In my part of the world we say you are a fool if your passion for a pursuit overcomes all practical sense. I am a stitching fool, and I stitch foolishness.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

the attention span of a gnat

I have the attention span of a gnat.  A hyperactive gnat, at that.

I started filling in one of the vines (?) on Martha Edlin.

It's not horrible to do, just a lot of reversible cross stitch. And I got restless. And I started thinking about how much I need to do on this sampler to finish it by the end of the year. And I got stressed about it--to the point I called Baby Girl and asked her to remind me that needlework is supposed to be fun.

Dearly Beloved asked me why I had to finish by the end of the year.

Well, actually, I don't.

Actually I never have to finish it if I don't want to.

This flies in the face of all that makes up a first born girl child who is responsible for the turning of the world on its axis.  That thought, though, was quite liberating.  I am not obligated to work on this!

(I do want to finish it. I don't want to make myself miserable doing it.)

Since I didn't really feel like stitching, I caught up on my blog reading, mainly because reading all these wonderful blogs on stitching usually inspires me to stitch.  On Anna's blog (Stitch Bitch), she was talking about working a sort of rotation, in which she works on one project for the first three days of the month, another one for the second three days, a third for the third three days, and so on and so on and so on.  That's a bit too much like a rotation for me. I have tried that and failed at it.

But there was something about the idea of three days.  And it occurred to me that any time I take a four-day class or workshop, the time goes something like this:

On the first day, I am rarin' to go, excited and interested.

On the second day, I'm settled in and really focused.

On the third day, my momentum is starting to slow.

On the fourth day, I'm done, through, finished, over it all and ready to go to something else.

So why not apply that to my own projects at home?

So here is what I'm going to try for the next few weeks.

I can work on anything I want to, but I have to commit three days to it. At the end of those three days, I go to something else for three days. After that, I can go back to the first project, I can go to something else, I can work on finishing, I can do anything.  If I complete a project, yay!  If I don't, I will eventually.

You have no idea how ridiculously happy this has made me.  In the grand scheme of things, this is of little import. I fully understand this. But my outlook on getting things done and setting goals and worrying about finishing something by an arbitrary date that I set for myself (what a nimrod thing to do!) has changed entirely.

And since needlework is supposed to be fun--Baby Girl has reminded me--this is making it fun again.

This is the current three-day project, a Merry Cox class from Christmas in Williamsburg last year. She's been calling for quite some time and I'm happy to start working on her again.


  1. What a wonderful idea. I might have to try something like that myself. If I can actuallly get three days in a row to stitch :)

  2. Loved reading this post ... lol! And I think you're on to something there to help you get through your projects! Great idea : )

  3. that sounds like a great plan! i have 3 deadlines looming right now, i might finish 1 of them.

  4. I like your rotation idea. I might have to give it a try.