Jan 4, 2017
I read this post on IG today and it immediately rang true for me. Probably because I’m in one of those seasons right now. And also because I’ve experienced in-between seasons like this before and it was as true then as it is now for me.
Thanks to sleeping in until 9am and laying on the couch until 11am and eating nothing but a couple packs of s’mores pop tarts until dinner, today I finally had the energy to get up and work on something. It was no marathon sprint, but I was able to get a ton of squares cut for a quilt I’ve started working on just for fun and it felt so good. Just to be productive, to have been able to do something–anything–other than just lay around all day feeling like a slug. I never cease to be amazed by what a little genuine productivity can have on my mood and self-esteem and just overall outlook on life. It breaks up the day in such a positive way.
And that small burst of productivity combined with the IG post I linked to above got me thinking about something else I’ve learned over the years, which is that so many of the personal accomplishments I’m most proud of have happened as a result of just doing something. Publishing my book came as a result of starting, basically out of the blue, to develop simple sewing projects and keep a notebook on the step-by-step instructions. I didn’t start because somebody told me to. With no promised or even very real hope of actually getting published, I just started and kept going. And somewhere along the way, people noticed and the word got out and it connected me to the publisher who helped make my book a physical reality.
What blows me away sometimes is to think that I might just as well have not done any of those things and not have a book and never known the difference.
I’ve been feeling a little of the same thing this past year or so. Other than raising my kids and occasionally doing the laundry, I don’t have any clear ambitions at the moment and sometimes that’s liberating and sometimes it’s paralyzing. But I’ve found over and over again that when I just start a project for something I’m personally interested in, however big or small or unrelated it may be to any of the other things I’ve been or am currently doing, it’s always a step forward. And I can’t say why exactly, but people always seem to notice. I think it’s a little like scrolling through instagram; when someone takes a few days or weeks or months off from posting, hardly anyone notices, but as soon as a post goes up, there are all your people there to say hey and chime in and take part and show love.
We like to pay attention to people who are doing things. And we especially like it when they like what they’re doing.
It’s energizing. Even if it’s not something we as individuals are particularly interested in, it’s just fun to watch people do good things they love. I’m convinced it’s why people who have zero interest in sewing still watch all my low-quality IG stories of pulling fabric and getting it all cut and prepped for a quilt. It’s why I love following painters and writers and fashion bloggers and scriptorians and shops that sell things I’ll probably never buy. I just love watching people get excited about the things that fill them up.
Anyway, that’s my non-pep-talk pep talk for you today. Think about something that sounds fun (uh and not deadly or dangerous or illegal, etc.) and go try it. Good things are sure to come.