Where To Begin . . . (Day 2)

Beginnings are full of excitement and hope and promise. Which makes me wonder: why do they cause me so much stress?

I’ve been thinking about this blog for months, jotting down notes, discussing with others, and doing general research. My Evernote folders are filled with ideas and clippings and links, and I’ve created brief descriptions of my intent and lists of subjects that I expect to cover.

Yet, my anxiety level is pretty high. I am struggling with my approach: What do I say first? How do I say it? How do I engage my readers and get them to want to interact with me? How do I turn this into something that people turn to for guidance, curiosity, to discuss their own life situations? How do I get what I need out of this AND give back?

I tried to condense the intended purpose of “FIFTY” in the “ABOUT” section of the blog (read more here) down to a single, ridiculously long sentence:

“We could spend the rest of our days bitching about our culture’s idolization of starving models and wrinkle-free celebrities or about books and movies that cater to the lowest common denominator or about the stiffness we sometimes feel when we get out of bed — OR — we could use that wasted energy to play to our strengths and make the most out of our lives for as long as we are able.”

Make the most out of lives. That’s what I want to do. That’s what most of us want to do, no matter how young or old we are.

So I have begun by playing to some of my strengths: observing and writing and raising questions to which I don’t always have answers.

When you stop and think about yourself, are you using some of your strengths to make the most out of your life? If you are, how can you incorporate more strengths into the equation? If you are not, how can you begin?


I write about daily life, arts & culture, food, books, nature, animals, parenting, relationships, self-discovery, & more.

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6 thoughts on “Where To Begin . . . (Day 2)

  1. Beginning something new has never been a problem for me. Sticking to a new commitment is the difficult part and one of my biggest problems. I try to work through it and push through the obstacles. Sometimes successful sometimes not. I try to take each day as it comes.

    1. This is exactly the type of thing I want to talk about here. You know your strengths and your weaknesses, and you’ve developed, over time, ways to work with who you are. And that’s all we’ve got, which is actually quite a lot. It’s great to know that you won’t always succeed, but often, using techniques you’ve developed, you do!

  2. I wish I gave things more thought–I am a straight-out-of-the-chute kind of person! But you know what? It has worked for me. I finally realized that people pay me for my opinion. If they don’t agree with my recommendations, fine. But I have perspective and experience that is important and apparently valuable. Who knew? The one area I have really worked to develop is being kind–and I have to continue working on it because it is not a natural strength. But I am convinced beyond all measure that selflessness, thinking of others, just being kind is important–maybe of utmost importance– regardless of how others behave.

    1. I don’t think we have to dig deep all the time, but I do think that the confidence and experience that comes with age has helped you to realize things about yourself that has made you better at your job. I agree that we can’t just build on our strengths but acknowledge the things that matter to us even if they are not our strengths and work on them too. Kindness is a big one.

  3. I love to begin things. It’s scary, but there’s so much possibility. It’s sticking to things that’s hard…sometimes because I get bored, sometimes because I lose the cocky confidence I had at the beginning…I often take on too much, then get mad at myself when I can’t carry it off to the level I expect of myself…or even sometimes at all!

    Am I using my strengths to make the most out of my life? Hmmm. I’m using my strengths. Mostly to make a good life for others. These days, I’m trying to figure out how to use them to fulfill myself.

  4. I do believe that making a good life for others can be part of making a good life for ourselves, as long as we do not ignore our own needs in the process.

So what do you think?