Saturday, May 06, 2006

facing our apprehensions

Phew! After way too many hours, I finally just finished my taxes for this year. And only a few days late (compared to 3 months late some years)! I am so proud of myself!

I was particularly apprehensive this year as there were some changes in 2005, including the complications that come with purchasing and renting out property. I was determined this year to do the paperwork myself with the goal of actually understanding what was going on, to the best degree I could.

Working through a couple of fairly frustrating moments, with the patient help and good teaching of my dad (thanks to technology as we relied on the phone and some scanned PDFs of the documents), I learned a few tricks to maximize my return. Thanks Dad! That was much more helpful than trying to motivate me by saying, "Your sister finished hers weeks ago!" :) I can't believe I actually created a little spreadsheet to help me figure out the best configurations of various things to claim. I hope I can remember the logic behind everything next year....

It feels good to confront our hesitations and get through it. I was talking with my roommate about that recently. We both agreed one of our unspoken personal creeds was that anytime we identified thoughts of "Oh, I'm afraid of doing that..." we would aim to just do it and get over our hesitations. It's a natural high when you come out the other end.

On that note, on Sunday at the beginning of this week, I was excited yet apprehensive about a week-long course I would be taking at SFU's Centre for Dialogue. The feeling of dread was greater than the feeling of anticipation. I have a lot of distrust of the academic environment and how it triggers the switch deep in me launching me into "performing-to-prove-myself" mode.

I made it through the course with flying colours - literally! The course was on Dialogue Education in Adult Learning and employed all kinds of colourful activities using markers, music, drama (overcame my hesitations drudged up from elementary school activities), playdough, etc. It was so enjoyable to see the brightly coloured diagrams and activities posted on the walls all week.

But the highlight was most definitely getting to know all kinds of colourful people who are doing all kinds of world-shaking work around the globe. When I finally got over my awe of everyone (hard to shake that Asian unquestionning respect of teachers and elders), it truly was a gift to spend the week with them, truly co-learning with them. I learned so much about life, people, the world and myself this week.

I'm so jazzed now about applying all I've learned to the stuff I'm working on now. My friend Renae was so right in offering her suggestion of taking courses to help boost those "hitting the wall" times in work.

Three cheers for how great it feels to confront and make it through the other side of our hesitations! Looking forward to a great way of celebrating by a road trip with my roommates for some cross-border shopping and a concert tonight in Bellingham. Woo hoo!

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