Tinkering With Success

The Journey to Becoming a Better Version of Oneself

Category: Uncategorized (Page 2 of 2)

All it Takes is Planning and Initiative

The journey toward success takes planning and initiative. Hmm, I just came up with that thought, it sounds good, so let’s go with it.  My latest goal is to learn how to swim. I don’t own a pool, hence I joined a local gym.

Today was my first day to go to the pool. With planning and initiative in mind, the previous evening I filled my gym bag, assembled my work clothes and packed my lunch.  I woke up at 4:45 am, put on my swimsuit covered with sweatpants and a t-shirt and headed out the door.  The 20-minute drive to the gym was pleasant.

Once in the women’s locker room, I looked at the size of the locker and compared it to all of the stuff I crammed in my gym bag.  After a quick review of my high school geometry, I figured out the only way that large round bag was going to fit into the small rectangle was to stuff it in there.  Made a note to self, bring less stuff tomorrow.

As I was resolving the locker issue, I heard A LOT of noise coming from the pool area.  It was 5:20 in the morning, who makes noise at that hour.  Still dressed in my sweats, I walked over to the pool access door, opened it slowly and peeked out.  What to my wondering eyes did appear, but eight heavyset white men bobbing in the pool.  They were chatting like a group of school girls, but more importantly, they took up the entire pool.  Now you might be thinking, “how do eight men take up a whole pool?” They were walking in the pool, each man taking up space in the swimming lanes. Did I mention chatting loudly? Laughing too.

I did what every self-respecting, adult, overweight woman would do, I quietly closed the pool access door and went to sit on a locker room bench.  For the next two minutes I sat there thinking “You can DO this, no, no I can’t.  But yes, you can, no I really can’t.  You are a strong confident woman, you’ve got this. Yea, not today I don’t.” For two minutes, I wrestled with how to proceed, I really wanted to swim, but this is not how I envisioned my morning swim.  I imagined using a kick board for a quiet, peaceful swim with a couple others who might nod and offer a knowing “bless her heart” smile.  I did not imagine the pool scene from the movie, Cocoon

Finally, I made the decision that I was not going to swim today.  With planning and initiative in mind, I was determined that this trip to the gym (at 5:00 am) would not be a waste.  Instead I would use this morning to figure out how to shower and get ready for work at the gym. I gathered my supplies and entered the shower stall.

I organized the bottles and placed them in the shower caddy, turned on the water and waited for it to warm up.  And I waited… and waited. About a minute into waiting for the water to warm up, I was thinking that I could just take a cold shower.  I had done it before, so it wouldn’t hurt me to do that.  At about the two-minute mark, I began to assess the life choices that brought me to the gym at 5:20 am.  I even pondered if there was enough time to put my sweats back on and drive home for a nice warm shower in my clean bathroom. Just as I was ready to quit this whole adventure, the warm water arrived and my day began to look up.

I completed my shower, got ready for work and, exactly 50 minutes after arriving, I was ready to go to work.

Feeling a bit discouraged and frustrated that I couldn’t find the courage to get in the pool, I went to the pool observation area in the gym to scope out the situation.  What did I see? Two women quietly swimming.  I turned to the woman who was working at the juice stand and explained my morning. She was kind and told me that at 5:00 am the pool was usually very busy.  She went on to explain that the same group of men had been meeting at that time for several years and they had a formed a bond.  This was as much a social activity as exercise for them.  She suggested that I try coming at 6:00 am when the pool would be less crowded.

As I drove to work, I tried to make meaning out of this adventure.  What I learned was that success takes more than planning and initiative. I used both skills, but not in the proper order. I could have inquired about pool usage patterns in advance.  Perhaps taking time to look at the size of the lockers to determine how much stuff they would hold.  And last but not least, I learned to turn on shower as soon as I arrive, so the water would be warm when I needed it.

Tonight I will add forethought to my skills of planning and initiative.  Tomorrow, I WILL go swimming with a kick board. Stay tuned. I plan to learn how to swim by watching YouTube videos.  OK, quit giving me that “bless your heart” smile.  I’m Tinkering With Success.




And So It Begins

I have always wanted to be a writer.  I think about writing, yet rarely write for fun.  I write quite often for work, but I have found that writing doesn’t come easy to me. First drafts would cause an English teacher to shake his or her head…and then maybe reach for a stiff drink.  With some editing the sentences get stronger and the message becomes more clear.  I struggle with grammar and proper sentence structure. Since the Internet enables people to be anonymous critics, I have been very hesitant to post what I write.

A friend and former colleague began writing a blog that I love to read.  I wait for the next installment and happily follow her journey.  I don’t read her blog to find what is wrong with it. As a matter of fact, critiquing what she has written has never even crossed my mind.

On a recent trip to Chicago, I was read her latest blog and I thought “I wonder if I could write a blog and if I did, would people read it?” I actually fell asleep while pondering that question.  When I woke the following morning, I decided that I would begin to write a blog.  Yea! The decision was made.  I Googled how to start writing a blog and learned that it would need a name and some sort direction.  Screech!!!!  Wait, what?  Oh boy, I finally come up with the courage to write stuff that people might read and now it needs a name and a purpose.  Press pause on that idea.

That night, after a long day of meetings, I returned to the blog idea and began thinking about what to call it.  I reviewed my likes and things that I am good at.   After about 10 minutes I had it.  I like to figure out how to get better at stuff.  Yep I said it, stuff.  I always look for a way to improve different aspects of my life.  Food, diet, laundry, cleaning, organizing, teaching and yes, even writing.  I work at something for a while and then move on to a new topic, eventually circling back to a previous interest. I’m a bit like the dog in the movie, Up.  Squirrel!  I’m easily distracted, yet every day I work to be more successful than I was the previous day.

Which brings me back to this writing thing.  I want to be a writer.  I want to become a better writer.  The only way to improve is to write often.  So here I am writing my first installment in my blog called “Tinkering With Success”.  I will use this forum to share my journey toward becoming the best version of myself and hopefully along the way you will find a tip or two that can help you too.

Thanks for reading and for being patient as I work toward becoming a better writer.

Becky Tinker (BLT)

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