Can We Do Everything if We Want to?

Barbara Sher, author of I Could Do Anything… writes, “Scanners want to taste everything.  They love to learn about the structure of a flower, and they love to learn about the theory of music.  And the adventures of travel.  And the tangle of politics.  To scanners, the universe is a treasure house full of a million works of art, and life is hardly long enough to see them all.” I think I might have a little scanner in me and maybe you do, too.

When it comes to jobs and something I am going to spend 40+ hours a week doing, I can’t imagine being tied down.  I know some jobs have variety: “I do something different every day,” some people tell me.  I want to say, “Um, no you don’t.  You are a [insert job here], you generally [job verb] every day.”  But maybe it’s all in how you look at it.

I used to enjoy journalism because I’d often have to write about something different every day.  Most times I had to research something before going on an interview to make sure I knew what I was talking about.  I enjoyed learning about many different things from many different people.

Ever since graduating college, I’ve come to realize that I love learning (ironic, I know).  I got this love from my mother, I think, who has four college degrees.  Regardless of where it came from, I love dabbling in many different things.  I spent a month or so around election time reading up on politics, I learned CPR and became instructor certified, I coached basketball, I began teaching myself to play the piano, I called a publishing company about a book idea, and I learned how to use Quickbooks (a book-keeping service).  And this was all in the past 10 months.

It’s nothing new, really.  I’ve always been a dabbler.  I tried gymnastics (laugh, go ahead), girl scouts, Awana, show chorus, band, and every sport in the book.  I always wished there was more time in the year to do everything I wanted to do.  I wish sleeping wasn’t necessary.  In the current book I’m reading, I Could Do Anything…, the author challenges the reader to “have it all.”  After saying that you can have it all she makes a pretty convincing argument.

The activity in this chapter titled, “I Want Too Many Things; I’m All Over the Map,” asks the reader to list what you’d be if you could be ten (or more) people.  In just one minute I came up with twelve and have since added three more.  After looking over your list, you should start thinking greedily, she says, not just in an “either-or” mind set.  Make a life plan and realize that you probably have 50+ years to do all of these things.  This life plan can include things you can do on the weekend, once in a while, and maybe something you can just do in the summer.

Here was my list:

  1. A basketball player
  2. A high school English teacher
  3. A book keeper
  4. A college English professor
  5. A kindergarten teacher
  6. A magazine writer
  7. A waitress
  8. A college basketball coach
  9. A high school basketball coach
  10. A travel blogger
  11. An ESPN anchor
  12. A librarian
  13. A stay at home mom
  14. A stand-up comedian
  15. A singer

It comes back to just doing it.  And for me, it always comes back to basketball.  Basketball is the one thing I feel like a “master” in.  I’m not saying I’m the best basketball player to ever live but I get it.  Basketball completely makes sense to me, that’s why I made a (short) career of it.  What’s hard to remember is that this feeling of “getting it” came from years and years of practice; daily drills and skill work until I was good enough to get my school paid for—and even make a little money doing it.  In the beginning, when I entered my first PAL league, I had no idea what would become of it (and trust me, anyone else watching me play had no idea either).

That’s how I feel now, I guess; unsure of where something will take me.  I think growing up makes you think too much, it makes you worry.  Back when I was seven and just starting out in basketball I was fearless.

We should probably all channel that little, bold, daring kid that we have inside.  Go ahead, make a list of everything you want to do….  Then maybe we can begin to find some courage to make it happen.

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Danielle Clark

About Danielle Clark

I am 28 years old and for 5 years out of college I played basketball for a living. I was a professional basketball player in Europe so I spent most of my years there and came back to Maine for summers and a couple weeks at Christmas time. I thought my years there would open my eyes to what I want to be when I "grow up." That didn't happen. I have discovered, however, that I just have to try something. Just do things and toss myself into them. I have currently tossed myself into being a college basketball assistant coach and one on one reading tutor. I grew up in Corinna, Maine and have been a resident Mainer. I love sports, reading, writing, cooking, baking, watching movies... everything. I have lots of hobbies and not enough time in the day!