Friend: What did you do this weekend? (it had rained nonstop all weekend)
Me: Rearranged the back room and built a desk across the window wall. Pretty simple. I needed a place for my computer, printer, and lightbox to live. Just trying to get organized.
Friend: You are organized.
Me: Oh. It was a good weekend to make the desk because of the rain. It's a project I've been wanting to do. It's that serial project thing.
This brief exchange felt a little like a confessional to me. As if having an valid reason for the project made it more like what anyone would do, not like something I did because projects are what I do. I felt like I was calling myself out. Which is really weird when I think about it. I've been a serial project person my entire life. Everyone who knows me knows this. It's regular conversation..."so, what are you working on now?" It's a normal question because the answer will always be about what I'm working on and never, "oh, nothing".
So, although the picture shows the desk, this musing is not really about the desk.* It's about the whole serial project thing. It's the jumpy, wandering brain and the motivation to pursue several ideas at once or work on them with a kind of pressured successive execution. There are always lists and ideas that are left unattended, either in my head or described in a short narrative or bad sketch in a notebook or journal. I perpetually wish I could create more time.
It isn't that I think always having ideas emerging and refining is a bad thing, it's that the urgency I feel to create and produce can be a problem. A balancing-my-life problem. That's why I'm a little sheepish in my confession. Life balance (although those two words do invite a slight eye roll) is a thing. A good thing. Just ask anybody. I've never been drawn to self help books, but that doesn't mean there isn't a reason at least four million them have been written on the balanced life. I'm not going to get deep in the weeds about it in these paragraphs. I'm simply calling it out. The joy of production and accomplishment and learning should be balanced with the joy of sitting still and thinking and listening. I think. So, I'll keep working on it.
I would love to read other stories about how you balance your life.
*This truly was a good project. I had everything I needed to complete it, which is always a plus. A linen cabinet got turned on it's side to make a bench seat for the opposite wall. The door to the cabinet is now the desk top, painted turquoise. (The open shelving of the linen cabinet now holds large baskets for my biking clothes and gear, since my bike hangs on the wall above it.) The two ends of the desk are very simple to construct shelving units, made from 2x4s and leftover planks from other projects. I painted the shelves gray to match the wall color and used an already stained red board leftover from a different shelf project. I'm having the best time working from there with a view of Spring in my back yard.
Hi, I'm Donna. Long time artisan/creative. Full time work in nonprofit world. Mother of two adult sons. Currently, also mother of two cats.
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