08/16/2017

New Projects

I fought tooth and nail to convince my parents to send me to piano lessons. When they finally conceded, I was very motivated and diligent, practicing many hours a week before my Monday lesson. But eventually, I became more interested in learning popular and folk songs rather than the mechanics of scales, chord progressions, and technical exercises. So I skimmed over them. I discovered that I could get by with sight reading those unfavorable exercises rather than practice. I had little motivation for the things that weren’t shiny to me. Unfortunately, this means that I am probably at the same skill level I was then. It hindered my progress. You see, at some point, what we set out to do (learn piano) takes work, and it isn’t fun.

The desire to only work on things that inspired me led me throughout my life to start projects only to leave them unfinished. The quick, instant gratification projects usually got finished. But anything that really required me to dig deeper to just finish the dang thang were left to collect dust.

When I completed my KonMari Tidying in 2016, I edited out a lot of those unfinished projects – DIY projects, a scarf I started in 2009 (2009 y’all!!!!), various home improvement projects, to name a few. Some of these unfinished projects it physically pained me to let go. But the truth is, I would probably not find the motivation after all that time had passed to pick it back up and finish it.

Am I doomed to be an “unfinisher” forever? I don’t think so. I learned from the pain of facing all those lonely projects collecting dust in my closet. It wasn’t a pleasant feeling.

For example, now when I consider buying yarn (I admit I have a Yarn Problem), I only purchase when I have a specific project in mind. Too many times have I thought, “It’s so pretty, I will find a use for it.” I never find a use for it. This has allowed me to keep my yarn collection down to a tiny basket (vs. 3-4 large plastic bins before, some even kept at my parents’ house). Developing some guidelines for myself has been very helpful in staying focused and ensuring I set myself up for success to be a “finisher” right at the very beginning.

Now, when I am craving for a new project, I will ask myself, is this something that matters to me? Am I willing to put in the work when it isn’t fun? Will I enjoy the process instead of just envisioning the end result? Will it help others? Does it relieve stress for me?

And I just might have a few new projects in mind…

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