"Fly Baby" Adventures, Life, Truths, Writing

“This” begets “That”

I like to see the “big picture.”  I want to know that my actions somehow mean…something!  But seriously, that’s NOT how life works.  We’re all tiny little cogs, working, or NOT working together, moving around in our little circles.  There might be some Willy Wonka style music going on at the same time, not Johnny Depp/Willy Wonka, Gene Wilder/Willy Wonka.  There’s a HUGE difference!  But I digress.  Anywho, we’re all shuffling around and around, interacting with one another, and most of the time, we never get to see how our tiny actions affect people in our extended circles.  Big actions?  Sure.  I do something that tips the scales of Major Stupidity, there’s going to be consequences!  A stray thought or idea?  Maybe, not so much.

So last year, a writer mentions a website called “Flylady.net.”  I look up the site, and this ONE tiny, little mention has infected me and affected since November 4th, 2012.  It’s changed the way I approach things both at home and at work.  Is my house still in chaos?  (Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome)  Yes and no.  There’s still a lot of work to be done, a lot of projects that are clamoring for my attention, like ripping out the old carpeting.  Yuck!  But…things are running MUCH more smoothly than they were before two months ago, and YES, I’m still shining my sink before I go to bed at night.  (This is NOT a euphemism for something dirty, though my hubby’s tone of voice suggests otherwise.  He! He!)

The biggest challenge I’ve been facing is my fight with perfectionism.  It’s always been all or nothing with me.  I didn’t understand the scope and magnitude of this issue before.  I think this is something I’ll never fully conquer, but at least I’m aware of it.  I’m fighting it.  Each day is its own battle.

The Flylady approach to perfectionism is all about taking baby steps.  I might feel overwhelmed by a closet that’s oozing and puking over with stuff.  With her method, you don’t try to clean out the entire closet, pull everything out, etc.  It’s too much!  But…if you set a timer, what could you do in 15 minutes?  Fifteen minutes isn’t a lot of time, but that gets you 15 minutes closer to your goals.  And if this works on a closet, what else could it work on?  Ummm…EVERYTHING!

Perfectionists seem to do better, once we get started, but it’s hard to get us rolling in the first place.  We tend to put things off because NOW isn’t the right time.  There’s always an excuse.  SHOOT!  I’ve got a million excuses.  It’s not pleasant to admit, but I’m being honest with myself.  Oh!  And we have a REALLY hard time with things being “good enough!”  I swear, “Good enough!” has been my mantra!  I find myself chanting, “Good enough!  Good enough!” throughout the day.  It helps.

I’ve been “Good enoughing” a lot lately.  A LOT!  “Good enough” is NOT easy for me, though I’m seeing results.  I tackled a couple more big projects at work.  They weren’t done to perfection.  I went for quantity over perfection.  I don’t like to work that way, but what I’ve been doing isn’t working!  Time to try something new.  On Monday, my boss’s boss pulled me aside and gave me a compliment.  I don’t think he’s EVER done this to me before.  He’s pretty reserved.  He told me he noticed there’d been some “big changes going on” and he was pleased with the results.  If ever there was a “WHOA” moment, this would be it!

None of this has been exactly “easy,” but what I was doing before was a lot more stressful.  I’ve worked on my novel for five days straight.  Today will be day number six.  If I can devote 15 minutes to my book, it’s good enough.  That doesn’t mean I haven’t been working longer than that each day, but that’s the minimum I’ve set.  Same with these blog posts.  Blogging is different than novel writing.  There’s interaction, which I love!  I haven’t been a steady blogger in the past.  I think that’s my perfectionism’s fault, once again.  Seriously?  It’s a blog post!  Good grief!  It doesn’t HAVE to be perfect!  I ramble about the nothings that are going on in my life, throw in some writing snippets, and of course my pics.  Bake at 350°.  Voila!  This blog and perfectionism should never share a room together!  LMAO!  😉

So…what’s on the agenda for today?  I’m starting a new quilt.  I made a proto-type back in December and finished it in early January.  Some things worked REALLY well.  Others…not so much.  I was trying something new, something different, a quilt made out of towels.  This was a lap quilt was a huge learning experience.  It has the battle scars to show for it.  The perfectionist in me probably wouldn’t have wanted it to see the light of day.  She would have hid it away in drawer or something.  But…every “scar” has a story.  There’s a spot on the binding that didn’t come out quite right.  I was hand stitching it when I got the news that my grandmother had passed away.   On a happier note, there’s some wonkiness going on with the machine stitching on the quilt’s backside.  That occurred when my youngest sister came over.  Would have been MUCH worse without her suggestions!  We were listening to some great tuneage, laughing, talking…while I was sewing.  Happy oops!  Good memories.  I didn’t fix the boo-boo.

Lap quilt made from towels.
Lap quilt made from towels.

Handmade quilts are NOT perfect.  You throw so much time into them, they form their own personalities!  They are a reflection of their creator.  Pffff on you perfectionism!  Quilts are supposed to be used and enjoyed.  Their creation is only a small portion of their life’s journey.  I gave this quilt a good home.  With any luck, it will receive new “scars,” each with a story to go with.  😉

Maybe there’s a life lesson to be learned in quilt making, and writing, and…everything else.  It’s not always the finished product.  The journey is just as important, sometimes even more so.  You can’t wait for the “right time” to roll on by.  I’m learning that the hard way.  Sometimes the boo-boos have more meaning than the other stuff, anyways.

Have a great day!

Juli

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6 thoughts on ““This” begets “That””

  1. I happen to think it is the most awesome quilt ever, personally! 🙂 My cats like it too, btw. The quilt and two cats and the laptop are all sharing it right now, and the little dog is oozing closer. I imagine he will be on it or under it soon 😉

    Good enough is hard sometimes, isn’t it? Okay, okay I have to go write. Only two chapters left. I am not supposed to be online today…. (bad Jo)

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    1. I’m glad it’s happy with you and your fur-babies. YAY! 🙂
      I had to fight with my cat and dog to keep them away while I worked on the binding. Sabrina would sit at my feet, crying, because I wouldn’t let her use it first. My critters LOVE towels!

      Sewing the binding took longer than anything. Too many layers to get in the machine, so I couldn’t do my cheater method around the edges. I was a little out of practice, sewing by hand. Took me a minute to remember what stitch to use. If you don’t use it, you lose it! He! He! In the long run, hand stitching will probably make it stronger. Over time, the binding is where quilts show wear because that’s where everything’s sandwiched together. 🙂

      I really enjoyed working on this particular quilt. It got me through a rough holiday season, so for me, it had a TON of therapeutic value thrown in. I never would have thought to use towels. A “blanket made out of towels” was your idea, not mine. No matter how it looked when it was finished, in the back of my mind, I knew you should have the proto-type. That was a given. Still not my weirdest sewing project, that’s still the 2 nun’s working habits I made a few years back. Not much is going to top that, be we can try! LOL
      Take care!

      *BTW Started working on the new towel quilt this afternoon. Similar shade of tan and brown, but instead of the deep eggplant purple, I’m using a denim shade of blue. I’m thinking of using a plain flannel cloth for the backing, but I need to finish the topper first. I won’t know its personality until the top’s finished. Crap! I may have found a “new to me” sewing medium. “Towel Art.” LOL

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