The mid March comment challenge is to write 75 comments on other people´s blogs. I wiped my eyes and enlarged the font of my screen. Did I read it correctly? Yep. SEVENTY FIVE. I did some quick calculations. If I spend 5 minutes in each blog it will take me 6.25 hours to comment on 75 blogs. A little more than 3 hours per day. Not that bad if I get up early and stick with the plan of 5 minutes per blog, especially if you think you can get a shot at winning such an awesome prize as $1,000 toward the tuition of a writing related workshop. I weight the pros and cons and decided that I have too much cleaning to do. Also, I know myself and my limitations. I know I wouldn´t spend three hours but probably it would take me five or six hours per day without counting writing my own daily slice. My house is too dirty to wait another week.
I understand that it is a big prize, and the challenge has to be difficult so not too many people compete and the chances of winning are higher. In my case, I know from the start I don’t have a chance. And the eventuality that my comments will be put in a blender to be raffled by a computer, makes me feel uneasy. I know there are fierce competitors in the field. And then, whenever I read a comment on my slice, I will think, oh, this person is doing the challenge, and really doesn’t care what I wrote. Sorry, I know I am being a jerk. I guess all these horrible thoughts were driving me to another spectrum of life.
I started thinking about what makes us to push things forward and when it’s too much, and we give up without even trying. This is so important with students. When to use a reward and how? Shouldn’t maybe teach them first to understand what type of competitors they are? Because the feeling of being always a loser is not nice.
When my daughter was 8 she joined the program Girls on the Run in her school. It taught girls to be confident while training for a 5 k race. My husband was going to be her running buddy, and I was determined to run with my 6 year old son. Sorry, I was not the one that was going to watch the race from the bleachers. The problem was that I was not convincing my son to run even though I knew 100% he could run 5 k. He was a little athletic machine, looking at me very unhappy. He didn’t want to run. I couldn’t understand why. Eventually he told me— because I won’t win. I saw his face, and small body next to me. Then I looked at the thousands, and thousands of people that were passing us by, and I understood his point. It was pretty disheartening.
Oh, well, that’s very true Vincent— I told him— but in life you will always have people ahead of you, and people behind. Your sister will be ahead of you today [my husband and I were hoping] because she has been training for four months. In this race you won’t be the first because it’s impossible and you haven’t even trained. You just need to look at how you are doing it. If you finish it, that’s considered a win.
And we ran, and we finished.
Probably, I should approach some challenges as lottery tickets, either enjoy buying the ticket and dream what would I do if I win, even if I know that I won’t, or put my pennies in a piggy bank and sign up for a workshop whenever my beautiful terracotta Dolores pig is full and I am ready to sacrifice her.
I am very competitive, but with myself. I love to compete in triathlons and I really don’t care if I am the last one. I just don’t like to quit. With the 75 comments challenge I know if I decide to take it, I wouldn´t quit. My house will stay dirty and I have guests coming next Tuesday. I hope they are not allergic to dust.
By the way Happy St. Patrick’s Day.
I don’t want a leprechaun to pinch me if my slice lacks green