Thursday, May 15, 2014


[A housekeeping item: A few weeks ago I wrote about a new kind of spa day. The photos I used were taken by Jan Roser, a professional photographer living in Florida. She also took the photo of me that appears with this blog. Thanks, Jan--you make me look almost lifelike!]


So, here are a few thoughts on Life, Etc.

Often--say, every other day--I wonder what it would feel like to have complete control of my life and schedule. Mornings I'd write; afternoons I'd sew. I'd hire people to do all the things I don't want to do (cleaning house, especially dusting). I'd be freed from the minutae of my everyday existence and roam freely in my own little creative world: new plots for stories, new quilt designs, new ideas for blogs, new articles. Utopia!

Right? Well, maybe.

For example: What would I do when I got stuck? When a writing idea doesn't pan out? When a quilt that's nearly finished looks just plain awful.

I don't smoke, don't have a secret bottle in my deep desk drawer, wouldn't know where to get my hands on mind-altering substances.

So what's a gal to do?

I clean. Move stuff (though not furniture), find better places for what I already have. Sort. Discard. Re-box for storage stuff that will later get sorted and discarded. I mull over possible gifts for birthday and Christmas giving. Try new recipes. And my latest fave: surfing the Internet. (I call it research. You never know when something might work its way into a story, quilt, letter, blog, conversation. Or into my storage.)

Last week it occurred to me that, if I clean out the drawers in the washstand, I'll have a great place for thread--of which I have a lot. The smaller drawers will work for seldom-used items like quilt templates and tools. And the area with a door just might be big enough for ring binders of patterns and designs (once I find another storage place for the music).

Little by little I get things done. Baby steps--the Montessori method.

Hard for an impatient person to gear down to a lower pace, let the project dictate its own speed. But it's actually less stressful because all the little interruptions and distractions are what Life is—as they say, Life happens. And so we don't get something done this year. A valuable lesson.

A companion lesson--also hard to learn--is this: Don't beat yourself up when you miss a goal or deadline. (You might want to ignore this advice if you have a paying job with deadlines. Just a thought.)

If it's your own project that doesn’t get finished—one that doesn't make ripples in someone else's life--then forgive yourself for missing the goal, extend the deadline (if it needs one), try again.

Life's short enough, without reducing the number of good days by whining, stressing, worrying, and fit-throwing.

However! If a good fit, pitched at the right moment, eases anxiety, then I say, Go for it!



  1. Very well said, but I still want someone to come in and clean and get rid of stuff I don't want. I don't have to be there--I can just stay here in the office and not pay attention.

  2. Let me know if your plan works...I might try it!

  3. The modern version of chopping water and carrying wood, eh?

  4. Shoot, I even thought about the right way to say that first! :)

  5. We all have off days, Dori...I got the drift anyway, since my mind apparently works as wonkily as yours!

  6. LOL. I had to read it three times, Doris, before I saw it. Kind of reminded me of a minister once who was talking about clothing the poor and feeding the naked...

  7. Lol, I think that started out as a joke, but it has been problematic for me ever since!