Over-Committed Over-Achievers Unite!

I was reading an article about New Year’s Resolutions and I saw a comment that said that “all fat people are just lazy so instead of resolving to lose weight, they should resolve to just stop being so damn lazy”.  It made me laugh for a good long time and it started a whole thinking spiral about over-achieving and laziness.  Specifically, that as a fat hyper-achiever  (I reject the term over-achiever on the basis that it’s not actually possible to achieve too much) I can’t seem to win for losing on this one:

I told a couple who are good friends of mine about Fat Bottom Cabaret.  They exchanged a pointed glance. When I asked “What?” one of them said “Another thing to put on your plate. Shouldn’t you start taking things off?”

It’s not just these friends either, people all my life have told me that I try to do too much. I guess I just don’t spend enough time watching TV, or playing video games, or surfing the internet to suit their tastes.  I wonder if this happens to other people who like to pack their lives full?

Example:  In my last two years of high school I worked at three restaurants while playing in the band, singing in the choir, acting in the school play, playing volleyball, being a cheerleader, teaching elementary school music, taking 26 pieces on 4 instruments to state music competition, and graduating as my class valedictorian. (As many ways as I got screwed by going to crappy schools in tiny towns, the big benefit was that when your student body is less than 500, they pretty much let you do as many activities as you want.)   I’m not telling you this to brag and I’m not looking for a cookie or gold star.   I’m telling you this to point out the amazing number of experiences that I got to have in those two years.

Those aren’t experiences that will come around again – they were one-time opportunities and I took them all.  I’m pretty sure that I was tired a lot but I have no vivid memories of being tired.  I do remember like it was yesterday when I directed my kindergarten through 2nd graders putting on a concert for a gym full of people, I can still sing the school song, and I can still tell you the specific plays that some of volleyball scars came from.  I guess my point is that I’ve found that tired doesn’t last, but experiences do.

I’ve been this way since I was a little kid – never wanting to take naps because it was a waste of time, complaining that we didn’t learn enough in school. I’m not sure where it came from. Maybe it’s because I want to die knowing that I tried as many of the things that I wanted to do as possible, and that I lived every drop of my life.  I highly doubt that on my death bed I’ll wish I had played more Angry Birds or seen more episodes of Two and a Half Men, but if I miss the chance to write a book that helps people, win a world dance championship, travel to Philly to compete with my dance team, or be part of  something as awesome and inspiring as Fat Bottom Cabaret,  then I bet I’ll be kicking myself someday.

I get that my choices are not for everybody and that, as always, is completely cool.  I have friends who spend a ton of their time playing video games, or watching television, or doing nothing. I know lots of people who like to “unplug” for whole days or weekends at a time.  It’s not better or worse than what I choose, it’s just different.  I do find that the people who are the loudest critics of my choices tend to be people who have a lot of  leisure time built into their lives.   Dude, Slacker and Over-achiever are two classic archetypes and there’s plenty of grey area and hey, can’t we all just get along?  It’s not like our own choices are less valid because someone else chooses something different for themselves.

So slack ye slackers!  Spend the day in your underwear watching re-runs!  I fully support you, have an awesome time.

Hyper-committed hyper-achievers let’s unite and go do stuff!

If you’re looking for a New Year’s Revolution instead of another resolution, please allow me to recommend:  http://2011revolutions.blogspot.com/

10 thoughts on “Over-Committed Over-Achievers Unite!

  1. I thought I was a hyper-achiever until I read this! I’m exhausted just thinking about it.

    But yes, for someone who’s supposed to be lazy, simply because I’m fat, I am far busier than most people and never have time to be bored. In fact, I long for a little more down time!

    1. Remember that I did that in High School – it was a while ago 🙂 I think that the fat/lazy stereotype is just another incarnation of the “if they just tried harder they’d be thin” bs.

  2. Another awesome blog Ragen. I hope you are ok with the fact that as anti-wls advocate I use you, Kelly Bliss, Kim Brittingham, Jennifer Jonassen and Golda Poretsky as examples that to those who use the excuse to have weight loss surgery, claiming that they don’t have a life, can’t be mobile,vibrant, attractive and be sexual or can’t conceive that fat people are,that they are grossly mistaken in assuming that all people of weight just sit home and eat fucking twinkies all day. I think you shatter misconceptions like that an I think you are inspiring and awesome… Hugs, Lisa

  3. Another very cool post! I probably fall in that grey area. I’ve done the overachiever thing, and on a few occasions, have made myself sick doing so. Now that I’m a little older and (I hope) a little wiser, I try to keep moderately busy doing (mostly) things that I love, while being *very* protective of my downtime. It’s a tricky balance, and something I’ll probably be working on for the rest of my life! 🙂

    Thanks, and happy new year!

  4. I’ve always strived (strove? striven?) to be that girl, but somehow I can never manage it. Anything more than work and the bare minimum of social obligations and everything falls apart. And even that’s a struggle. Most nights I don’t make it out of the house, and if a friend calls me as often as once a week to hang out I feel smothered.

    Translation: I may not be fat, but I most definitely am L-A-Z-Y lazy. :p Please, teach me your ways. I am so irresponsible with my time. XD

    1. (Also, housework falls into the category of “more than work and the bare minimum of social obligations”. My entire apartment looks like a tornado just went through it 99.99% of the time. The other 0.01% is when my boyfriend gets fed up and does something about it.)

  5. I think the amount of energy one has is somehow inherent. I think a low-energy fat person who manages to loose a lot of weight will not become a high-energy person. She will likely have the same amount of energy whatever her weight. I think dieting is something that really zaps energy.

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