With Fall sprinkling the first yellow leaves onto my garden, I suddenly see a million things that need to be done. Some days, my attention bounces from one thing to another, imagining what I should be doing, while also getting lost in the moment (like being distracted by a small, red salamander, or wondering why I have a leak in my ceiling when the sun is shining down so brightly).
Today is one of those days; I walked the dog, dug up some weeds, threw down some flower seeds (then realized I should have waited until Spring), cleaned the garage, dragged some branches as far as I could, moved an outdoor table until the leg fell off, watched the red salamander, painted the back door, cleaned the grill, then came inside to work. All before noon.
Wait a moment, before you stop reading, don’t be too impressed; none of them were done well, and most weren’t completed, but my jumbled approach satisfied that urgent need to feel the cool change in the weather, get my hands dirty, and move a few things around.
It is so easy to get lost in what we think we should do. We decide we must have the perfect tool for the task, the right type of gardening clothes, and simply can’t do anything until we have the exact amount of hours left in a day. But that is just silly; life never goes as planned, we get distracted or tired, and we catch ourselves endlessly waiting to do the simplest of things.
Settling sounds so awful, but in the land of home improvements (and decorating) striving for perfection is even worse; it’s the ugly sister of settling. A word that is almost like a stop sign on the road to getting things done. I hear someone imply it, and I catch my breath, knowing that it is going to be a long time before something happens (if ever). Of course, there are things that can’t be skimped on, and should be done perfectly – your walls should be fairly straight, and the leaky faucet can’t be fixed with a dollop of chewing gum and hope, but there are many things that fall quite happily into the good-enough category.
I tend to start with a list of my ideas, then when I get stuck I whittle it down to random intentions. Random intentions seem a little kinder, and definitely more forgiving. They give me a moment to focus on what is really important (and what can I do myself – today) rather than procrastinating about a fantasy list of distant “What if’s”.
Definitely a bit of a Dr. Seuss mentality, but next time you find yourself wondering what to do, or where to begin with your DIY project, why not take perfection out of the equation, and figure out the quickest and easiest way to get (almost) there …
Wendy E. Wrzos http://wendyandthebluegiraffe.blogspot.com/
Photograph from: Australian Pinterest