Saturday, August 9, 2008

I already feel Accomplished.

Okay, not really. Not at all. I have not yet mastered the 97 things, but last night I was able to tell my friends, "I have started a BLOG!" when they asked what was new. (Usually I say, "Eh, nothing." But then I yammer on for an hour about that nothing.) So actually having something started feels pretty good.

So back to the book, "97 Things to Do Before You Finish High School." Since I am a renegade scofflaw blogger (oooh, I just made that up and I like this new part of my identity), of course I do not have permission to reprint any part of the book, which is a shame. For one thing, it's not bad as far as writing to teenagers go -- some adults writing to teenagers is just massively cringe-worthy. This one isn't as much. But in this context including text... well, it's too bad because, let's face it, a grown adult doing some of these things is utterly ridiculous. Which is part of the attraction and also the heady SHAME I feel for not having accomplished these things by the time I was 18. Who knew that I would feel bereft at never having had done #64: "Create a Tasty Dessert"?

This is totally the type of book that my older sister would have given me, because it was a well known fact that I Did Not Work Up To My Potential. (I had that comment on my report cards dating all the way back to the 70's. I couldn't even COLOR up to my potential.) She would have given me this book, telling me that I could grow up and Be Someone, but then five minutes later tell me what a useless waste of space I was. (I can tell that #28, "Make Peace with a Sibling," will definitely be a challenge. As will #29, "Plan a (Cool) Family Outing.")

I do wish I had gotten this book, actually, when I was that age. Not that I would have done any of it -- I probably would have just read it and then thought about it a lot. (I'm a dreamer. Remember the whole Potential thing.) But it would have come in handy, and there are a few things that I did actually do back then (i.e. #82, "Get a Driver's License" and #35 "Determine Your Blood Type")and reading and recognizing that probably would have made me feel better about myself as a teenager because I had accomplished something. Not that I was a total loser as a teenager -- though, admittedly, I wrote some pretty CHOICE crappy poetry and journal entries -- but it was true. I didn't work up to my potential because I was too damn busy sneaking off to shows and having massive crushes on gay Mormon boys. (See? I just accomplished #89, "Confess a Crush." I'm on my way!)

But now is my chance! At 40, I am going to have Potential! And I actually invite you to Have Potential with me, or at least check out the inspirational book:

That's the Amazon link. But of course I highly recommend that if you do purchase it, please go to your local independent bookseller. We don't want them to go the way of the dinosaur and dodo. I will be buying a copy for my niece, the daughter of my older sister. She doesn't work up to her potential, either. (It runs in the family, I guess.)

So now I have to decide what to do first.


karen graduates
Me on graduation day, Friday, June 13th. So full of Potential. So doomed to mediocrity, thanks to not doing the 97 Things before I finished high school.


Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

The myth we're all supposed to believe in is that we all have this huge amount of untapped potential that will enable us to live more fruitfully within the Protestant work ethic that permeates our culture. I've always thought that it was bunk. Not everyone is going to be a Nobel prize winner, some of us accepted that a long time ago and we made peace with it.

Very cute graduation photo of you by the way. You look like Reece Witherspoon in it. :)

Sparkleneely said...

Oh yes, definitely. If everyone were a Nobel prize winner, then what good would the Nobel prize do?

While I do have some pangs of not working up to my Potential, I can't say my life has been unfulfilled. In fact, I'm fairly satisfied.

But now... this book is going to kick it up to 11. I just KNOW IT.

Reese Witherspoon? Wow, that's a new one... I used to get a lot of Molly Ringwald back then. Pffft.

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