This photo was taken at a Creating Keepsake scrapbooking convention in Manchester NH. My friend Cheryl was attending with her sister for the weekend, a regular family tradition for them, and my friend Lisa and I did a quick, "during the school day"roadtrip shopping excursion to join Cheryl for a little lunch date and some shopping fun while the kids were busy attending just a regular day at school. This is kind of the way I live my life. Enjoying life, spending time with my friends at a vendor fair focusing on just one of the hobbies I love, Yes, I don't mind spending half my day in a car to get to a destination to enjoy these things, even if the things I am enjoying last just a few hours.
Where am I going here. Oh ya, it was during this very day, during these few hours that I had carefully scheduled fun time with my friends, that they mentioned that the two of them had talked about buying me a particular t-shirt. They didn't buy it, but they talked about how the two of them had discussed buying it for me, The t-shirt in discussion...had 4 words on it.
"Queen of Unfinished Projects"
Surprisingly, I was a bit offended. I NEVER start something I am not 100% committed to. Never.
Life goes on. Shit happens. Priorities change. Shit happens. Life goes on.
It's been years since my friends discussed buying me this shirt. One year, I really don't know which one it was...but one year, I took my daily planner out, and wrote in an "unfinished project" for every month of the year. How many could there be? ... who knows, I never finished it.
Let's start with scrapbooks...I've probably got 23 of them going...none of them current...none of them completed...but very close on some of them.
Sewing. I started making curtains for our pop-up in 2012 or 13...but then we bought a house, I packed up the stuff...haven't gotten around to finding it. Oh ya, and I'm making my boy a t-shirt quilt...for high school graduation...I've got the pattern and a box of t-shirts. He's in the second half of his first year of college. Oh, and I have all the fabric to make curtains for his room, here in our new house...that we moved into summer of 2013...oh...and...one more sewing project that I started in 2010 that is the reason for this blog post today.
I have decided to OWN this title. Yes, that is right. I am, starting today, admitting to myself and those hereby witnessing me, embracing with an open heart and without offence, the endearing title of Queen of unfinished projects. I have decided to take ownership for the things I am great at, and one of those "things" is my desire to try and do as many things that I can that bring me joy and bring joy to those around me.
It would take me a week to write down all of my unfinished projects. Some of them I haven't even started yet, but they have been in my head for years. These thoughts, these projects, there was a time when I took them very seriously, after all, in my head, an unfinished project was an attempt at something, and the unfinished part signified my failure at something. It's taken me a while to get here, and I did have some help along the way, shout out to my life coach Lynne McGhee, but I have learned quite a bit about being kinder to myself, and accepting of myself and my goals when life hands me another priority and "an unfinished project" needs to be re-evaluated. I've learned that if the unfinished part is going to make me feel bad about myself and cause me sleepless nights, then I need to take a few minutes to answer some questions about it...re-prioritize it...or let it go...for the time being at least.
I want to share with you a couple epiphanies I had recently that caused me to re-evaluate my "projects" and decide to either re-prioritize or let it go.
My dog Chloe had three pups, three years ago. I have one of the pups and I have kept in touch with the other two families, and I have blogged about the pups on their birthdays. This year, one of the human Moms of one of Chloe's pups died in January, after fighting breast cancer for a number of years. When she picked up the pup, three years ago she told me she wanted it to eventually become a therapy dog. When I heard of Penny's passing, I immediately signed up to become a therapy team with Chloe. I invested some hard earned money, took an online course, and then had a hands on evaluation with Chloe as the final piece. Chloe failed the obedience part of the evaluation. She just couldn't sit for three seconds without getting up to come sit by my side. The evaluation team immediately started talking to me about working with Chloe and trying again in six months, but in the back of my head I was already thinking, what are you doing girl, taking on this additional commitment, you don't have any time as it is?!! And just like that, I decided that the reason the Joanne/Chloe team had failed the evaluation was because the timing for the Joanne/Chloe team was not now...so...for the time being, that decision was made for me, and I have accepted it. What was I thinking?
Second epiphany. When my Mother-in-law passed away in 2011 I saved out about a dozen of her knit shirts, to make teddy bears with and give to her grand kids on the anniversary of her death. The first year came and went. I only had three bears done, so I gave none. This year came and went. 6 year anniversary. I haven't returned to the project since I packed it up to move in 2013. Recently, the first of the "great grandchildren" of my Mother-in-law celebrated her 1st birthday. I decided to "re-evaluate" my project, and I mailed out the first of the re-purposed teddy bears.
and now, in the spirit of my new title, I am celebrating the completion of my first blog post in 7 months...and in keeping my title and taking ownership of my title, I will leave you with yet another unfinished...