Idiomatic expressions have become more interesting to me since I got more serious about my foreign language studies. The idea that “you can’t get there from here” is pretty silly, because you can get anywhere from anywhere if you have the inclination, the money, and the time. Ah, but the world of metaphors operates under different rules. There really are places you can’t get from here, depending on where “here” is.
Watching TV. You can’t get anywhere by watching TV. It’s a great way to lose years of your life and have nothing to show for the time spent but mild interest in passive consumption of entertainment. Watching TV as an active part of a workout routine or a language learning program may get you somewhere. Using TV as a temporary diversion for young children may also get you somewhere. When I was a nanny, I allowed one hour of TV a day, and that was the time I used to load the dishwasher, start laundry, wipe down the table, etc. If you can stand to be in the same room as an episode of Teletubbies, my blessing upon you.
Playing games. You can’t get anywhere by playing games. Playing games in a group will at least get you a social life. Playing specific games could potentially be a way to improve your touch-typing abilities, learn a language, study geography, etc. Not to disparage the entire gaming industry, because, like other forms of entertainment, it provides tens of thousands of jobs. I’m just personally mystified by the attraction, but then I already have carpal tunnel syndrome.
Complaining. Complaint to the wrong person or complaint without an action plan will not get you anywhere. After a while, the audience starts heading for the exits. Love it or change it.
Everyone has a hidden dream. It’s been my experience that these dreams are always simple, straightforward, and readily attainable. There are even actual instruction books for most of them. For instance, I ran a marathon. I couldn’t run around the block on my first day, and I didn’t even intend to run more than 2.5 miles my first year. I kept building my cardiovascular endurance, and after three years, I got a training chart and started following it. I paid my entry fee and got a plane ticket and packed my snacks. I made it to the starting line on time, and then I just put one foot in front of the other until I got to the finish line. If I wanted a horse instead, I would have started by asking around and finding a horse barn where I could trade chores for time with someone else’s horse. Then I would start learning everything I could find out about how to care for horses. If I decided to go back to school and get a master’s degree, I would go online and start researching application deadlines and study guides. What I would not do in any of these examples would be to quit thinking about it or distract myself doing anything other than getting my questions answered.
Does what I’m doing right now have a reasonable chance of contributing toward reaching my dream? Can I get there from here?
I've been working with chronic disorganization, squalor, and hoarding for over 20 years. I'm also a marathon runner who was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and thyroid disease 17 years ago.
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