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Feeling Un-Stuck Today

treebigwithdot.jpgBrian reminds me often (when I’m going on about how impossible it is to get control over my environment) that the house contains a finite number of objects. If we really wanted to, we could inventory and/or count every item in the house.

Today that information helped me get started. I had a real mess in the yarn storage area, which happens to be half of our living room. I did not want that sort of mess in a space I look at every day. Finally tonight I got enough energy together to start tackling it.

He is right, there are only so many items in the house. And since this is merely one room, and actually only about half of that room, no matter how many things live in all the boxes and on all of the shelves, I could eventually deal with things.

What started the decline was overstuffing of shelves with balls of yarn. They would overstuff and then a group of balls would dive off the shelf at the same time. Those balls would leave streamers of yarn ends going up tot the shelf. On the way down, of course, they would exercise the perfect swan dive and braid themselves.

I’d come into the room having missed the diving performance, and I’d have a pile of yarn balls on the floor in a crazed mess of a tangle, with strands five feet long. You would swear they had been doing a little woolly mating dance while you were looking the other way. Nightmare!

Then if I didn’t notice, and other balls did their dive from a different shelf? The weaving going on by sheer gravity was truly astonishing. And the more this happened, the more impossible it seemed that I would ever get them untangled.

Thank goodness I’m very good at un-tangling yarn when I’m not in a hurry. I started in on the shelves about a month ago. I gave in and purchased clear plastic bins to contain the yarn and keep them from diving. One cubbyhole at a time, I would untangle and rectify that particular mess.

I prefer the look of yarn on a shelf over the look of a clear bin with yarn in it on the same shelf. However, I prefer nearly anything to a woven mess rivaling the work of Arachne, where I can’t get one ball of yarn without a long untangling process.

So tonight I got through most of the boxes and got the last bit of yarn off the floor. I re-evaluated my works in progress (WIPs) and unfinished objects (UFOs). Some of those UFOs will become yarn again, because they were not working out properly. Some are back in the pending process and have gone back to WIPs.

And now I have a small box of socks that I have never photographed and therefore never worn. I found three pair of Afterthought Heel socks that just need heels, including one pair for Brian. Cool! Maybe I can finish a pair for him before the end of the year. Heels do not take that long.

My office remains a mess. My kitchen, which has two areas, has been much more manageable in the last month and I have been enjoying that. My living area of the Living Room does not have much in it, so unless I have a pile of magazines and knitting projects next to the couch (my favorite lounging spot) it’s pretty easy to keep on the tidy side.

But the office? Ugh. Here, too, there is a finite number of objects. However, paper and receipts take up a lot less space than yarn. That means more things in a smaller area. But if I could transform the yarn area from inaccessible to useable (not pretty yet but much closer) in about 4 hours? Then I can also transform the office area. Probably not in 4 hours, but I could make a lovely dent with an hour or two.

The photo today does not have anything to do with the post… it is a photo I took on Christmas day when we took a walk a few blocks from our home. This beautiful old tree has a blue dot on it, which probably means that the city is going to cut it down (there are a lot of dead-looking branches on it, though it’s hard to see what is up in the wintertime). I felt compelled to take a photo. The tree is so beautiful!

I’ve heard other phrases that help follks get unstuck. One is “Done is better than perfect… thanks to Rita from Yarn Hollow/Grand Rapids for that input. Do any of you have sayings that help you keep going when things need attention and nothing seems “perfect” to help the task get done?

5 Responses to “Feeling Un-Stuck Today”

  1. Diana Troldahl Says:

    Mine is “one bite at a time” which helps me concentrateon teh smallest component of a task. If I just keep doing one small thing after another, eventually the largest mountain is tackled.

  2. Jean Says:

    My mom used to tell me, pick one thing and do just that. Mindfulness, although she didn’t know the term at the time (me, too).

    Other times, I find myself doing a bit here and a bit there – start a load of laundry, notice the overflowing trash can and remedy that, which some how leads to emptying the trash out of my purse and wallet, then flitting over to empty the dishwasher…and after 30 or 40 minutes I’ve actually done quite a bit, if scattered.

    Sometimes just starting helps, even if I end up going in odd directions…

  3. Howlin' Hobbit Says:

    To go along with “Done is better than perfect” you can include “Perfect is the enemy of good.”

    That last one is especially hard to avoid when recording music in today’s digital, drag-and-drop, cut-and-paste recording world.

    Some folks are so enamored of getting things “perfect” that they never get around to getting things done, even though what they’ve already accomplished is good.

    (Boy, that was a hella convoluted sentence. Hope it makes sense to other people, not just me.)

    Luckily, I’ve convinced my extremely talented but perfectionist friend Thaddeus of the truth of that statement and it looks like we already have a decent chunk of an album recorded with the new quartet version of Snake Suspenderz.

    I’m thinking that’s good.

  4. Priscilla Says:

    (Howlin’ Hobbit, the sentence you think is convoluted is perfectly fine and also makes perfect sense. Not to worry.)

    I am an editor by profession. I’ve noticed that, as a bunch, we editors behave as though our work has to be perfect. Since perfection is truly unattainable, striving for it just makes us crazy. So, I used to tell my coworkers, “We don’t need to be perfect; we just need to be excellent.”

    It seemed to take the pressure off a bit: try as we might, we could never, ever be perfect, so why demand that of ourselves? Excellent work is achieveable, even though it might be imperfect, and in fact probably is.

    Also, why not cut ourselves the same slack we’d cut a friend? (This is easier for me to say than to do, however.)

  5. Mom Says:

    I have used different ways to tackle things at different times in my life.

    #1 Get started with the floor. Get everything off the floor and taken care of or at least up onto something. Next, tackle the seated areas, again put away, file, throw away to have the seated areas cleared. With each step, notice how much better it looks. Last, clear all of the flat surfaces. What a good feeling it is to have that finished.

    #2 Clean the smallest room first. You can say one room is done. Count the halls as rooms. Once they are clean, keep them that way and go on to the next room. It is so much fun to count the number of rooms done.

    #3 Write down all of the things you want to get done. Put them on a slip of paper. Put them in a bowl. Pull them out one at a time and work on that project for 20 min. When the timer goes off, take a sip of tea and go to the next sip. You will be surprised at how much gets done. I got all of my kitchen cupboards done this summer by cleaning them 20 min. at a time. I did not feel exhausted, but had a smile on my face for each day as you could SEE the progress. I put pull weeds, clean basement, clean garage, mend, paper work and anything on those slips. Smile, smile, smile. Something gets done!

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