add up over time.  Pennies that become a trip to France.  Smart food choices that become a 20 lb weight loss.  30 minute workouts that become a healthier me.  Planning smarter and setting priorities, sticking to a bedtime and slowly finding balance.

So, Krista, I suggest this to you.  Write what you want and today (maybe tomorrow if it’s really late), take one step towards one thing on your list.

And tomorrow, take another step.

And the next day…

Small steps aren’t so scary, are they?

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Comments

  1. Great question and great post, Marian! I talked for years and years about selling antiques or opening a shop of some kind, but always had one excuse after the other (after the other) for not doing it! Then, finally, 5 years ago, just in time for the holidays, I pushed myself to open an Etsy shop with just 10 items, and two of them sold right away – I was thrilled! Five years on, I’m still loving my ‘side job’, I’ve reduced my hours at my ‘day job’ with the hopes of selling antiques full time, and baby steps are what keep me sane while growing my business. Not everyone is in a position to take a giant ‘leap’, especially when it concerns your livelihood, so chipping away one goal at a time is a great way to get there – slowly but surely wins the race! Thanks so much for the motivating post.

  2. Saskia says:

    What an inspirational post! You are so right that a lot of us are always waiting for the “right” time to do things. I think that is what sets the doers apart from the dreamers. The doers just go for it and try and try again. The dreamers always find a reason why now is not the right time.
    Creating your own furniture line seems like the next logical step for you because you are so talented and have a great sense of style. Go for it!

  3. Monday morning I was thinking about weight loss and fitness. A few years ago I started a fitness journey and lost 60 pounds and kept it off for a year. Then life got busy with planning for special days and half of the weight found it’s way back “home”. Rather than putting it off a return to fitness for a New Years resolution, I returned to the gym this week with a “finish the year off right” goal.

    I was wondering if you would consider starting a Facebook group for fitness. I find the online accountability helpful and encouraging.

    Thanks for the reminder of one step at a time for all the areas of our life!

  4. Deb McK says:

    I hope you get to do all you dream of! I have been following a blog about Chateau de Gudanes in France. A beautiful castle being restored and they have workshops, etc. I think you would love it – if you get to go overseas.

  5. What a great post! My years seem to develop a theme, and this year is the year of “what I want most”. The funny thing is, it is really hard to figure what you want. Once I do, I make sure that I spend at least a little part of every day doing that. Some days I want the house clean. Some days I want to draw for an hour. Some days I want to call my sister and talk until we’re done. Lately, I have been building a patio. So I spend at least 20 min setting stones.

    I amazed at how happy this has made me! My life feels like it belongs to me, even if I only have time to spend 10-20 min doing what I want most. And my goals move forward. It’s amazing how all those little moments and actions add up.

    All the best!,
    The Other Marian

    PS: Marian, I have two suggestions for France. 1. Get a bucket. Dump all your spare change in it. Then set up an account with direct deposit and have $5 or $10 every paycheck dumped in there. Use both as your France fund. 2. Have a furniture company pay for you to go to France a get “inspired” to design furniture for them. Buy a bunch of stuff while you are there. You have been very blessed in your ability to have outside businesses cover expenses or materials for things you want to do, but can’t afford. Pull on that gift. Just say’n.

  6. And think you also need to write then down and start with what is doable now. Something’s just aren’t. But if you look closely something are and those thing’s are the starting point. They get the juices flowing and a feeling of accomplishment
    They actually set you up to start striving for what you thought was the impossible. I know I have been there. A leap faith is all you need!

  7. Love this! Great post

  8. There is a great Ted Talk entitled “Why You’ll Never Have A Great Career”. In it he says if you don’t follow your dreams you’ll never be able to say to your children…”Child, I want you to follow your dreams and have a great career, JUST LIKE I DID.” That is what we all want for our children, for them to follow their dreams and have a great career that fulfills them. Our mothers want/wanted that for us too. So, go get it!

  9. I sooo agree with you! Baby steps on everything! I help people get organized and that is a big fear with people! They never know where to start. I tell them, “One drawer at a time!” People look at the whole picture and get overwhelmed! Once they get started, they feel better about the project and usually continue! Once you are organized, things run smoother and faster! I know right where things are and I put them up right away, or I am back where I started! It will save time! Then you have more time to craft…and that’s the fun part!

  10. Debbie w says:

    Great post as we begin a season of “busyness”! I will begin my list today….thanks for the spark to get me focused for the weeks ahead!

  11. Janet Mann says:

    Great post! It made me laugh AND inspire me!

  12. Debbie Reynolds says:

    A great post! I have asked myself the same questions so many times! You are so right….just do it..one small step at a time. Thanks, Marian!

  13. Lesley says:

    Great post! Easy to dream up Big Ideas, then get distracted by … laundry? I usually see this approach applied to paying off huge credit card debt, but it can easily be adapted to any other goal, and the ones that are much more fun are infinitely more pleasurable to work toward. I once cut paper into large flower petals representing each debt I had (difficult period of life, don’t ask) and as each got paid off, I removed the petal. The base circle that each petal was taped to was finally revealed as a “congratulations-you did it” message to me.

    I believe in writing down the goal in very explicit terms (Marion’s goal: shopping tour in Fr/Bel/Sw), then break down the activities you need to do to make it happen (partner with a tourism company that wants visibility to some specific part of their country, maybe sponsoring the flight too; preservation organization that organizes tours of old world techniques to see plastering and frescoes; Itinerary designed to include visits to Eur retailers,who can help with hotel stays and transp). Those activities can be further broken down as well. Then, make a poster with images of what you imagine you’ll find, a page from Air France with their flight schedule, pics of croissants and steak/frites, whatever, and display it where you’ll see it every day. Work on the punch list and bada bing bada boom, you’re on your way.

  14. mary m young says:

    I have an old schoolhouse chalk board in my kitchen from York, Maine. I even have the school house clock to go with it. On the chalk board I have sayings that I like best. It says Motivation separates the doers from the dreamers. Second in command is: the dreams of youth are the regrets of old age. I have about five or six one liners and I read them often. For me the hardest part is taking that first step. Forinstance I have a decorated broken wooden salad bowl that someone gave to me just because she knew I could fix it. Yes, I have it glued together and the next step is to use a filler and then try to recreate the design. I even have the craft paint in the proper colors sitting in the bowl. That being said I think I will go do the second step before I start dinner instead of putting it off because of dinner. Thank you Krista and Marian.

  15. Cindy Jothen says:

    Someone wise once told me “Nothing changes, if nothing changes”
    I have hung on to those simple words for a very long time and they are so very, very true.

  16. Treva says:

    I love the ideas of baby steps. I definitely preach this as a Health Coach. In addition Something that has also helped me is to realize that I am what The author Gretchen Rubin calls an Obliger. Gretchen divides people into four groups of people by how they respond to outer and inner expectations. There are obligers, questioners, upholders, and rebels. The obligers (which is the biggest group) can easily meet other’s expectations, but have a hard time following through with their own inner dreams and goals. To succeed with their own aspirations, they have to create some outer accountability. I am an Obliger. I have an aspiration to start my own health coaching business, but never felt as if I knew enough or if I was ready. I decided to get a part time job as a Health Coach, so I had to do it–giving me external accountability. By starting small and having outer accountability, I am developing confidence to start coaching people on my own. Other obligers might join a group, sign up for a class, start a blog, announce something on Facebook, etc to get external accountability. If you are interested, check out the link…. https://gretchenrubin.com/happiness_project/2015/01/ta-da-the-launch-of-my-quiz-on-the-four-tendencies-learn-about-yourself/

  17. This is so true! Thanks for reminding me that all things in life are possible! A little me time everyday is good for the soul. And don’t forget to ask your family to help out with everyday chores, it really lightens the load.

  18. Kerry says:

    As always your thoughts and feelings resonate with us all , listen to your still small voice and do something anything , there is a big world out there thanks again Marian for your words of wisdom ❤️

  19. MaryLisa Noyes says:

    Very inspirational. I wouldn’t be surprised if you took that trip to France sooner than you think. Being practical is good if it keeps you from spending unreasonable resources but sometimes being practical means good business sense if a trip abroad may expand your possibilities.

  20. Nancy says:

    This is extremely good advice and as a nurse I find myself saying it to colleagues when they say they are too busy to go back to school. Just take one class and keep on plugging along and soon you will have a masters degree. The first little step is the hardest.

  21. Angie M says:

    That was very inspirational! Thank you!

  22. Linda says:

    So many things on the bucket list and so little time. Age 67: France is my #1 I really want to visit Provence. Not enough money. If I stop buying, can I save enough? Perhaps. Alaska is my #2. again with the money. There are so many things on tat list; purchases, travel and the time for both. Don’t wait Do it now!

  23. So funny that you post this today. Last week I accomplished something that I have put off for more than 15 years. I put up a gallery wall next to my staircase. I was terrified it wouldn’t look right, have the wrong mix of items, etc. I finally got the motivation when our local magazine was coming out to photograph our house! It was now or never. I looked at all my “gallery wall” pins one last time, took a deep breath, put up a string as a “plumb line” on the wall and just did it. I LOVE it! It makes me smile every time I go up the stairs!!

  24. celeste says:

    You WILL travel to France, I know it will happen. It will not be until your boys are a bit older, but it is meant to happen. Your job is now to prepare in just the way you have described for the rest of us.

  25. Sarah Phillipps says:

    This is a really great post. So many things come together one teeny tiny step at a time. Like planting seeds. Decorating is tedious sometimes. We try to take one step forward on our house each day, which honestly comes to about 20mins a day. But, just like the tortoise and the hare, slow and steady can win the race! We call it our “turtle power” when we work on the house. Haha!! :)

    Speaking of, I will be getting back to you on our wood stove/ fireside room soon!

  26. B Folk says:

    Okay, I just took the first step in making a slipcover for my husband’s office chair. It’s an uncomfortable, old, ugly behemoth, but he thinks it’s comfortable and we can’t afford a new one. I have been wanting to try making a slipcover, but it’s too intimidating. However, this post is a needed push. I have a pair of tab-panel curtains in twill that I have been hanging onto for such a time as this. I just laid one panel over the chair, so I can get an idea of how the slipcover might look. I have two days, while my husband’s gone, to assess whether I will like the look or not. I’m thinking that anything is better than the ratty, sueded polyester fabric currently on it! I will start reading up on your slipcovering tutes when I have a fresh mind tomorrow. Thanks for taking Krista’s suggestion!
    Also, Marian, I think that you should have a furniture line. Maybe in the near future, maybe further down the road, but God will close that door if it’s not for you. Maybe you should just walk up to that door and knock.

  27. You have truly an amazing gift! To speak to us (well really just me!) the exact words I need to hear – thank you
    Marian’

  28. Very true. Rome wasn’t conquered in a day. I have no idea!! I’ve forgotten my history but it’s an old phrase thrown around!!!
    I think because I’m older–late 50’s–I’ve developed my style and I do change it and add trendy stuff but never invest in all starting over–I’m desiring deeper things. Understanding Gods Word more. Praying with people more. I do and forget. The life with an injury. But I want to live what I have left more content. Seeing my wonderful blessings as God pouring a blessing out Heaven’s window. I’d like to be Gods light to others who need Jesus.
    Sharing a craft or a project together helps me relax about the true I’m too tired to write more. Thx for a good awesome opost. meaning of following are major avenues to make a difference. Thanks for thev election time

  29. Krista says:

    Marian, this was a great post. Thank you doesn’t begin to cover it. I was reading through the comments and received additional inspiration there. Baby steps aren’t scary at all. I’m going to start with giving myself permission to take time each week for a baby step.

    PS: Your own furniture line sounds splendid! (As does your own slip cover line, pillows, . . .) When I read that part in your post I immediately thought ‘sturdy, fashionable and affordable’. You can’t go wrong.

  30. April says:

    Great discussion! So many good tips. What an inspired post so perfectly written. Thank you.

  31. I took a trip this past week and found it totally justifiable in terms of expense and time.
    I cannot wait until I retire to do things I want to do.
    What if my health declines?
    My strength and ability to walk/travel goes away?
    NOW is the time to enjoy the life I want to have.
    That’s why I had an epiphany last January about starting my own flea market booth. Why wait?
    It may only be 72 square feet, but it’s a something!
    Did you think you’d be where you are now when you began?
    Then why doubt that you can take the next big leap?
    YOU CAN DO IT……just believe.

  32. A wonderful post Marianne, we all are afraid to (in nike’s words) just do it. Something in our mind always tells us we can’t but your so right with taking baby steps, we totally can. We can achieve anything we put our minds to and if we turn off that “can’t” amazing things would happen.

    Thanks for a great post Marianne.

    Lauren Baxter | Lovely Decor
    xx

  33. Aimee Gordon says:

    Marian…a few years ago you were generous and donated milk paint and was to me just so I could do a tiny towns annual flea market. Tonight I finally set up an Istagram account for my decorating, organizing and painting business. As a single mom of 2 I am going to appeal to people who think they can’t afford a pretty room. We may not have the same style but even if all a client has is hand me downs a fresh coat of paint and a new room layout can work wonders. I hope to grow enough to take more summer time off for my girls. Thanks for keeping it real as always! That’s why I keep coming back.

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