I'm one of those people that when I get excited about something new I get really excited about it. My most recent obsession has been this Premier Design Jewelry Party I had over the weekend. I've become pretty obsessed with it. It started off as just me doing a favor for my friend Mary Ellen who has just signed up as a Jewelry Lady under my good friend Jodi. I offered to do a party for Mary Ellen and didn't think much about it. After my party Saturday night I ended up talking to Jodi for about three hours asking her questions after question about the jewelry and the business. Then after she went home I couldn't sleep and I stayed up until about 2 a.m. working on a spreadsheet of all the free jewelry I wanted to pick out. I've reworked that spreadsheet a dozen times in the past two days. I'm obsessed. I feel like this is an embarrassing quality to have. That it's not practical. That it's setting myself up for disappointment.
There's a famous story between Jim and I that he can conveniently bring up any time he needs to remind me of my obsessiveness. It has to do with another direct sales business - Creative Memories - the scrapbooking company. I had no scrapbooking experience and went to a Creative Memories home party about ten years ago. If you've been to one you know you get to put together a couple of pages at the party. I got a taste of the fun and I wanted more. I came home and showed Jim the catalog and told him I wanted the deluxe kit. Now my husband loves me very much and wants to give me everything my heart desires, but he also knows me very well and had to question how valid my new found passion was for scrapbooking. He suggested I give it a couple of weeks and if I kept up with the pages I was working on from the party than we could look into buying the kit. Yeah, those pages are still sitting in the closet collecting dust with no progression since the night of the party. I'm embarrassed by this story.
BUT, I have proven that I can take on an obsession with something new and not burn out. I have kept up with this wellness obsession for two years. Not only have I not gone out in a blaze of glory but I've continued to grow stronger with each passing day. The fire burning brighter and brighter. I'm also extremely proud of the career goals I've set for myself and achieved. For every scrapbooking story there are two more stories that I have achieved success with my obsessiveness.
So my question is how do I know which way the obsession is going to go? When do I know when to go all in? When to take risks? When should I hold back? When should I give it a few weeks and see if the fire dies?
Here is some insightt into those questions:
This was my Facebook status on Saturday morning: "Talking all things Harry Potter with Jacob and telling him J K Rowling's amazing story. I love my son's passion for reading and that he got it from me :)"
One of my FB friends posted a response that include this link to Rowling's inspirational Harvard commencement speech, "The Fringe Benefits of Failure"? I hadn't read it before so I skimmed it while Jacob and I were still hanging out watching one of the Harry Potter movies on dvr. I took many things from the reading (and I need to go back and take a closer look at it) but a big thing I took was from when she talked about failure. Please take a few minutes to read her words below:
"So why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged. I was set free, because my greatest fear had been realised, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.
You might never fail on the scale I did, but some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.
Failure gave me an inner security that I had never attained by passing examinations. Failure taught me things about myself that I could have learned no other way. I discovered that I had a strong will, and more discipline than I had suspected; I also found out that I had friends whose value was truly above the price of rubies.
The knowledge that you have emerged wiser and stronger from setbacks means that you are, ever after, secure in your ability to survive. You will never truly know yourself, or the strength of your relationships, until both have been tested by adversity. Such knowledge is a true gift, for all that it is painfully won, and it has been worth more than any qualification I ever earned."
So this is what I take from all this. I would much rather be the crazy obsessive person that wants to give scrapbooking a shot than to sit at home and be afraid to even try because I might fail and end up with empty scrapbook pages in my closet. Yes, I'm glad I didn't buy the deluxe kit and that's where I do have to be careful with my obsessiveness but I do like getting excited about new things. And now I know that I don't like scrapbooking
Why should I pretend I'm not this person. This is who I am. I get crazy excited about new things and that's ok. I shouldn't be ashamed. I shouldn't hide it and if it doesn't work out it's ok. And if I want to try again I can. And if it helps me eliminate something that I'm not passionate about to help me find the one thing I am passionate about than it's was worth the experience of failing.
And the fact that this post isn't flowing and making sense in print like it did in my head is ok. A little failure will make me stronger tomorrow.