2011: The Year I Sucked at Lots of Things

27 Dec

You know that moment when you’re watching a television show and you realize that the entire episode is going to be a flashback/homage to past episodes?

Then you know what today’s Lollipop Tuesday will feel like.

Happy Lollipop Tuesday, folks.  It’s the last of the year.  The last – the final – the end of the road!  In my ideal world, I would have written this post from a hot air balloon ride – the perfect cherry on my Lollipop Tuesday sundae a year in the making.  But I didn’t go on a hot air balloon ride.  It turns out they don’t do amateur blogger discounts.

So it’s all over. Man, what will I do with all the time I used to scour the local paper for listings or drive hours outside the city to explore some strange activity?  Maybe I’ll miss it so much that I’ll continue in 2012.  Maybe I’ll give up on it entirely and look back at 2011 fondly as the year I tried a bunch of things that made me want to vomit from anxiety.  I’m betting on the latter.

At any rate, it’s been a heckuva ride.  When I started Lollipop Tuesdays this year, I had two goals in mind.  One was to break up the monotony of postaday by having a weekly series that folks could tune into if they didn’t care for the ranting and raving of my borderline psychotic mind on other days of the week.  The other was to challenge myself in a way that would force me to grow, whether I liked the journey or not.  The concept was simple: seek out something new that I would inevitably suck at (hence the lollipop/sucker reference in the term). 

I remember after a few Lollipop Tuesday adventures, I began to hate the fact that I ever started them.  I think it was right around the time that I said yes to taking a pole-dancing class and then realized I had no way to get out of it.  Sometimes I really despised conquering the unknown, seeking out locations posted on flyers and wandering into places having no idea what to expect or what would be asked of me. 

But that was the entire point.

I’ve convinced myself I hate movies that I never actually sat down to watch.  I’ve waited so long to try new things that they build up in my head as insurmountable.  For a long time, I was content to note that I’m awkward and inwardly and have no interest in anything that makes me uncomfortable.   So 2010 Jackie saw to it that 2011 Jackie would be forced to change.  

I’d like to think that I have.  I’d like to think that these experiences have helped my anxiety and attitude toward new experiences and that I’m a more open-minded and daring person than I was before.  I don’t know if any of that is necessarily true – I suppose it comes down to what I do and how I react when I’m not held accountable to post about it later on.

One thing I have definitely begun to stew on is the idea of a Bucket List (a list of things you want to do before you kick the bucket).  I think Bucket Lists are fantastic in theory, but in action I don’t really know too many folks who are actively seeking to accomplish the things on them.   There isn’t much point in keeping track of a bunch of good intentions that you hope to cash in on when you’re too old and penniless to make it happen.  I think Bucket Lists should be more like To Do lists – we should set out to accomplish them as soon as we are able.  

If everyone just committed to a Lollipop Tuesday every so often, they might look back when they’re old and penniless and realize that they don’t have a whole lot left that they haven’t already tried.  Maybe in time, Lollipop Tuesdays can push out the idea of the Bucket List and we can be people who are constantly trying new things, not people who hope to someday accomplish them.

Here’s to 2012 and whatever new adventures it brings.  May we be open to the daring and unknown. ◊

Have you seen all fifty Lollipop Tuesday posts?  If not (or if you’d like to brush up for old time’s sake), check out the “What’s Lollipop Tuesday?” header at the top of this page.  Or just click here

14 Responses to “2011: The Year I Sucked at Lots of Things”

  1. disseminatedthought December 28, 2011 at 12:32 am #

    You are right: waiting is overrated. If you want to try something enough to include it on a magical list, you should want to do it as soon as possible, not wait until the end is near.


    • Jackie December 31, 2011 at 8:19 pm #

      Absolutely. The whole “I’ll start a diet Monday, I’ll do such-and-such next year, I’ll achieve whatever before I’m 30” is often a way to put something off. Now or never. 🙂


  2. Katherine Gordy Levine December 28, 2011 at 1:20 am #

    As a Cranky Old Lady, I have to say I don’t have much of a bucket list. A few things I would do if I won the lottery. A family and friend cruise in the Caribbean. Maybe a week on a houseboat some where. Get my kids a pony that would also pull a carrage, then of course, I would have to have a little ranchette. OK and get my writing professionally edited. And have a made come in every week, instiead of twice a year. You can see why I have to win the lottery. My bucket probably only has three things left. To see my grands through their teen years–that means living a lot longer than I probably will; find someone to take over my EFTI business and finish my novel.

    I also didn’t do a Lollipop Tuesday. but had a mother who drilled into my head “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” Thank you Mom.

    Am going to save this for one or another of my posts. Will let you know when. And you should turn Lollipop Tuesday into an E-book.


    • Jackie December 31, 2011 at 8:18 pm #

      A bucket with only three things in it is a great bucket indeed – and a wonderful mantra passed on from the mom. Thanks for the E-book suggestion — I’m flattered. And thanks for all your support. It’s much appreciated.


  3. teamzuhl December 28, 2011 at 10:23 am #

    For what it’s worth, Jackie – I really hope you continue even after you’ve achieved your goal! Reading your blog is one of the things I save every day, like one might save a delectable chocolate, to read when I’m relaxed and receptive.
    I’d love to keep reading throughout 2012!


    • Jackie December 31, 2011 at 8:17 pm #

      Ooooh I’ve been compared to delectable chocolate. Thank you 🙂 I’ll be posting once a week in 2012. I hope you follow along!


  4. pegoleg December 28, 2011 at 11:23 am #

    I never knew the genesis of the title Lollipop Tuesdays. Clever! Hope you keep up with some form of taking yourself out of your comfort zone, because it sounds like you really gained a lot from the process. You’ve been an inspiration, Jackie!


    • Jackie December 31, 2011 at 8:17 pm #

      Thanks, Peg 🙂 I should have been more vocal about why Lollipop Tuesdays were called Lollipop Tuesdays – it seems it’s come has a surprise to quite a few people today.


  5. jaredblakedicroce December 28, 2011 at 1:51 pm #

    It seems to me that you have grown as an individual. The sentiment here borders — and NO I’m not kidding (seriously) — on enlightenment. The idea of a bucket list conjures the idea of a fortune cookie slip, packed to the brim with a tiny & wanton font, placed in a can for which to kick down the road for all of eternity. Better a To-Do list, like you said, to get it done as soon as feasible. You’re an inspiration, and you should be proud at the achievement — once a day plus a bonus on Tuesdays for christsakes — WOW.


    • Jackie December 31, 2011 at 8:16 pm #

      Thanks a lot, Jared. I actually do feel enlightened, in the sense that I have truly and absolutely learned a hard lesson in discipline and the way I adapt to a no-excuses goal. I wish everyone would try it. 🙂 Thanks for reading and for the encouragement!


  6. knotrune December 28, 2011 at 4:17 pm #

    My basic issue with a bucket list is, when you’ve done them all, the only thing left is to die…

    Lollipop adventures are so much better! And I agree with Katherine, you should so make them into a book! There’s another challenge 😀


    • Jackie December 31, 2011 at 8:00 pm #

      I’m not so sure such a book would sell, though I love the idea of doing it. 🙂


  7. thesinglecell December 29, 2011 at 11:51 am #

    Aha! Things you suck at… Lollipops. I get it, I get it! I for one have admired your Tuesdays. Really. I think it’s fantastic. I hope you do look back and feel adventurous and daring, because you didn’t exactly wuss out on those things, even though you got to choose what you’d do from a list of suggestions. You could have taken easy roads. You didn’t. Good for you, Jackie!


    • Jackie December 31, 2011 at 7:54 pm #

      Thank you so much 🙂 I really appreciate your support!


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