Anything worth doing.

Well, I did indeed pick up Donald Miller’s A Million Miles in a Thousand Years this weekend.  I’m about five chapters in, just past the part where Don goes kayak sledding with Steve and Ben, the movie producers and realizes his life is so boring, people would stab each other with drinking straws if forced to watch it in a theater.

I don’t think my life is quite that boring, but it’s getting kind of close.

I’m terribly, terribly discouraged because the big, crazy, wild dream I had of actually completing the marriage counseling training program through my church is sort of not working out.  My work travel is just for some reason, bizarrely and completely synced with the required monthly training sessions. I tried negotiating out of the truly unnecessary trips, and unfortunately that only netted me one exemption.

I could try to keep going. I am not terribly behind on the homework, and I could easily catch up this month.  But the truth is, the in-person trainings are essential. I already made the mistake of trying to help and teach other people out of knowledge I gained purely from books and reading.  It’s a bad idea.  I need mentoring relationships to do this right. Especially since my in-person people skills are, quite honestly, spectacularly poor.

Which brings me to the old axiom “Anything worth doing is worth doing right.” Last week, I tripped and smacked my face on that axiom.  Because it feels like I’m not doing much right.

Except I’m not sure that’s really true.

Well, I’m not really sure that the “anything worth doing is doing right” thing is true. I’m reasonably certain that there are a ton of things I’m not doing right.

Which is, in part, why I’m doing NaNoWriMo. I’m reasonably certain that if there is a right way to write a novel, it’s not to spend 30 days cranking out laughably bad prose, with word count being the sole consideration.

I’m doing it because maybe it’s not “anything worth doing is worth doing right.”  Maybe it’s “anything worth doing is worth doing badly, till you get enough practice in to do it right.

For me, writing is worth doing badly, till I get enough practice in to learn to do it well.

And I think I’m going to go back and catch up my counseling homework.

Maybe I can’t be a part of the “official” program. That’s okay.  I’m still going to do my best to absorb the materials, because they’re good materials. I’m still going to seek out a mentor, maybe more than one mentor. I’ll ask if I can still attend any training sessions where I’m not out of town.

Speaking comfort and encouragement and truth and love into painful situations in others’ lives is worth doing badly, till I learn how to do it well.


  1. ·

    One of my cooking heroes is Ferran Adria. He is best known for introducing food science to restaurant kitchens, by way of hydrocolloids. One of his guiding principles that resonates with me is to be insatiably curious. It’s all about controlled failure: do the exercise even if you’re sure it won’t work so you can learn more about the process. Eventually you’ll learn enough to be confident in your success. Or you’ll prove it’s beyond your capability or simply physically impossible. So try everything, and don’t sell yourself short. Sometimes the failures aren’t your fault at all. (stupid physics)

  2. Kat French

    do the exercise even if you’re sure it won’t work so you can learn more about the process

    That is an excellent piece of advice. We say no to so many things because we want guaranteed success.

    That’s how people end up eating Minute Rice, man.

    But epic adventures don’t come with guarantees of success. They more often come with guarantees that things will suck (at least for a while).


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