There is an episode of Breaking Bad that I can’t stop thinking about. It’s when one of the characters, Mike, tells Walter White, the story of half measures. In a nutshell, a woman died when she didn’t have to, because Mike only took half measures, instead of going all out to protect her. His decision had fatal consequences.
The concept of half measures has seeped itself into my brain. I can’t stop thinking about it, and how it applies to my life thus far. I’m not saying that any decisions I’ve made so far have had a disastrous, fatal impact on me, or people around me. I’ve been thinking of half measures defined as making a weak, or half-assed attempt to do something important.
I feel like I’ve been living most of my life in half measures. Another thing that I remember about Breaking Bad is Walter’s favorite advice – apply yourself. I haven’t.
In my previous life in marketing, I was fierce (and very likely, a bitch). I went all out to do a good job, and may I say, I did do a damn fine job. I have a legacy of good work I can be proud of. I applied myself, in full measure.
The 10 years of my career is a mere blip in my nearly four decades of living. What have I been doing for the other (almost) three?
I am a starter but not a finisher. I think more than I do. I give up too easily.
I believe we hold some kind of dubious record for taking the longest time to potty train a child. Regression happened, things got incredibly hard, I was exhausted, and gave up. This exercise was conducted in starts and stops, in spurts that didn’t last, because I didn’t apply myself.
The same goes for making my own baby food. My second child ate off my plate, and I survived 6 months on scraps and backwash beverages.
Over the years, I must have dreamed up half a dozen ideas to start my own business – wedding planning, party planning, a florist, a dress store, baby items, subscription boxes of locally sourced skincare products. None have come to fruition. The one business I did start has taken many turns to get where I truly want to be, and many times, I wanted to give up and hang up my gloves. In this one case, I applied myself like the old me, but the current me has tried to thwart all the progress made.
If I had applied myself to the practice of yoga, I would be able to do a freaking head stand. I did one before, easily, because I believed I could. I put aside my irrational fear of breaking my neck, and just did it. I was never able to do it again. My start and stop in yoga, annoys me tremendously because it is actually something I love to do. I make excuses as to why I don’t do it as much as I like. No time, no space, no anything.
The same goes for running, though I actually don’t like running much. Marathon when I turn 40, I told myself. That was when I was 30 and still in full measure.
I don’t know if my living in half measures stem from an innate laziness, or a blase attitude, or both, but it’s pissing me off. I have no idea how to turn things around and say “Fuck you, half measures! I’m going to live differently, in full measures, apply myself, and be the best me!”
I may need to watch Breaking Bad again.