i can't do it

Yep, Still Choosing to Be a Life Enthusiast

Well, shit. Here we all were just trying to have an unobtrusive start to the new year, but that didn’t exactly pan out. I’m not going to get into what happened at the U.S. Capitol this week, because you’ve heard enough about it already. And, if you want to hear more? Don’t worry, the media’s on it.

My initial plan for this post was to focus on this week’s episode of Love Your Enthusiasm as I thought all of you that follow my blog would really dig this one.

I kicked off the year with something totally different—a host takeover, where my longtime friend and fabulous author Victoria Dougherty hosted my podcast and interviewed me about being a life enthusiast. Being that so many of you are writers, what’s better than two authors yapping about creativity and zeal for an hour?

Once again, the timing of sharing this particular episode about life enthusiasm wasn’t great…story of my life with my entire podcast. The episode released right before the U.S. Capitol riot/siege/attack happened. (No idea what to even call this.)

As expected, many listened to the show then downloads swiftly dropped off after the news hit. Since I started Love Your Enthusiasm last June, don’t think I haven’t considered the absurdity of feeling enthusiastic while riding this never-ending rollercoaster of WTF.

love your enthusiasm britt skrabanek

Victoria and I recorded this week’s episode pre-U.S. Capitol news, which isn’t to say there wasn’t a whole other bag of issues we were dealing with in November. And, back when I interviewed Victoria for Love Your Enthusiasm in early June 2020, the riots were happening all over the U.S. after George Floyd’s death.

Even still, during both of our interviews, we weren’t hearing such strong rumblings about a civil war in our country.

This is the first time I’ve typed “civil war” beyond my college essays I wrote nearly twenty years ago. I haven’t typed the word “war” outside my fiction. Typing it now makes me feel cold and empty.

My knee-jerk response to that is…all the more reason to do what makes us feel the opposite of cold and empty. Whatever that means for us.

For me, it’s loving my enthusiasm and helping others do the same—whether I am writing a blog, recording a podcast, or sharing ridiculous dancing videos on social like this one.

Putting myself in the guest hot seat on my podcast was a great experience for about a thousand reasons. It’s always good to do things that make us uncomfortable and to see the other side of a situation.

By being interviewed, I was able to understand what it’s like to be a guest. And, perhaps the most challenging exercise of this whole process was trying to figure out what the hell my enthusiasm was.

For each episode of Love Your Enthusiasm, I ask my guests what their enthusiasm is so I can create questions based on their responses to a pre-interview questionnaire. When I asked myself: What’s your enthusiasm, Britt? I was stumped for at least a month.

  • Storytelling? No…overused term and that’s not quite it.
  • Observing and sharing the human experience? Sort of, but all writers do that.
  • What about yoga? Dance? Holy shit…who am I and what am I doing?

After that identity crisis was over, I landed on the answer. Being a life enthusiast.

I started using the term “life enthusiast” to describe myself on this blog about five or so years ago. For people coming to your blog, they might be wondering….what’s this all about? After I had been blogging for a couple of years, I knew I needed to fine-tune my tagline and theme.

It was really difficult to label myself as just one thing—an author, a dancer, a yogi, a blogger, a content marketer, and an entrepreneur. How do you pick just one? But also how do you describe my stream of consciousness blog, so it doesn’t seem like a hot mess?

Life enthusiast became my catch-all phrase, since it already encompassed my approach to life. Because I’m enthusiastic about so many beautiful things, I can’t choose just one thing. I also don’t think I should have to choose. Life is too beautiful and complex and full of adventures to settle on just one thing.

So yep…still choosing to be a life enthusiast.

Asking ourselves what our enthusiasm is…damn, that’s a good exercise, isn’t it? If you don’t know what it is, I highly recommend exploring the idea.

If you are at all interested in hearing my conversation with Victoria, here are the episode details…

love your enthusiasm britt skrabanek

In this episode, I talk about holding onto your life enthusiasm and understanding the power of taking a step back to revitalize your spirit. I discuss how words and movement are interlinked, managing expectations and perfectionism, and the realities of paying your dues with new endeavors. I also talk about the double-edged sword of being a life enthusiast.

You’ll also hear some Britt backstories I’ve never told before.

Like my go-to college term paper topic circa 1999-2001—how computers are evil and the internet is going to destroy all of us (not relevant at all today, is it?).

And the dictionary game I masterminded as a kid, where I used to make my dad give me a word to look up and I would find it as quickly as possible. Perhaps “being a big nerd” is actually my enthusiasm. 🙂

Listen Now

Also, Victoria’s episode (Ep. 5) about embracing a creative life is definitely worth listening to. Victoria’s blog is incredible as well.

Last but not least, special thanks to Victoria for taking the time to come back on Love Your Enthusiasm to host the show.

13 thoughts on “Yep, Still Choosing to Be a Life Enthusiast

  1. Lol loved that dancing vid. I wish I could branch out into so many mediums like you, but I feel most comfortable in the written word format. Thanks for sharing your enthusiasm with us and brightening everyone’s day!

    1. Glad you liked the dancing video…it was very spur of the moment.

      I get bored and that gets me into trouble. That’s really why I explore so many mediums. The written word will always be my jam though. 🙂

  2. Oh sweet, I can’t wait to listen! If we can’t find the necessary enthusiasm to meet the challenges heading our way, we’re doomed…seriously. We need the inspiration and enthusiasm of others to fuel our own. Congrats on making it through 2020 and can’t wait to hear from other enthusiasts in 2021!

    1. This podcast was a fantastic experience of actual enthusiasm, the kind that keeps motivating day in and day out. I’ve followed your blog through its iterations, but until today I’d no idea the time and energy it must require to create substantial content, including podcasts. My brief experience, just one year, has surprised me by the amount of time it takes to keep up with a blogging community. Not only do we have to create on a somewhat routine basis, which we must love, we read fellow bloggers, like, thoughtfully respond and manage who we follow, etc. It really is a commitment from the heart which requires enthusiasm and dedication to both being inspired and inspiring others. And after listening to your interview with Victoria, we better understand that bloggers often have multiple interests and talents which need to be balanced and possibly integrated within their blogging focus. Congratulations again!

      1. Hey, MJ! Thank you for listening and I’m glad you enjoyed my interview with Victoria. It was pretty nerve-racking to be the guest.

        Content, in general, is a major commitment—both body and soul. And…time. For some naive reason, I thought that podcasting would be easier than blogging because I am interviewing others. Definitely even more of a commitment.

        Again, it comes back to the love and the enthusiasm. Anytime I lose sight of these things with my creative endeavors, I want to curl up in a closet and hide. And, the community support helps tremendously! xo

  3. I simply LOVED the episode, Britt & Victoria !
    It was fantastic listening to you and once more very inspiring and entertaining. I rarely have the opportunity to take the car to go to work now, so I listen less to podcasts but I wouldn’t have missed this one for the world so I’m grateful I finally had a on-site assignment this week that gave me the opportunity to listen to your voices and laughters !

    I couldn’t take notes but some words you said once more rang true to me and I hope I can also hold on to my enthusiasm about life as 2021 unfolds with its share of surprises : snowing in southern France (when I hoped to go hiking, but I don’t really want to in the cold and snow just now), curfew at 6 pm starting tonight instead of 8 pm for the past month, the gloom of the potential 3rd wave and 3rd lockdown lurking around the end of next week …

    Oh well, I’ll have yoga, cooking, Britt’s voice and enthusiasm, your guests’ as well, to keep my spirits uplifted !

    Let’s make 2021 as joyful, gentle, bright, generous and kind as possible.
    That’s what being enthusiast means to me now.

    Enjoy it all !

    1. I LOVE that you LOVED it, Julie! I had such a fabulous time with Victoria…she’s a natural host.

      I’m so glad that the podcast is spreading enthusiasm in some small way during this insanity. I really appreciate you listening and sharing that the show is helping. Knowing that means the world to me and helps keep me going.

      A joyful, gentle, bright, generous, and kind year…sign me up!

    1. Haha, well said. Never a good time versus always a good time to be positive. Nailed it, Andrea. Such a rollercoaster with life. And all the while I’m waving the enthusiasm flag over the hill, hoping people will see it and feel some inkling of courage from it.

  4. I think your timing with this post is just perfect! Despite the events of the past couple weeks in your country (and the past couple yrs before that?), and despite the world wide pandemic, and despite the climate crisis, and despite world wide income inequity, and a whole host of other things I still think, I especially think, that maintaining our enthusiasm and love for life is one of the greatest gifts we can give the world. (Phew that was a long sentence!)
    I love that you have so many enthusiasms and really enjoyed listening to you talk about them.

    1. Haha, that was a long sentence…but it’s so true. We have to keep going, “despite” so many things. Living and surviving are interlinked. I think we forget that simple fact too much. We need to survive to live and live to survive.

      Glad you enjoyed my episode with Victoria! I was nervous as hell, but Victoria helped calm me down. 🙂

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