Catching Fireflies

finding magic along the way

Shut up already!

I am definitely not a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of girl.  Maybe I used to be, back in high school or college when I would willingly sign on for a road trip with no planning – just the forethought to grab a box of HoHos and some money for gas.  But now, not so much.

I am more of a planner now.  I will decide that I need to do or buy something, and will research it, mull it over, talk to my husband about it, sleep on it, think about it for a few weeks, plan it step by step – in short, obsess about it!  This is true for most things from major, and not so major, purchases to day trips. Many things that I have spent my time picking apart have never even come to fruition.

Maybe this stems from my anxiety.  If I feel more in control, or more knowledgable about something, I will be better equipped to follow through and succeed.  Or, maybe it is the result of my subconscious worry about failure and/or success.  If I don’t actually ever start a project, I will never know if I would have succeeded or not!

You are more likely to hear me say, “tomorrow, I will exercise,” than to hear, “I got up this morning and lifted weights.”  And until very recently, I would say, or think (since I wasn’t really talking about my dreams yet), “one day I will be a published author,” instead of “I am sending this to a publisher now.”

As I mentioned in my last post, it is very difficult to break out of a rut.  Believe me!  I have wallowed in them for years.  Objects at rest, don’t just stay still.  They will most likely sink.  But there is another reason why we stay stuck.

We talk too much.

You can ask my parents and any teacher I ever had — I am a talker.  Always have been!  But when it comes to following a dream or achieving a goal, being a talker can be an issue.

We spend so much time analyzing, planning, researching and mentally attacking a problem or goal, that we forget the most important thing.  We have to actually do something to come anywhere close to achieving the goal or fixing the problem.

There is a Chinese proverb that I heard somewhere that has stayed with me.  It says “talk does not cook rice.”  Realizing this is critical to achieving success in whatever you do. 

Planning certainly has its place.  I definitely would not have been able to complete four novels without putting some thought into it.  But most of the work happened when I stopped thinking and talking to myself about it and just got the words on the page.

You have to move in a direction and take an action step to begin your journey.  If you don’t, then all you have at the end of the day is talk.


  1. t

    Oh, you hit home here. Yes, we with anxiety tend to talk, analyze and otherwise perform mental gymnastics … when we’d sometimes do better to take a walk.

    • Isn’t it nice to realize that we are not alone in this? The hardest part is just shutting up and getting out of our own way. 🙂

      • t

        And/or getting my mental chatter to shut up … which is tough, even with meditation. Sheesh.

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