I wanted to update you on the progress of my sewing space. I looked at my photos at first and thought, “The scuffed old white paint has been replaced by fresh white paint (with the delectable name of Angel Food). Exciting for me, boring for the readers.”
But then I looked at the pictures I took last September, ten months ago, for comparison.
Now can you tell the difference?
As Jack; our builder, Daniel; and I improve the space I’ll show you more of the “before” pictures. They are pretty bad. Even worse than I’d recalled.
As I looked at the September pictures I remembered what I used to say to myself: “Someday I’ll get to that–but not now.” Occasionally I’d retort “‘Someday’ is today!” Then I’d launch into an organizing project on the spur of the moment.
But here was my problem: I was organizing one part of the whole without getting a handle on the whole. What did I want to accomplish, anyway? I needed to clarify and define that, and then define the tasks to achieve the goals.
Otherwise, the organizing risked being just busy work, quickly undone because the essential problem hadn’t been defined.
This year I’ve been clarifying, defining, and moving through rather than around problems so much that I’d forgotten what my “not now” approach was like.
With “not now” I didn’t give myself a chance to solve a problem long-term.
With “not now” I might have avoided failures. But I also missed opportunities to experience small, manageable failures that could teach me how I could succeed next time.
“Not now” never gave me a sense of achievement.
“Not now” didn’t give me results to evaluate.
“Not now” kept a lot of low-level tasks on an endless to-do list. I felt very busy.
The funny thing is, now I am accomplishing more, but my mind isn’t buzzing with busyness. My to-do list might have two significant things on it, which I accomplish, rather than two dozen insignificant things that I mean to get to–someday.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a muslin to whip up for my photographer, and I’m putting it in the mail Monday.
That’s Monday. Not “someday.”