Refuse to Choose!

Jul 28

Refuse to Choose!

For most of my life, the question “What are you going to do when you grow up?” has hounded me, nightmarishly.  Every week it was a different answer. My earliest recollection of what I wanted to be was a nun (I liked the “long dresses”).  Then I wanted to be a vet,  then a surgeon.  I wanted to be a teacher, a flight attendant, a tour guide, a translator, a performance coach, a singer, a teacher of early childhood education, a psychologist, a counselor, a life coach …

By the time I was 25 I’d worked 17 jobs.  Some of them could have been career choices, except that they bored me silly once I got them figured out.

After a longer stint (5 years!) as a music director for Youth for Christ Germany I had the fortune of marrying a man who earned a salary that enabled me to stay home.   I became a homeschooling mom (a great choice for someone with my attention span – always something new to focus on) and I went through cycles of being “crafty”, a cook (believe it or not!) a nature buff, a historian, and a lover of literature.

Now that my kids are older and more independent in their schooling, I’ve turned to entrepreneurialism, Internet discoveries (gotta love Google!) and health and fitness.  I realized when I hit the age of about 38 that I was not cut out for a career-type job and was happy as an entrepreneur, but that didn’t quite cover “who I was” and “what I did”.

Let me explain:

Currently (and concurrently) I am designing a walking program that goes from couch potato to marathon walker in 18 months, a nutrition/weight loss program, and a financial rehabilitation program.  I am training for my next marathon by walking 1-3 hours a day,  I am designing 3 websites for a house church group, taking a university course towards a ministry degree, studying to become a biblical health coach, and working towards a leadership certificate in 2 other ministry programs and am researching how to become a certified walking coach.  I  am also applying for a part time job to cover the costs of all these projects.  And, of course, there’s the standard homemaking responsibilities (did I mention we were renovating?) and keeping my kids on track in home school (gr. 11).  Oh yeah – and church, but I’m not really doing much volunteering there right at the moment.

This is a pretty normal situation for me, so when someone asks “what do you do?” I don’t really have an answer – at least, I didn’t.

Thanks to my Virtual Assistant  buddy Niki Jackson (who helps keep me sane and on track with all things website – bless her) I discovered the book Refuse to Choose!: Use All of Your Interests, Passions, and Hobbies to Create the Life and Career of Your Dreams after reading Niki’s review of the book on her blog.

Well, friends, I have found myself. I am a “Plate Spinning Scanner“. Cooooool. Now I know how to organize myself using GREAT tools, (Scanner day-book;  the LTTL method of project management: Learn, Try, Teach, Leave; A “school teacher” daily plan; a portable idea deck; and 20-30 three-ring binders) and move forward in my life by allowing myself to be who I am, and learning how to “fit in” to a more linear society.

This has been such a fun journey.  The book itself is creativity on steroids, and I have so loved being validated as the person I am, instead of constantly trying to fit everyone else’s view of what is “right”.

So while this doesn’t have much to do with walking (except that it’s up there in the list of things I do), it does have a lot to do with living a healthy life.  I am designed to be this way, and the more I fight it, the more stressed I become.  The more stressed I become, the sicker I get.

So let me encourage you to be yourself.  Rejoice in who you are,  live  life to the fullest, and honour the Creator by faithfully exercising all your gifts – even if people think you’re flighty, weird, scattered, irresponsible, lazy or immature. The truth is a linear society will never understand a scanner – and that’s OK.

Live with integrity, true to who you are. It’s a great feeling!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. What an awesome post Darlene, wow you certainly are a plate spinner lol I never knew you did all that wow! I am so glad you found the book helpful.


  2. What a great post! You are obviously my long-lost twin! Ha!

    I love your blog. It is now one if my favorites to dig into when snagging a few minutes surfing the web.

    Can’t wait for your book! Let me know if you need help on that!



  3. admin /

    Thanks, Cindy and Niki! I appreciate your encouragement! Glad to know I’m not alone…

    Cindy, the book is so far an e-book. I’ve released the first level of training here:

    This next week I plan to do some minor revision on it, and re-release it to my list, but I’m also going to be setting up a coaching program around it, which should be out sometime in the Fall. I’ll keep you posted via this blog or my mailing list, if you’re on it.




  1. Physical, Mental and Spiritual Wellness, Simply Through Walking » The Challenge of Priorities - [...] Tom home, which means I get pretty much NOTHING done on my list of things to do (see that…

Leave a Reply