What if You Knew You Couldn’t Fail?

As much as I wish I could say I’m strong and brave, the truth is I’m very cautious, and even fearful. I am an excellent worrier. I worry about the future, the present and the past. I worry about things that I cannot control. I worry about things that happened years ago. Even though I know this is counterproductive, I can’t help it. It’s just the way I am.

So I was intrigued by this question that hit my inbox recently: “What would you do if you knew you could not fail?

My first thought was, “Everything I’m afraid to try!” Then I decided to narrow it down a bit. FLY! I’d totally jump off of something really high, and fly. Without a plane. Just fly like a bird. That’s what I’d do if I knew I couldn’t fail.

What about you? (Leave your ideas in the comments. I’m curious.)

In the meantime, I received this book to review, and I’m excited to read it. It’s called, “What would you do if you knew you could not fail? (How to transform fear into courage).” Written by Nina Lesowitz and Mary Beth Sammons, it is filled with inspiring stories of how real people have overcome fear, trials, and even failures, with courage and resilience.

Courage Is…
Courage Is… (Photo credit: Celestine Chua)

The personal stories are augmented with quotes, expert advice, and suggested actions you can take to overcome fear and be more courageous in your own circumstances. For example:

  • Ten things to do when you are so scared that you question your ability to keep going.
  • Using a journal to deal with fears.
  • Leaving old wounds behind so you can move forward.

And I love the quotes in the book! They are inspiring and worth reading, remembering and sharing. Like this one:

Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says, I’ll try again tomorrow. (Mary Anne Radmacher)

If you’d like to have a copy of this book, leave a comment on this post and I’ll choose a lucky winner. Thanks for reading. Have a courageous day!

“Courage” photo source (used under a Creative Commons license)

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Go Outside! Summer boredom busters

Geek Mom’s old-fashioned, non-electronic, free outdoor summer vacation activities. Hey, kids. If you are bored, go outside and be bored until you’re not bored any more. You will survive. You will figure out what to do, and you will even have fun! Here are some ideas to get you started.

bored kids
photo by Jan Tik, used under CC license

School’s out, and summer vacation is in full swing. Or full boredom, as my kids would have me believe. As much as I enjoy technology and gadgets, my kids and I benefit from some unplugged time. However, as soon as I turn off the electronics, I’m hit with a barrage of “I’m booooored. There’s nothing to do. Can I have a turn on the computer?” This annoys me.

Excuse me while I indulge in a bit of reminiscing…

Listen up, children.

When I was your age, we didn’t have cable TV. We had three channels, and cartoons were only on Saturday mornings.
We didn’t have a computer.
We didn’t have video games.
We didn’t have air conditioning.
We had bikes and sprinklers and mosquito bites and neighborhood kids to keep us entertained all summer.
And Dad made us work in the garden.

So if you are bored, go outside and be bored until you’re not bored any more. You will survive. You will figure out what to do, and you will even have fun! Here are some ideas to get you started.

Geek Mom’s old-fashioned, non-electronic, free outdoor summer vacation activities:

  • Pick up a rock and see what’s living under it.
  • Smooth out some sand and draw in it.
  • Mix dirt and water to make mud.
  • Write on the sidewalk with a rock.
  • Sit in the shade and watch the sky.
  • Learn how to whistle with a blade of grass.
  • Make a kazoo with a plastic comb and waxed paper.
  • Melt stuff in the sun.
  • Look for bugs.
  • Find another kid who looks bored. Talk about stuff.

I’m sure there are lots of other great ideas for curing boredom. Please share yours in the comments!

Nighttime toilet tip

If you’ve been following me on Twitter (GeekMomMashup), you’ve already heard this story. But for the rest of you, I thought it would be worth repeating, because it is pretty funny! Well, funny in a dark, creepy way… muah-ha-haah!

Last week, my six year-old son woke me up in the middle of the night. It must have been about 2:30 AM. As long as I was up, I figured I’d make a pit stop. So I shuffled to the bathroom, where I debated with myself over turning on the light.

My internal dialogue went something like this:

“Its not pitch dark, and I know where the toilet is. The light will be too bright, and it will hurt my eyes, and make it harder to go back to sleep.”

“But what if there’s a spider in the toilet? You know how I always have that in the back of my mind.”

“There’s not going to be a spider in the toilet. You worry needlessly, and there’s never a spider in the toilet!”

“Well, there’s hardly ever a spider in the toilet, and there’s probably not a spider in this toilet right now. Fine.”

So I left the light off and walked to the toilet. Before taking a seat, I glanced down into the bowl. I noticed a dark spot on the inside of the bowl. Above the water line, below the rim. Hmmm. What could that be? Better turn on the light.

I flipped the switch, squinted, and walked back to the toilet. I peered into the bowl again, and saw a nickel-sized, black, slightly hairy, spider! I’d almost sat on the toilet with that spider in there! What if I hadn’t noticed it, and it had jumped onto my bare bottom?! What if it had bitten me? What if it had gotten stuck in my underwear?

I quickly flushed it down and did my thing. Afterwards, I thought I should have taken a photo, but it was too late. The moral of this story: There’s probably not a spider in the toilet, but there could be one… Remember this the next time you need to “go” in the dark!

GeekMom on life: What’s in your intellectual junk drawer?

Since I finished graduate school and became a full-time mother (nine years ago), my life has become extremely cluttered. There are school papers, coupons, tiny Lego blocks, snack wrappers, odd socks, unlabeled CDs, and mountains of laundry… I could go on, but I won’t. Everything from the important things, like my kids, to the dirty, dusty detritus of life, it all takes up space in my home and in my head.

The point is, with a wonderful husband and three dear children to take care of, and so many truly important codes, passwords, dates, and numbers to remember, why do I still have old, useless bits of trivial information taking up space in my brain? I don’t have room for extra stuff! It makes it really difficult to find what I’m looking for!

For instance, say I’m looking for that very small screwdriver. You know the one I mean? It’s very thin, and it has a standard shaped end, which makes it perfect for unlocking the bathroom door when there’s nobody in there. Oh, yes. This happens sometimes! It’s quite mysterious.

So the first place I look is the kitchen junk drawer. I’m looking for the special little screwdriver, but what do I find? Everything else we’ve stashed in there since we moved into this house! Rubber bands, vegetable seeds, lip balm, marbles, tape, pens and pencils, an old checkbook, super ball, assorted coins, little rocks, and various things with sharp edges that find their way under the fingernails. Ouch! No screwdriver.

Sometimes, that’s how I feel when I’m trying to think of something important, like… my own phone number. Yes, I forgot my phone number. Picture me on the phone, leaving a message for an acquaintance. “So if you could call me back, that would be great. My number is… Four… I’m so sorry, but I’ll have to call you back with my phone number.” I couldn’t believe it. After that, I wrote my number on a sticker and kept it inside the kitchen cupboard, so I would never have to sound so stupid again! (At least not while leaving a phone message.)

I might not feel so bad about having forgotten my phone number, if the data taking its place were actually important, but they’re not. It’s just a bunch of stuff that I’ve stashed in there for the last 35 years. I’ll show you. Let’s give the old noggin a shake and see what falls out

  • High school locker combination (35-9-35)
  • Names and colors of all four Wiggles
  • First telephone number, from 30 years ago
  • Memorized lines from Monty Python and the Holy Grail
  • Ex-boyfriend’s birthdate
  • Mnemonic phrase for the 12 cranial nerves (On Old Olympus’ Towering Top A Family Very German Viewed Armadillos Hop), but not the actual names of the nerves
  • and more…

I’d say my brain is in need of a good sorting out, but I guess that’s life. Maybe I’ll need this stuff someday, like if I’m in a coma, and my family will be sitting around the hospital bed, talking quietly. Some young doctor will say, “Oh, by the way, do you know a good mnemonic for the 12 cranial nerves? I’m having trouble remembering them.” And one of my brilliant relatives will say, “Of course! On Old Olympus’ Towering Top…” And then, I’ll wake up! It could happen.

So, what’s in your intellectual junk drawer? Care to share your most useless bits of trivia with us? 🙂