When you’ve been married as long as I have, there is a lot of knowledge about relationship and living that accrues. One approach to life that I’ve learned from my husband is to face adversity by breaking down the problem into do-able chunks and pursuing each in succession. In other words, keep putting one foot in front of the other. I know this is what the self-help books and articles teach, but until I witness it in action, it is a theory that carries no meaning for me. For years, I have seen an impossible problem solved, or at least, beaten back, through the systematic application of effort measured out in small, consistent doses.
For the past several months, I have been working on three big mosaic projects by scheduling tasks, foreseeing potential problems and avoiding them, learning from mistakes, and scheduling more tasks. It sounds very un-creative, but it is not.
My head is so full of ideas that it could explode at any time. My natural tendency is to run from one idea to the next; when the going gets hard, move on to the next idea. But, this is not a viable method for completing ideas that are in my head and getting them out into the world. In fact, it is no method at all. Without the discipline of one foot in front of the other, few ideas will reach fruition, and I will live in constant disappointment.
Instead, I corral my ideas in notebooks and sketchbooks. Then, when the time seems right for each one, I bring it out into the open and start making a plan. I make the plan into a series of tasks and, thanks to Jason Horejs’ suggestion, I enter the tasks into my ToDoist.com account, where they sit at the ready until that glorious time when I check each one off. They disappear into a folder I can refer to later, but I never do, because at the end of each project, I have an actual thing in the world that I can touch and wonder at. I don’t need to look at a list to realize how far I’ve come.
Here is an update on the planet-themed table I’ve been working on. I now have a new planet that, in this context, looks an awful lot like an eyeball.