Wednesday, December 5, 2007

No Rights Make a Wrong

Maven Lacey Kaye

No, the Mavens aren't trying to mess with your head by mixing up the days we post. It's actually Wednesday...perhaps either to your disappointment or joy (if you had a sudden panic attack wondering where Hump Day went).

I think the first week of December must be the last week people think they can schedule stuff and still have you "be" in 2007. Is it busy this week or what?! Maybe it's just me. Hm...let's see if I can tie this into my post somehow...

(It just wouldn't be Maven Lacey's day if we didn't wander around looking for the point, I'm thinking.)

Anyway, in the spirit of this week's pseudo-topic, I want to talk about mental roadblocks. Some uber-devoted followees might know I recently was offered a leadership position at work.

No, I'm not going to blog about work!

/Lacey ducks from Maven Erica's bat

Ok, I'm sort of going to blog about work. Like Erica says, I only know me best. My point here is that some really, really uber-devoted followees might recognize the position I was offered as the same position I meant to take when I launched last year's Lacey Plans to Take Over the World plan on my blog. (There's no link because that one really *was* about work and I decided to take it down.) But let's pretend you saw my 10-step plan for World Domination.

(This was before I hooked up with my "friends" who had the same goal... What's that about keeping your enemies closer?)

So I had this plan for how I was going to finagle my way into this lead position. It was a great plan. Completely foolproof. I started out pretty gung-ho about it. w00t, have coffee. w00t, get one step closer to World Domination. But after a couple of months -- right about when I started seeing some real progress -- I got out the excuse brakes and started applying them. Hard. Appeals for me to complete certain things went procrastinated. I started to hide from high-visibility projects. I put off a super-major milestone on my list -- for NINE MONTHS -- because... because... because... Uh.


Why'd I do that?

Oh, right. Because I was afraid to succeed.

I knew I was afraid to succeed. My master plan was moving me along with a little more momentum than I'd expected, partly because it was even better than I'd predicted (muah ha ha ha) and partly because other people removed roadblocks for me. I knew that as soon as I got to my first deliverable, I'd be swamped with responsibility i.e. work. And wait a minute...I have other goals besides World Domination. Like, uh, writing. Becoming an author. Selling lots of books. Touching people's lives.

Okay, so now you're thinking that I put on the brakes at my day job and threw myself into my writing so I could catch up to where I wanted to be if I wanted to balance out my progress. And you would be wrong. Because think about it: If I suddenly sold, what would happen? Contracts. Revisions. Copy edits. Galleys. Promotion. Marketing. Promotion. Writing more books -- ones even better than the first, but in way less time. Promotion.

As I watched the writers around me drop like flies (flies with Good Deals), I started to panic some more. What if I sold? What would I do if one day I woke up and I had so much responsibility i.e. work I didn't know where to start?

I said this to someone the other day and it made her laugh (I think; darn you, Yahoo!), but whenever I start to feel overwhelmed with the prospect of new responsibility I look back at some of the things I never thought I could do, didn't know where to start, wasn't sure how it'd end, but did anyway. Like thermodynamics. WHAT was I going to do with that class? Was it *really* necessary for me to take that course? Was it *really* worth 80 hours of my life? Was it really completely out of my scope of normal understanding, and have I *ever* used it...ever?

Truthfully, no. But if you count all the times I've ever held it up as an example of something I could acclimate myself to and be successful at despite all odds, then yes.

What is your thermo class? What do you measure your threshold against when you get to feeling a little overwhelmed with what COULD go right? Have you ever put the success brakes on to sit back and focus on...nothing? Do you ever remind yourself that we only live once?
(er, depending on various beliefs, I suppose :-))


CM said...

I had to delete a bunch of stuff because--to this date, eight years after having taken the course--I will still go into a big rant about thermo.

My thermo class was thermo. I loved that class. God, I loved that class. The only thing better than thermo is its evil brain child, stat mech.

Erica Ridley said...

I want to know the stuff CM deleted!

Erica Ridley said...

I should also probably say I suffer from many (if not All, or even, More) of the same self-defeating procrastinatory behaviors of Maven Lacey...

Can we start a support group?

My thermo is... everything. I'm constantly proving to myself I can do things. I love a challenge. Every language I can speak conversationally is because I dared myself to learn it. Same with writing. My first completed novel was my thermo. (Every story is my thermo at times.) Getting my college degree was a huge thermo for me--it took me an entire decade and three different majors at three different universities in three different states before I wound up graduating with honors, but I made myself do it to prove to myself I could. Life is my thermo. Viva el thermo!! ;-)

Bill Clark said...

It just wouldn't be Maven Lacey's day if we didn't wander around looking for the point

LOL! I *lurve* the way you wander around until either you find the point or the point finds you!

I'm with Erica: Life is my thermo.
(Although I wouldn't have known that if she hadn't said it first!) :-)

Jacqueline Barbour said...

I'd have to say my thermo is finishing manuscripts. It's something I was never able to do for the longest time. And it's something I STILL struggle to do. But I know now I CAN do it, and that's a major psychological hurdle for me.

Darcy Burke said...

I definitely worry about what Lacey does - careful what you wish for and all that.

And I always think about the fact we only live once. I love the lyric from one of my favorite Dave Matthews Band songs "I can't believe that we would lie in our graves...thinking of things that we might have been." I can't believe we'd do that either and every day I make decisions (mostly small, but some large) with that in mind.

lacey kaye said...

Oh, wow! Sorry not to be responding! I somehow stopped getting comment emails.

CM -- I don't think I even know what stat mech was. I do know I loved statics over regular physics because with statics, everything sums to zero. But that was another class I was afraid to take...and did. Small hurdles on the path to major success!

E -- I wanted to know, too. But alas, I suppose we shall never find out!


my only thermo
you make me haPPY, when skies are grrrreeyyy...

Seriously, each one of your languages blows me away! Sort of like the many faces of CM. Heh. That's almost a pun.

Bill, I love the lurve!

J -- good point re: finishing manuscripts. That's one of those things were doing it once doesn't make one all that confident of being able to do it again and again.

Darcy, that lyric gives me goosebumps. WE MUST LIVE!!!

And with all that in mind, I must away. Happy Hour calls!

CM said...

I deleted a multi-paragraph long love letter to Boltzmann and entropy. Oh, entropy, how I love thee. Let me count the ways. One... two... infinity....

Stat mech = statistical mechanics.

Thermo = study of thermodynamic properties of macroscopic materials.

Stat mech = study of (among other things) how macroscopic properties (e.g. heat capacity, etc) arise from microscopic interactions. It is like thermodynamics on crack, with a lot more calculus. And, for the hell of it, infinite sums, occasional quantum mechanics, Feynman diagrams, phase transitions, renormalization groups..... SEE WHY I DELETED EVERYTHING? SEE? SEE?! You did not actually want to know.

Do NOT get me started. Once we start talking about renormalization groups and fractal dimension and equivalence classes, it is all down hill.

lacey kaye said...

You kill me.

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