Starting

Well, I guess I should be grateful to Little Miss Zuma for getting the blog ball rolling.  Who knew lambs could type with hooves?

Anyway, at least “she” realized that “I” was dragging my feet getting started with blogging, and I couldn’t help but wonder why.  After all, I’m a writer, supposedly, so it’s supposed to be the be-all and end-all for me to put words on the page.  I even had things that I knew I could write about.  So why was I dragging my feet so much?

Perfectionism.

Now, my image of a perfectionist is someone who is always perfectly done up, house perfectly cleaned up, perfectly organized, perfectly stressed out about details.  The kind of person you love to hate.

That doesn’t describe me at all.  At any given time there is some form of animal poop on me, my house can best be described as very lived in, and I can only find things if no one moves my piles.  Not exactly my idea of a perfectionist.

But I took Margie Lawson’s Defeat Self Defeating Behaviors class again this January (if you haven’t, by all means check it out, it’s awesome! http://www.margielawson.com/) and it kept coming back around to the same issue.  I was stalling out with my writing because I’m a perfectionist.

I was trying too hard to make sure everything was perfect before I even started, afraid to do anything in case it wasn’t perfect, waiting for the perfect time so that perfect prose could tumble out of my fingertips on to the keyboard.  So I spun my wheels, stalling, keeping digging in the same rut, vowing over and over to make some changes soon, as soon as I can get that perfect setup arranged.

It ain’t gonna happen.  Not now, not next week, not ever.

For example, this blog.  I’d been stressing myself out trying to come up with the perfect theme, the perfect representation of myself.  Making every post a perfect blend of content, wit, and technical expertise.  I’d stalled myself out again and was busy going nowhere.  I’d forgotten one of the most important things about why I wanted to write in the first place.

Because it’s fun.   It was fun for “Zuma” to write the first post, and I got a kick out of everyone’s reaction. That was why I want to write in the first place, to connect with people.

But then, I started to wonder why I was so hard on myself in one area of my life, but couldn’t care less about being perfect in others.  I mean really, if you come over to my house and have a problem with the morning’s toast crumbs still being on the floor, there’s a broom in the pantry. Knock yourself out.  No, really.

Why could I let some things go without a fuss, but stew myself into inertia with other?  It hit me yesterday while pouring blood for the vampire bats.

It’s because my definition of myself doesn’t depend on my success as Susie Homemaker.

But as Susie Writer, or Susie Animal Care Person, that’s a different story.  Because I care more about those roles and what they say about me.  I want to do well and succeed in those facets of my life much more than I want to be known for having clean floors.  As long as roaches aren’t breeding in my sink and there isn’t a film crew from “Hoarding” at my door, I can let that go.

But not the important stuff like writing that can be put off for a “perfect” moment?  Inertia is my frienemy.

So, what to do?

I remembered a quote I’d run across a few years ago that seemed to fit the situation:

“You don’t have to get it right, you just have to get it started.”

It’s so simple, but for a life long perfectionist/procrastinator, it can’t be said too loudly or too often.

Just do it.

That’s the key.  Just do something, you can clean up after yourself later if it isn’t quite “perfect.”   Just make the best effort you can and…Start. 

That’s what these first posts represent.  Just…starting.  I’ll find my groove along the way, and with feedback from such awesome peeps like you all, it won’t be too long, either.

How about you?  Is there anything that holds you back?  Is there something that keeps you from getting started or following through?  I’d love to hear from you.

Thanks for not caring if it’s perfect!

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Blog Lambjacked!

Hello! I hope you don’t mind, but I’ve decided to help my human mom out by getting her blog started.

Before I get too carried away, let me introduce myself.  My name is Zuma, and I am a Karakul-Jacobs cross lamb.  I was born April 16th.  I’m currently being bottle raised by my human mom, Callene, since my sheep mom, Aztec wasn’t able to produce enough milk for me.  My human mom is pretty good with sheep, and she was able to get me off to a good start, and I’ve gained almost three pounds in ten days!  I think I’m pretty gorgeous.  My aunts Kathy and Danielle helped pick out my name, something about Montezuma’s Revenge, and my mom’s name being Aztec, I admit I don’t quite understand it,  but that’s okay.

I'm Zuma and I'm a hottie!

My human mom is a writer, and she needs to get this blog started in order to build her “platform” (I’m not sure what that is, I get weighed on a platform scale, but I don’t think it’s the same thing.) and get a following built up.  ( I follow my sheep mom around, but again, don’t think it’s the same thing.)

My human mom is really busy and she’s had a hard time getting this blog off the ground. ( I also think she’s a bit scared, but I didn’t want to tell her I knew that.)  She works as a zookeeper, 50 plus hours a week, and then comes home every day to more work on the farm, where I live.  She loves animals and doesn’t mind, but there isn’t a lot of time left over.  (She’s never missed one of my 4 am feedings, though! She’s got this great outfit she wears early in the morning!)  Mom thinks she’s probably nuts to want to be a writer on top of everything else going on, but it’s really all she’s ever wanted to do, so I told her to keep up with it.  We talk a lot while I’m taking my bottle.  Okay, mom does most of the talking, I’m busy eating, but you get my point.  I’m a great listener.

Mom’s earliest memories revolve around animals of some kind, mostly horses, but a lot of other things too.   She used to teach riding lessons and train horses, but she claims she’s getting too old for that stuff anymore.  She had a bad accident, involving a cow, and decided she’s much more breakable now than when she was twenty.  (I don’t know what that is in sheep years.  I think she still looks great, especially when she is bringing my bottle.)  Anyway, too much to do, too little time, but she still won’t give up on being a writer.  ( I hear she’s pretty tough, a couple of EMT’s and her boss were very impressed the day the cow got the best of her! Supposedly she’s got this awesome set of xrays but I haven’t seen them.  The chickens were telling me about it. They like to gossip.)

So, I thought I would help out by posting when she doesn’t have time.  I can introduce you to some of my friends here on the farm, tell you what’s new and let you know what things look like from a lamb’s eye view.  I know horses are another thing that mom loves, as much as she loves me, (why else would she get up at 4 am? Goodness, that’s early!) because there are a bunch of horses that live here too.  And some other sheep, and a big goofy white dog that barks at butterflies, some chickens, a whole bunch of rabbits, and probably a lot of other things I haven’t seen yet. Some of us are actually what mom calls “rare breeds”.  I’m going to have to look into that a bit more and I’ll get back with you.

Oh, shoot!  My sheep mom is calling for me, so I better get back to learning to be a good sheep.  I hope we can talk later!

Zuma

HEY!   Why are there lamb tracks in milk replacer all over my laptop!?  ZUMA!  You are in so much trouble.  That’ll teach me to leave my laptop at the barn, with the internet on.  Sorry guys, hope she wasn’t too much trouble.  Lambs these days, I swear. What’s next, Skype?

Callene