Saturday, April 4, 2009

When to Fold 'Em

Most people I know have a list of projects. If you are a reader, it's a list of your next books. If you are a homeowner, maybe it's a list of renovations you'd like to tackle. Cooks have a stash of recipes, crafty people have bags of yarn or scrapbooking supplies.

Those kinds of projects are generally far down on the priority list - they are for fun, after all. It's hard to start one if the kitchen is a mess, homework is due, or a deadline is coming up.

This causes major problems for people like me that constantly have new ideas for projects. By the time I actually get around do doing something for fun for myself, it's been weeks - months! - since I've had the idea.

So I end up with a huge list of things I want to get to, a bigger list of things I'm halfway through, and a discouraging number of completed projects.

Sometimes you have to MAKE time to do something fun, for your own sanity. Sometimes you have to make it a point to FINISH a project, even though there's a juicy one that you are dying to start. And sometimes you just have to give up on a project, because it's not worth stressing over something that was only supposed to be for your enjoyment.

Yesterday afternoon, I made the time to continue a project. I bought the supplies for this project months ago - maybe last October. And it has sat on my desk in lab since then, waiting for me to get back to it. I spent a good three hours on it, and I'm about halfway done. I'm making wall art for my room. Totally unnecessary, but I think it will look very slick and modern and it makes me happy to "home-ify" my dorm room. I was mostly proud of myself that I didn't give up, that I made progress and refused to let that pile of supplies stare at me for another week.

It's such a good feeling to work with my hands! I love designing and building things, it's therapeutic for me. And I always forget how much I enjoy it until I find time again, and then I go home all smiles and wonder why I don't spend more time on my hobbies.

And today I made the decision to fold on another project. I have an old Sears Kenmore sewing machine that I got for $20, one of the fantastic solid metal vintage kinds. All it needs is the belt replaced, and it came with the replacement belt. I wanted to make curtains for my room, and pillow shams, and all manner of other projects could come out of it. But I haven't touched it since last August, so it must not have been all that important. So I'm giving it away, and freeing up space in my room.

And more importantly, space in my mind.

What projects are languishing at the bottom of your list?

1 comment:

  1. Taking pics of the things I can't fit in my car so I can Craigslist them is most definitely at the bottom of the list, as is packing. I'm moving in the next two months, though, so I have to get around to these things sooner or later...