I have too many things I want to do. On Pinterest, I joke in my tagline, “I will never live long enough for all the projects I want to do.” Underneath the humor is anxiety. I want to do so many of the projects, or I want to do other projects inspired by the pins on my boards, or I want to do the many other projects not on Pinterest. Then there are commitments and expectations and simple activities to keep from melting into a puddle of incompetence. I want to do too much.
I know I am capable of just about anything, but the problem is choosing. Every time I whittle down my aspirations to where they are manageable, my confidence from the progress it brings, makes me add this and that until the list is longer than before. My downfall is letting ambition get the best of me.
At least things get done, right?
To that, the answer is a hearty nope. (This blog is a perfect example.) I flit from task to task until I grow weary or overwhelmed. Flitting is followed by wallowing. While wallowing, almost nothing progresses, causing more frustration and more wallowing. That typically leads to fleeing or ostriching. Either way, I eventually come to accepting I can’t do all of the things, and whittling commences again. Loop, loop, loop-de-loop.
During these processes, I am constantly fighting negativity that plays in my head like my own personal, hateful soundtrack. My insecurities take voice in my noggin and don’t shut up. The best defense is to do things, complete projects, take steps on the things I want to do, and shave off the ones I want to do less.
Commencing Prioritization (Whittling)
Not only do I need to take the advice of focusing on fewer goals, but I need to stick to it. The motivational high I get when I accomplish things is great, but it has to stop making me cocky (I am a rooster on the Chinese horoscope.) and pushing me to do more than I have time or energy to sustain.
I have chosen three main areas where I will put my focus–writing, health, family. I was anxious doing that and get anxious thinking about it. Only three? What about quilting and all the glorious fabric pack-ratted in the basement? What about the soap I still want to make? What about all the projects other people want me to do? What about Pinterest? Then I remind myself, it is better to find success at three things than to find stress in so many more.
I am questioning where I spend my time to make sure I put it toward these three goals and not waste it in other areas. That’s the hard part. Life isn’t tidy. Dealing with the messes it brings, learning where my personal boundaries need to be, keeping myself from becoming a recluse are the grey areas that don’t fit neatly under my goal categories. But all can be simplified. And it will.