21 July 2009

Craving a Sense of Accomplishment



The impending release of the movie Julie & Julia has me thinking about accomplishments (or the lack of them) in my life. I tried reading the book a while back, so I am familiar with the plot. (Notice I said I tried to read the book; I can't even finish that!) Julie Powell feels that her career and life are going nowhere, so she tries to revitalize herself by tackling a big project: cooking every recipe in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking and blogging about the results. In the book, Julie's stories are interspersed with anecdotes about Julia Child's life and how she found herself through cooking.

So what does this have to do with my life? Deep inside, there is a part of me that wishes I could do that. Often I look at my life and feel like I haven't finished anything bigger than a sandwich. The idea of working through a book or list like that is impressive. The knowledge that Powell gained from trying all those different techniques must be gratifying, as well. I want to feel that sense of accomplishment that comes with getting to the end of a big project. I want to be able to say to people, "Yes, I am very familiar with XYZ." I'd love to have something -- anything -- to put in that part of the job applications that says, "Do you have any other accomplishments or certifications?"

Another aspect of the project that appeals to me is the blogging. I've been writing this blog for eight years and I still don't feel like I have a sense of direction. Doing something like knitting every pattern in a book or watching every movie on a list would give me a framework. I wouldn't be wondering what I am going to write every day and my readers (you fanatical few) would know what you are getting when you visit my blog.

The real question is, do I want it enough? I'm not sure. The few times I've attempted something like this, I've run out of steam before I even hit the halfway mark. Perhaps I am like the kid who wants to be a famous musician but doesn't want to practice her instrument. On the other hand, maybe I just haven't found the project that will ignite my passion.
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