Last May I posted Procrastination Tuesday, sharing a list of things I’d been putting off and why. Here’s a small excerpt:
Three years ago, I bought some beautiful purple fabric for my sister Sharon. She wanted me to make a bolero-styled shrug. We found a used pattern online, I washed the yardage to remove the sizing, and then life got busy. Enter the pandemic when we all had time. Determined to get it done, I hauled out the pattern and prepared to cut and sew. The pattern pieces are too big for any of my surfaces, so I took them downtown, where I volunteer. None of those surfaces were large enough either, so I brought it back. I have three painful labrum tears across my right and left hip, making crawling around on the floor painful, so I gave up.
Gardening Nirvana, May 2021
My solution at the time was this:
On Procrastination Tuesday, I drove to an alterations place, checked my ego at the door, and dropped off the fabric and the pattern with the purveyor. I will finally be able to deliver on that soft, purple shrug.
Gardening Nirvana, May 2021
That relief didn’t last. When I left my materials at the shop, we were easing out of the pandemic (or so we thought). It was the start of the wedding season. I told the purveyor “no rush,” thinking it would be done in a month or so instead of the usual two weeks. July rolled around, and I hadn’t heard a peep. I called the shop and asked for an update. He said they’d been busy, but he would have it to me in another week. July became August, September, and still nothing. I called again. I said I had been more than patient, and that my sister’s birthday approached. Sharon’s November birthday came and went and I was fuming.
Sometime in late November, I went to the shop to collect the pattern and fabric. Mike drove, but opted to stay in the car. I married a wise man.
At the counter, I contained myself, but I told the owner, “This is no way to run a business.” He kept apologizing, but his words seemed trite after seven months and two false promises. It took him a few minutes to find my things. Finally, he handed over a bag with my material covered in sewing lint. The kicker? He said: “I can have it done in a week.”
In the end, I cut, sewed, pressed, wrapped, and delivered the shrug to my sister for Christmas.
She loves it. The fabric is warm and soft, and the oversized fit means she can wear several layers. In addition, I had enough material to make a substantial facing to add warmth.
I’m pretty good about getting things done, but the things I put off fit into one of these three categories:
I’m overwhelmed by the task, I’m anxious about completing the task, or I have task aversion, in my case, usually boredom.
This past Tuesday, knowing that I had an unscheduled day, I hauled out my “one-day” projects and evaluated them with a hard eye. I started with several easy tasks, then graduated to the area in my craft room where projects lurk. They haunt me, they taunt me, yet I’m the one that gives them power.
First, I started with simple tasks. My son is coming home from university in a week, so I needed to ready his room. I had a stack of my unread books on his nightstand, packaging I wanted to recycle, and bedding that needed washing.
Easy peasy. You can see the clean bedding in the corner. I’m hoping that the cats don’t notice.
Small successes can motivate you to keep going. My son’s room is ready to go.
I had items to return, but I misplaced the receipt. I used Procrastination Tuesday to find the receipt, but then I needed to drive to the mall. Driving to a deserted mall to return two items is a bore, but it’s Procrastination Tuesday, so on the list it goes.
Now to the hard stuff, the things that overwhelm me and why. Three years ago, I bought some beautiful purple fabric for my sister Sharon. She wanted me to make a bolero-styled shrug. We found a used pattern online, I washed the yardage to remove the sizing, and then life got busy. Enter the pandemic when we all had time. Determined to get it done, I hauled out the pattern and prepared to cut and sew. The pattern pieces are too big for any of my surfaces, so I took them downtown, where I volunteer. None of those surfaces were large enough either, so I brought it back. I have three painful labrum tears across my right and left hip, making crawling around on the floor painful, so I gave up. I used to sew in high school. I also sewed in the theater department in college and beyond. The procrastination part of all this was feeling overwhelmed that I could no longer complete a once so simple task, coupled with a sense of sadness about all of it.
On Procrastination Tuesday, I drove to an alterations place, checked my ego at the door, and dropped off the fabric and the pattern with the purveyor. I’m providing income to a small, local business, and I will finally be able to deliver on that soft, purple shrug. I took along my sister’s beloved wool coat, which is now too long for her to wear. They’re going to shorten it so my sister can wear it while using her mobility chair. Relief!
Procrastination Tuesday continued with a Kiwi in the Koru pieced cushion kit. I bought the kit in Arrowtown, New Zealand in a moment of confidence and bliss. I call it holiday fever. I’ve never pieced a quilt before, but one cushion couldn’t be that hard. The colors are gorgeous. The finished cushion would be a nice reminder of a great trip.
Somehow, I couldn’t get started. I felt overwhelmed and out of my league. I procrastinated, thinking that I just needed to be in the right frame of mind to try again. As part of my Procrastination Tuesday, I made a plan. I’m going to offer the kit to someone that will enjoy the task and the finished product. It can be a stand-alone cushion or part of a larger quilt. I’m feeling good about letting it go.
As I continued with the “one-day” projects, I unearthed my crochet tote. Remembering how relaxing it is to move the soft yarn around a hook, I placed the bag near the couch. I’m a beginner, so I won’t crochet anything complex, but it will be nice to pick it up again. I also have this gorgeous case hand-crafted by Kate to keep me motivated. Isn’t it stunning?
Two more items in the stash took less than five minutes of research! So it goes with procrastinating. The length of time needed to complete a task is only a tiny part of why we put things off.
Tomorrow you’ll see the outcome of one last item from the stash. I brought home an oversized paper shopping bag from a trendy store called Anthropologie. We received a donation of clothes in the bag for our program downtown, and even and even with a torn handle, I couldn’t bring myself to toss it.
My small reward at the end of Procrastination Tuesday included some time at my crafting desk. The biggest prize, of course, is making decisions and getting things done. It felt great dropping off the packaging material for reuse at the UPS store, returning bras at the mall, making decisions about all my sewing projects, and seeing all that space under the desk.
Do you procrastinate? Where do you find the motivation to move ahead?
Who doesn’t like finding personal mail in their mailbox? Nobody I know, that’s for sure! It’s become a rare commodity, so much so that many postal services are going broke. I’m happy to report that we bloggers are doing our part, one wonderful note, card or parcel at a time.
Through my blogging community and Craft-it-Forward projects, I’ve received numerous goodies in the mail. Last week was no exception. Catja, over at Gjeometry let me squeak into her pay if forward list, even though I was number six and the cut off was five. You can read a bit more about it on her blog. (Thanks once again, Catja).
Look what arrived in the mail.
Catja sent me this beautifully sewn, dual-toned apron sporting three large pockets and several tabs for holding tools. The body of the apron is an incredibly soft rayon tweed with a subtle pattern, a cross between herringbone and check. The face of the apron is a sturdy, floral canvas, trimmed in brown. I *love* it!
Catja included a thoughtful note written on a card embedded with annual and perennial seeds. I’ll be able to keep the card, and slip out the seed insert for planting next spring. What a treasure.
Bloomin’ Flower Card
The spoiling didn’t stop there. She also sent a volume of essays called The Roots of My Obsession: Thirty Great Gardeners Reveal Why They Garden. I can’t wait to dive in. Here’s a quote:
There’s a mystery at the heart of gardening: Why would any sane person spend hours on hands and knees, courting aching joints and a ruined back, just to raise a bunch of plants? He simple answer, of course, is that gardening is an obsession that cannot be conquered or abandoned, only indulged. The richer, more complex and more human answer can be found in the pages of The Roots of My Obsession.
I see joyful reading ahead.
Personal essays on why we garden
On the subject of spoiling, our resident felines received a treat as well. It seems, Catja’s mom is also crafty. She knit this wooly purple octopus for the kitties. It arrived with a small opening for cat nip, with a length of yarn attached to sew it closed. Our catnip plant is just now dying back for the winter. I pinched off a few of the leaves for their new toy. Here’s a shot of Mighty Mouse checking it out.
Mighty Mouse loves the new toy
Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Catja, for your thoughtfulness. I admire your style, your grace and your creativity.
You can check out Catja’s blog at Gjeometry. Her kitty features prominently in most of her posts. Here are a few of my favorites: