Friday, May 18

"Memorable people" potluck

This week's "potluck" is going to be more of a sit-down affair, not because I don't have material, but because one article stood out among all the rest...

If you read "6 Habits of Truly Memorable People," please let me know what you think! The article fits in nicely with this week's earlier post about priorities, particularly the part about being a person - not a resume:
So you run... but you won't enter a race because you don't want to finish at the back of the pack. You sing... but you won't share a mic in a friend's band because you're no Adele...
Personally and professionally, you feel compelled to maintain your all-knowing, all-achieving, all conquering image.
And you're not a person. You're a resume.
How often do we let the resume get in the way of life?

I know I struggle with this concept on a daily basis. Some days the adventure-seeker wins (packing up and moving to a Florida town I had never seen before counts squarely in that category). But there are plenty of days when day-job responsibilities and "professional credibility" trump all other decisions.

When I'm on my death-bed, will I be glad that my resume was polished to a glossy sheen?
Or will I be glad that I skipped out on work for an extra day at Jazzfest, to meet up with a new running group, to have coffee with a former student, or to volunteer at a beach cleanup?

To be honest, the resume-concern often dictates content and phrasing in my blog-life. A truly horrible day on the job has never been explained here in all of its gory political shitstorm drama...
... because it might reflect negatively on my professional reputation, of course.

And I haven't exactly been a career thrill-seeker. Some days I want to throw caution to the wind, go back to stocking wine cases at a specialty store (which I did right after college), and try my hand at freelance writing "for real," but fear of the "resume gap" is enough that I've stayed with the same employer for more than a decade. (How many people can say that? Then again, how many people should say that?)

I'm sure there's some counter-argument article out there, extolling the virtues of the well-planned and well-executed life. After all, there is comfort in the familiar. (Some days I really do love my job.) Adventure-seeking is unlikely to lead to a longer life or a higher paycheck (unless, maybe, you're Jon Krakauer).

But adventures broaden our horizons. Travel can make us better writers or better teachers. Thinking "wrong" can lead to innovative solutions. Pushing beyond our comfort zone can lead to PR marathons or new hobbies.

And, in the final analysis, quality is more important than quantity.

Even if I keep plugging away at my career for another 10 years... If I keep running for another 10 years... If I live in Florida (*shudder*) for another 10 years... I can find ways to shake things up and add more adventure.

I'm not sure, yet, what my next adventure will be.
But I am certain there will be one!

(That said... "adventure" probably shouldn't involve banditing a race then suing the race organizer.)

Quote of the week:
Success isn't how far you got, but the distance you traveled from where you started.

What's your most recent adventure?
(and maybe more importantly)
What adventures do you have coming up?


  1. Someone sent me this article about quitting your job to take on an adventure:

    Wish I had the guts to do something like that. Thanks for the link to the "Habits" article. Cheers!

  2. my most recent adventure was quitting my job, putting everything in storage and going to Spain for 3 months. I have now since returned, and have rejoined the "traditional" life. I'm itching for an adventure, I am well beyond my limit for not traveling, thankfully I have flights booked for London and tickets for the opening ceremony!

  3. Love the "6 Habits" link! Sometimes I think adventure is all in the eye of the beholder- it can easily be just something small that shakes up your normal routine. I'm lucky because I'm still in exploratory mode in my "new hometown" anyway, but there are probably things in the "visitor" link on any town's website that locals might not think of doing or even know about. An easy example- I discovered yesterday that UMass Boston runs a lunchtime cruise around the harbor islands on Mondays in the summertime, from 12-1:15. That sounds like a fun adventure to start the week to me! :)


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