Monday, December 31, 2012

This New Year, Take the Plunge

By Phoebe Farag Mikhail

I’m looking at an ocean of Mega Bloks on the floor. Part of me wants to dive right in and clean it all up. It’s always nice to have a clean living room in the morning.

But that’s not the kind of plunge I’m talking about in this post. With friends on Facebook sharing their new year’s resolutions and fellow bloggers sharing their recommendations, I’ve decided to jump into the fray with my own recommendation: take the plunge.

This year, take a risk. Do something that you’ve always considered doing but have not done yet because of fear.

I’ve already started mine – starting this blog. I had been thinking about blogging for months. I even started keeping a journal of potential blog posts. But I had a few fears and obstacles about starting one. My biggest fear was about sharing my unedited thoughts with the entire World Wide Web. Writing is creating, and creating can be very personal. What if people don’t like what I have to say?  With so many writers and bloggers out there, what new material do I really have to offer?

I got over that fear by thinking about all the bloggers that I follow, how much I appreciate reading their viewpoints on all sorts of topics, and how, at the end of the day, most of them are ordinary people, just like me.

I had other fears too: fear of learning a new technology, fear of running out of ideas to blog about, fear of not having time to write … I got over those fears just by taking the plunge and starting the blog. Learning how to do it is turning out to be a lot of fun. I haven’t run out of ideas yet, and thinking about what to write also helps occupy my mind more productively during the day. All those ideas make me itch to get to my laptop in the evening and start fleshing them out, so I am making the time.

I guess those blocks will get cleaned up in the morning.

I did not come up with the phrase “take the plunge.” I borrowed it from the theme of my MOPS group this year. “MOPS” stands for “Mothers of Preschoolers,” and it’s a wonderful community for mothers of younger children, who are often quite isolated otherwise.  Some of the members my group have taken some inspiring “plunges”: one has started nursing school, one joined a mom’s group at her job, and one recently had a dinner party for 20 people in her new home, for the first time.

I suggest that whatever risk you take be a risk that involves building community. Building community and ending isolation is the first topic I blogged about. Invite people over like my MOPS friend did. Reach out to a neighbor you haven’t spoken to yet. Join a group of some sort – a hobby group, a parenting group, a sports team, a club on your school or campus, a faith-based group. Go to school and make some new friends among your classmates. Volunteer for a nonprofit you like. Start a business. Even blogging is a kind of community, inviting comments and sharing with others. 

So please share – what kinds of risks are you thinking about taking this New Year?

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Listen, Learn, Act and Reflect by Phoebe Farag Mikhail is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.