Sometimes I like to look through my emails. They’re a trail of projects unfinished, ideas flung at walls and left to dry, thoughts that hang in the air encased in a thought bubble, but never placed out in the open. I like to think of myself as someone who is a doer, but when I read my emails from even the recent past, I realize that I like ideas, but I don’t necessarily always like executing them.
I realize that this is because of my tendency to enjoy being the Jane of all trades, and master of none. I like a little bit of everything on my plate. I want to dance, but I also want to sing, I want to write, but I also want to sew. I want to have a home filled with art and plants and cozy things, but I also want to feel that I can also become a minimalist at the drop of a hat. I dip one toe here and the other toe there. This is how I’ve always been and I know this about myself.
I’m going be brutally honest here for you all, or perhaps it is for myself, as a reminder of the many things I’ve juggled:
Wholesaling and consigning up-cycled clothing and art under my own clothing label “Rags by Sock Monkey” (proof above- so many scarves in my storage that didn’t find a home. Anyone need a scarf?)
Producing my own dance/music show (will I ever try again?…. I hope!)
Being vegan (yeah I eat meat now, sorry vegan friends)
Being in a band with my husband (Although I wish we could continue this, we decided to focus on different things at this time. I miss it.
Being an herbalist and joining the American Herbalist Guild (Still interested in this. Future pursuit?)
I’m sure there is more. Just making me tired thinking about it.
In light of my past habits, I don’t think that the right reaction is to make a promise to myself to reign it in or to finish everything that I start. One might think a New Year’s Resolution of focusing on following through might be just what the doctor ordered, but in my heart I know that would never work for me. I know people can change but this feels like something that is very “me”, an essential part of my bone structure and brain cells.
Instead, I think that Austin Kleon, who wrote a lovely little book called “Steal Like An Artist” said it best - “Practice productive procrastination.” Have a bunch of side projects. When you get sick of one, go to the next. Why? It’s when you’re just messing around that good stuff happens.
I think that my problem is that I sometimes take each side project too seriously. Maybe my ideas and explorations have led to other projects that I HAVE finished. I hope that they have contributed depth and insight into everything that I do. I think, in order to make peace with myself, I have to look at each unfinished project as a continuing part of my growth, as a part of the making of me. Forging multiple paths through the forest is way messier than forging one path, but damn it, I’m going to find way more interesting stuff along the way.
Anyone else out there have this problem/tendency? How do you feel about it? Are you someone who picks something and finishes it to completion, or do you have lots of balls in the air at the same time? How do you juggle everything and when something drops, how do you feel about it? I’d love to hear from you!