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/