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Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night or Girl Whatchyou Waitin On?

Same Goals. I just cleaned my stories up.

I wanted to begin this project by seriously thinking about how I want my goals & life experiences to make me feel as suggested in Maggie’s video.  It never occurred to me that that part was important.

As a result of all my daydreaming put to action I want to feel:

Smart, Like I have something worthwhile to contribute to others, like I'm enjoying my life no strings attached, like I'm having pure fun, youthful, daring, strong, silly, accomplished, proud, whole, fulfilled, like I can do anything, kind, important to my family, good to my family, loved, not scared of who I can be, useful/beneficial to others, and perhaps most of all - Adventurous. 

I have many goals piling up which I've listed at  http://gomighty.com/user/MamaStart/goal/#goals

But I'm going to focus on this year's Top 5  for my project. They are as follows:

1. Begin the process of becoming an illustrator.

2. Research/Develop a science & craft based book series for girls aged 7-12.

3. Drive a racecar in Vegas.

4. Replace myself as chief Housecleaner in my home.

5. Visit 5 awesome overlooked (by me) cities in my homestate.

 

So to elaborate:

1. Begin the process of becoming an illustrator.

When I was little the only thing I wanted to be when I grew up was an artist. Fast forward to where I am grown up and Not an artist. Not a professional one anyway. I have been taking drawing and watercolor classes over the years but have never allowed myself to get a formal education and pursue my dream. Other events occupied my days while I put my wish to be an artist on the “I’ll get to it someday” list. But now I’m realizing if I don’t make this happen soon the next 10 years of my life will go by liked a DVR’d episode of my favorite TV show, with me fast forwarding through all the banal parts that occupy many of my days.

There are little green monsters who tell me I’ve not the skill, or I’m far too old to be pursing this now or there’ll be no work for me on the other side of an art degree. But then I think, well what do they know and what else am I going to do over the next 10 years and what if just maybe I can do this. And holy hell I’m going to do this. The thought of becoming an illustrator and a storyteller, surrounding myself with creativity and beauty as a career sounds like exactly what I am ready to do now at this point in my life. The thought actually makes me giddy. I know with clarity that if I do not try for this goal I will regret it. And when I do pursue it, I quite believe I’ll surprise myself with my success as an artist.

This goal will make me feel accomplished.

I believe every goal needs a theme song. To motivate me. To inspire me. And because I love music.   This goal is so important to me it needs a playlist: Dance with Life/Bryan Ferry, Carryon/Fun, Born This Way/Lady Gaga, Fall Down or Fly/Lindi Ortega, Golden/Jill Scott.

2. Research/Develop a science & craft based book series for girls aged 7-12.

Seriously America we are failing our Girls in the math/science/engineering departments.  The statistics for the number of girls who grow up to have careers in these fields is pretty telling. For example women make up just 21% of students pursuing bachelors in Physics & a mere 17% for Physics PhDs. To that I have say in high pitched disbelief “whaaat”? How is this happening? In this modern age of Chick Power?  I have a grade school aged daughter who is very girly and creative and who also happens to be very smart so off we go to the bookstore or toy store to buy chemistry sets or science kits and they’re all marketed to boys or at best have an androgynous looking girl on the box.  I buy the kits, we do them together, the contents are plain, the science is sound and my daughter learns. But there seems to be a missed opportunity. Summer vacation comes and I sign my smart creative girly daughter up for science camp. Last year it was about electrical stuff, she made a flashlight, a burglar alarm & a motor. There were 15 kids in her class, 3!! were girls. The flashlight was made out of a toilet paper tube; the alarm cardboard, string & duct tape. (Hello, have they ever heard of glitter or scrapbook paper? They could have jazzed these things up as any 8 year old girl would have loved to.) The science was sound, my daughter learned but there seemed to be a missed opportunity.  

I know society & toy marketers draw a line in the sand at an early age for children with regard to what is cool for girls and what is cool for boys. Boys=tough, action oriented, guns, muscles, loud, building stuff, grrr. Girls = sweet, calm, emotions, relationships, pretty things, makeup, clothes, animals, awww. To this I say What Evs. I bought my son a baby doll and signed my daughter up for science camp.  But there seems to be a missed opportunity. I would like to create a product that offers our girls more. A science book/kit that involves a cheerful, brightly colored craft that they make themselves and reinforces the lesson. Not every parent or grandparent may take my approach to shop outside of gender biases. They will buy the girly stuff for their girls & the guy stuff for their boys. Most of the toys in the girl aisle are still pink & purple. Most of the science kits for upper elementary kids at our large bookstore chain have boys on the cover and have dark boy colors.  The stereotypes entrenched.  

So I thought wouldn’t it be cool to reach out to girls while they are still young and believe they can be anything and show them the world of science, through a slightly more feminine approach. And no I am not suggesting to make everything pink. The world of the average 8 year old girl is a very happy, sunny, fun, glittery, shimmery, multi-colored place. I would like to create a book series about science that is just as fun, shimmery and multi-colored and includes a craft related to the topic. Each book would have a girl character (also serving as a role model) explaining the concept. I would combine the science with what girls at that age are naturally drawn to: reading and creating and learning. My intent is to catch them while they are young enough to believe science is for girls, quite possibly fun and that it’s ok for them to be smart. The science will be sound, the opportunity (as in a chance for girls to grow up confident in their abilities to become scientists/engineers) will Not be missed.

This goal will make me feel inspired & benefiting others -like I'm giving girls another  way to see themselves: as Smartypants.

Theme Songs for this goal: Oingo Boingo’s Weird Science & Beyonce's Run the World (Girls)

3. Drive a racecar in Vegas.

I am quite convinced I am a Nascar/Indy500/That Big AutoRace they Do in Europe Star that Never Was. I love to drive fast & thought of driving a massive stock car scares the daylights out of me yet excites me like a preteen boy chucking bottle rockets towards heaven on a warm summer night. I think I’d feel daring and strong and badass and free.

Vegas has a place where you can pay to drive immensely powerful stock cars on a track and I'm going to do it. 

Theme Song for this goal: Rihanna’s Shut Up & Drive

4. Replace myself as Chief Housecleaner in my home.

Housecleaning is my Myth of Sisyphus. You know the guy who kept rolling the giant boulder up the hill only to have it roll back down & he had to start all over again. I clean clean clean only to be doing the same stinkin’ thing the next week. I’m over it. I will find someone trustworthy & efficient to clean for me so I can move onto other awesome adventures. This Goal will make me feel free like I’m free to enjoy my life & free up my time to help others.

Theme Song for this goal: It’s one I wrote myself actually & it goes a little something like this: I ain’t cleaning my house, I ain’t cleaning my house, I ain’t cleaning my house.

5. Visit 5 awesome overlooked (by me) cities in my homestate.

I often have fantasies about spending summers in Europe or Asia doing cool, intellectual, unAmerican things. I see me exposing my kids to a new culture, speaking a foreign language, renting a little apartment and living like a local. It seems so romantic. Then I think if I were a true local would I be so enchanted? Then I think rein it in sister, you’re a local here and people come here on purpose to enjoy what your state has to offer. Michigan, the great lakes state. The third coast. We have miles and miles of gorgeous lake shoreline with quaint hip cities and sweet beaches along the way. We have artist communities, a wine region, camping, boating, skiing, horseback riding, big cities with shows of all sorts, and music and historic architecture and more art.  I could go on but the jist is there’s a rich experience waiting for me within a few hour’s drive, you know for those weekends when I’m not in Asia or Europe.

This goal will make me feel adventurous.

Theme Song for this goal: Touch the Sky from the Soundtrack for the movie Brave. Because I think the song is about the main character Merida exploring the lands near her home in Scotland.

 

 

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