Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Progress, not perfection

Ever notice themes running through a few days or a week? Lately, I have encountered the basic premise of "progress, not perfection" almost everywhere. Pop up ads on the computer, a book on writing that arrived a few days ago, a fragment of a commercial or tv show, and I think it may be sinking in (again).

I learned a few years ago that many people in cluttered homes are perfectionists, and they get discouraged at continual failure to reach their own ideal, then give up.

As I let go of the ideal (everything in it's place, a spotless floor, reams of perfect prose reeling off my fingertips) I find myself accomplishing more than I thought realistic even a year ago.
Over the past few days, working a bit at a time, I got busy and emptied dishes into the dishwasher and scoured the the sinks, washed and dried (and put away) items too large for the dishwasher and found a dutch oven badly in need of rust removal and re-seasoning.
Today I started with scouring the dutch oven, and began sorting out a few things that have been in my way (the shelves that fit behind the sink SEEMED like a great idea, but mostly it means it's difficult to get the counter behind the sink clean enough, and almost everything that has landed on them really should live somewhere else).
And I hope to get part of the countertop scoured.

I also cleared out some books to donate to SOS, sorted summer yarns into a storage bag, and emptied enough drawers to keep my yarn where it belongs, instead of in ziplocks beside my chair.
I don't plan to finish today, just do what I can until (hopefully) just before I start feeling negative effects.
I'm probably almost at the end of today's tasks, but it is a good feeling to be finished with a number of things, and be clear about what to start with tomorrow.

Another writing tip I picked up is also useful for daily stuff. Have a plan for the first task to accomplish when you get up, and life just feels more orderly. Some authors even leave off with a sentance half finished, to help get started the next day.

Anyway, I always feel better when I feel like I've contributed to the household stuff. The secret is to not do so much that I have to take time off for recovery. That really sucks.
(today's photo was taken by Oscar, in our woods in Gaylord)

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