A Rudderless Child

skipper2Previously on Betsy’s Blog….

Harry, Betsy’s Guide on her Quest to become a successful independent author / entrepreneur, has just done a stint at the International Muse Council to undergo psychological testing.  But he’s back!  Better yet, he brought a friend with him – Skipper the Chipmunk, a specialist in Habit Formation and Implementation.

Betsy was a trifle surprised to find another unexpected voice chatting in her brain, but figured what the heck.  Skipper was a trifle surprised to find that Betsy doesn’t like setting goals or forming habits.  In fact, it would be more accurate to say she was disconcerted and even a little unsure of how to proceed.

This is not an encouraging start to their relationship.  Can they recover?  Can they find their way to a partnership?  Can Skipper convince Betsy that goals and habits are actually good things and not of the devil?  Join us and we’ll see….


*Skipper exchanges a long look with Harry*  Fun, you said.  Almost like a party, you said.

*Harry shrugs*  I guess we all define ‘fun’ in our own way.

I’ll say.  *Skipper turns back to Betsy*  Okay.  So you don’t like goals.


*Skipper types something on her tablet computer*  Mind telling me why?

*Betsy frowns*  Well, I guess because I never seem to accomplish them.  So they just make me feel like a loser.  Why should I make myself feel like a loser when there are so many people willing to do it for me?

*Harry sidles closer to Betsy* *Looks at Skipper*  She’s got a point, Skips.

*Skipper sighs*  Okay, okay.  *Thinks*  Look.  Let’s say you’re out on a ship.

Ooo!  *Betsy brightens* Can it be a yacht?

*Skipper shrugs*  I guess.

Sailing the wine-dark Aegean sea?

Sure.  And–

Can I have a yacht-boy named Nico?

Hey!  *Harry pulls away from Betsy*  *Looks offended*  What about me?

*Betsy pats his head*  You can be there too, love-a-lump.  But Nico would be, well, human.

*Harry relaxes*  Oh.  Okay.

Yes!  Yes!  *Skipper waves paws in the air*  You can be on a yacht sailing in wine!  What do I care?

The wine-dark sea, *Betsy corrects*  Homer, you know. *blushes* I’m an English Major.

What. EV. Er!  *Skipper jumps up and down*  And you can have a million yacht boys and name them whatever the heck you want.

*Betsy settles back in chair*  Okay.  Then that sounds good.

ANYway.  *Skipper straightens fur*  You’re on your ship – excuse me, yacht – and you’re out sailing some damn where.  You have someplace you want to get to, right?

*Betsy thinks*  Not necessarily.  I mean, sometimes you just want to travel to see what you see.

I did that once.  *Harry sighs reminiscently*  Spent a hell of a week in a habitat in Paris with this hamster–

PRETEND you want to get somewhere!  *Skipper jumps up and down again* Pretend there’s a certain place you WANT to be.  You WANT to sail towards it.  You WANT to get there.  Just PRETEND!

Oh, okay.  *Betsy blinks*

*Skipper shakes herself out*  The place you want to get to is your goal.

Ah, I see.  Metaphor.  *Betsy shrugs*  All right, using that symbolism I would say most of the time I just sail around until I bump into something.

*Skipper rolls eyes*  Why am I not surprised?

*Betsy thinks* So if the place I want to get to is my goal, then what are habits?

When your habits are in line with your goals, they keep your ship on course and heading in the right direction.

*Betsy thinks*  Like a steering wheel?

*Harry looks thoughtful* You know I don’t think ships have steering wheels.  

*Betsy purses lips*  They don’t?  How do they steer then?

They use  a rudder!  Oh, my God!  Who cares?  *Skipper draws in a deep breath* *Lets it out again* Anyway, habits can keep the ship on course, but they can also get you all screwed up or stop you from moving forward.

Like an anchor.  *Betsy looks at Harry*  I know ships have anchors.

Okay.  *Skipper heaves a long-suffering sigh*  The goal is your destination.  It’s important to have a goal, because then you have something you’re aiming for.   If you’re not aiming for anything you’ll just drift around and eventually wreck your ship on rocks or a reef or something.  You should know all about that sort of thing.

*Betsy thinks*  But I have goals then.  I have places I want to be.  I WANT to steer my ship to certain places.  But I never seem to get there.  I get wrecked anyway.  I guess sometimes I feel like a…a…rudderless child!

*Skipper sits back on haunches*  And that, my dear, is what we have to work on.  First we have to identify your goals, then we have to figure out steps you can take to work towards them.

But I have a goal. *Betsy repeats* I have a Quest.  *Points at  Harry*  I have a Guide.  The Muse Council is on board and everything.

*Skipper casts eyes heavenward*  No, I mean we need the steps you can take to REALLY work towards a goal, not just give it lip service.  What are your big overarching goals?  What little goals should you be working towards to feed into them?  What habits do you need to develop to meet those goals?  Because your goals and habits are a structure you can use to live your life.

Structure?  *Betsy blinks*  My life is supposed to have structure?

Uh huh.  *Skipper considers her*  Oooookay.  Looks like we need to start  from the beginning.

To be continued…