Letting Go

img_0087-1People think of failure as the end.

It isn’t.

It’s a chance to start again.

I’ve always been the kind of person who has several projects going at once.  When I was younger, I had the energy for lots of things, but not the time.  The older I get, the more time I have, but the less energy.

So, that means I sometimes have to admit defeat.  Not every project I start will get completed.

And that’s okay.

Failure is how we learn.  My most recent failure taught me that starting over is okay.

Over a year ago, I started to crochet an afghan for my mother-in-law.  It’s a simple pattern, and one I’ve made before, so I know I can do it.  However, this time the pattern was giving me fits.

Every row it seemed like my stitch count got off somehow and I would have to rip it out and start over.  I finally got through about 25 rows.

Or so I thought.

On row 26, suddenly my stitch count was off again, and I couldn’t figure out where.  After ripping out several rows and still finding myself off, I decided to put the project aside for a while.

Fast forward to last week, when I finally picked it up again.  (That old adage – “Out of sight, out of mind” – is apparently true.)

I still couldn’t figure out where I was off.  So I decided to admit defeat.  My frustration with the whole thing was exacerbated by the fact that I didn’t have enough skeins of matching yarn to finish anyway. (I kept telling myself I’d go buy the rest, but I never did.)

So I sat down and unraveled the whole thing.  I now have a large 3-skein ball of yarn.  I don’t, however, have a barely done afghan sitting in my office taunting me.  And when I was done rolling up the yarn, I actually felt better.

I made a decision about the project and now I am able to let the guilt about not completing it go.  My mother-in-law didn’t even know I was making it, so the only person it was bothering was me.  And frankly, I have better ways I can spend my time than feeling guilty.

So if you find yourself lamenting a project you haven’t completed, think about why you are hanging on to it.  Is it because you truly want to work on it? Probably not, or you would have completed it.

In the words of everyone’s favorite ice princess – Let it go! 😀

Motivation Vacation

FailLife has been kicking my butt lately.  I’ve got a lot of things going on (I know, who doesn’t?) and I am not using my time effectively.

I’m not sure when I got lazy, but I just don’t seem to be as productive as I used to be.  10 years ago I got a lot more accomplished in a day than I do now.  I mean, yes, I’m 10 years older (and tireder!) but I still need to get things done.  My motivation has taken a vacation, though.

Another facet of my OCD is that I like routines.  Routines keep me busy and feeling balanced.  So on days that I don’t have a routine, or that I don’t really have to follow one, I find myself doing a lot of nothing.  Which can be nice, but then I’m left feeling guilty because I didn’t get all the things I wanted to done.

Most of the things I want to accomplish are personal goals, so I don’t have someone in my ear or over my shoulder making sure I meet deadlines.  With my willpower heading out for summer vacation early, my guilt is eating at me lately.

So I’m trying something new.  Go me!  I’ve long subscribed to the theory that you can do anything for 15 minutes.  Can’t find the motivation to (insert task here)?  Just do it 15 minutes at a time.  What I usually discover is that my dread of whatever the task is has made it seem overwhelming and hugely time-consuming, when in fact, it probably doesn’t take much more than the 15 minutes I’ve committed.

Like this blog post, for instance.  I wrote several posts and scheduled them ahead of time, so my self-imposed deadlines for writing more came and went without any new posts.  But once I sat down to write, it actually went pretty quickly.

I’m still trying to figure out this whole online business thing (and failing), but life is providing motivation.  Bills don’t pay themselves and money doesn’t grow on trees (more’s the pity), so I’m gonna have to buckle down and get busy.  Let’s hope my willpower returns from vacation soon!