Wednesday, November 3, 2010


2: following; subsequent; consequent
I've found that there are projects I can not complete concurrently.  Things that demand I do them sequentially.  These things are most often creative projects.  Sunday after church, J and the girls dropped me off at Michael's while they made a quick trip to Trader Joe's to stock up on roasted seaweed (my favorite snack!) and a few other items.  Since I was at Michael's, I thought I'd collect supplies for two or three projects that I hope to complete in the coming weeks.  But as I walked the aisles, I got more and more muddled as I tried to determine my vision for not one, not two, but three, projects.
Feeling somewhat disappointed in this limitation, I nevertheless gave in to it.  I  walked back down the aisles, returning the few odds and ends for projects #2 and 3.  With my cart - and mind - clear, I was able to determine the items I needed for the task at hand.  This project - and the others - involve the participation of my family, even if I'm the Wizard of Oz lurking behind the curtain.  It's my job to decide on the project, collect the requisite materials and then corral my family into helping.  Project #1 went smoothly - walking those aisles paid off.  And when it was put in the mail, my mind felt free.

Within hours of finishing the first project, I was able to make significant progress on the next one.  I trimmed, I wrote, I showed samples to J.  It felt like the floodgates had opened.  Just hours before, I stood paralyzed in the stationery aisle, unable to envision any of the materials I needed.  But now I could see it.

I'll confess that some of this drives me crazy.  Mothers, perhaps more than any other category on the planet, need to be able to complete things concurrently.  If I wait until the laundry is finished to start dinner, we will all starve to death.  If I don't start the laundry until the house is clean, we'll need to move to a nudist colony.  If I don't help K learn to use a kind tone of voice until I've finished teaching B how to control her emotions... You get my point.  Very little in my world allows me to completely finish one thing before starting another.  
Maybe I've hit upon a hidden blessing in my creativity's demand for sequential completion.  That would be the completion.  As a recovering perfectionist, I have a tendency to leave some things undone.  (If it's not finished, it can't be judged imperfect.)  Often the things I am inclined to leave undone are the most important things, the things I care the very most about.  So maybe my heart and mind have conspired to train me out of this.  My brain's refusal to work on a new project until the old one is complete does ensure I finish first things first.

OK - there's the bright side.  Now, can I please have my old brain back?  I have a lot to do!

1 comment:

The Mom said...

Oh my goodness, I am a great catalyst or instigator and not a very good finisher. It's a good thing that our good God is the author and perfecter and "finisher" of our faith. I am counting on the fact that He who began the good work in me will see it through to the day of completion. I marvel at how different each of us is and yet we are those living stones being built up into that magnificent dwelling place for the Holy Spirit. Truth be told, I need you right next to me on the wall since your mortar is well thought out and carefully executed and mine is more than a little haphazardly applied and cured!