Fits & Starts

There’s this theory that if you do a little of something every day, eventually you’ll have accomplished a whole lot of it.  For example, BIC—Butt In Chair—stands for sitting your butt in the chair every day, regardless of whether you “feel like it”, and just writing.  The corollary is, if you do a little every day you’ll get in the habit of doing a little (or possibly more) every day, and so it’ll be less of a struggle to do every day.  Twenty-one days to create a habit, or whatever that number is supposed to be.

But then there’s also this theory, which is mine, that there aren’t enough hours in the day, and there isn’t enough energy in my body, to do a little of all of the things I want to do every day.  Writing, house-keeping, paying attention to my people, WORKING for money, gardening, brushing my teeth (ok, I manage this one every day pretty well), sleeping (if I could only do without…), knitting, listening to interesting & educational podcasts.  Etc.  Oh yeah, and READING.  I do a whole lot of that already.

So instead, I tend to binge on those things.  I’ll spend a weekend vegging because I’ve been pushing too hard for too long.  I’ll spend another weekend away Doing Something.  I’ll spend the next weekend catching up on housework* and maybe knitting and watching TV.  I’ll spend another weekend on a knitting or sewing project.  Another weekend caring for my garden.  In most cases I’m not devoting the whole weekend to that activity, but rather a significant portion of my energy.  Same goes for weekday evenings.  This past week, I spent a lot of evenings between work and paying attention to my significant other.  Other weeks I manage to write in the evenings.  Other weeks I manage to at least compose a few blog posts.

I feel guilty when I haven’t written several days in a week.  I feel guilty when Ben’s hat is sitting half-made for several months.  It was his Christmas present.  With any luck it’ll be finished by next Christmas.  I have a sweater I want to start making some day**.  I have tomatoes that need my attention, and kefir & yogurt to make at least weekly, and …

But maybe it’s not so bad to accomplish things in fits and starts.  I do make progress on those things.  I keep them all going, one way or another.  Not always “on time”***.  The thing is, it’s not that I’m slacking off.  OK, I’m not consistently productive on any one thing.  But that’s not my style.  Maybe it’s time for me to accept my style as the one that works for me, and stop trying to be the person who does the same things every day, or even every week.

And by the way, I’ve read 27 books so far this year.  So I’m clearly not slacking off on my reading.  :)


* Apparently it’s been four weeks since I last did laundry.  :-/  That’s long even for me.

** I have to buy yarn first.

*** See: laundry, hat.

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Liza Olmsted

Software QA Manager Emerita, Co-founder & Acquiring Editor at Thinking Ink Press, fiber artist, writer, hiker, cat mattress. ND. she/they, aspec.

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