Sunday, May 13, 2007

Can Do/Must Do Quandry

Today tastes like red velvet cake with white chocolate mint frosting and a liver filling. Something is just not working here!

I intended to spend the weekend cleaning both studios and doing a batch of paper projects that really need to get moving. As in "deadlines whizzing past" moving. I had it all right'chere on my "to do" list.

Yup, I'm a list-maker. It helps me keep all these plates twirling. Except when it doesn't.

See Friday started out really really well. I rolled up my sleeves, and went into the fiber studio, and cleaned. Put away all the books (I can sit on the couch now). I put away all the projects I was "thinking about" (I can use my ironing board now). I repackaged the projects that had vomited everywhere (I can see the FLOOR now)! Good job, Spike!

So I knitted a bit till bedtime. Reward the behavior, right?

The next morning, I got up and got to it. I made ATC's that needed to go right now, I signed decos that had been stalled for weeks, I cleaned up and went for lunch. I was at a good stopping point, with the most pressing stuff off the list.

Then . . . well, then I sucked myself into doing something else after lunch, and then a friend was coming over for dinner, and then I was too busy socializing, and I don't drag my paper art along with me unless it's something very clean like binding books. ATC's, decos, any collage stuff stays in the studio for the most part. So there went Saturday. Roll all of the rest of Saturday's tasks onto the to do list. Sternly advise self that This Will Not Do, and resolve to get up and get going on Sunday.

Sunday--up bright and early, dressed in painty clothes, decide to hang out for just a minute. The paper studio door is noisy, don't want to wake guest napping on the couch.

Decide to read.

Half an hour later, guest is up and about, getting ready to take off and start her day. Continue reading on couch. Glance at to-do list, feel motivation shrivel up. Uh-oh.

Take nap. Read. Take nap. Read. Lather, rinse, repeat until 3:00 p.m. Sunday.


Out to the paper studio, sign three decos, package and post everything on the table.


Not what I wanted to get done, but clearly, I did not want to achieve what I thought I wanted to achieve when I made that list.

And then I read a post about writing craft instructions in Japanese.

See, in English we would say, "Warp the loom." In Japanese, this becomes, "In order for weaving to occur, the loom must be warped." (Yes, this does explain the Engrish we find when we read VCR instructions, but ignore that for a moment.)

Note that the desired result is placed first. Do you want weaving to occur? Then this is the step you must take. A last chance to re-think what you want to have happen, and what needs to be put in to make the mighty craft engine roar.

Do I want the studio to be clean? Do I want to make paper art stuff? Do I dare to eat a peach? What if I began phrasing my to do list more like this--with the result of the work right up front, so I can think about why I'm proposing this project. Not commands--"Clean the paper studio" but "In order for decos to be signed, space must be cleared." And if it is a desirable thing for decos to be signed, well, you know what your next step is.

In order for a blog to exist, posts must be written.


1 comment:

nici said...

This is brilliant. I have to go rewrite my entire mental to do list, which might be more effective if I put it on paper in the first place.

I think I need an unusual, interesting list in order to be drawn to a list at all.

I secretly wish I was a list person. My husband loudly wishes I were. In order to be a list person, one must create lists! Wheee!