Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Does This Revise Your To-Do List?

December is a month for impossible to-do lists that look something like this:
  • Select and/or make perfect gifts for everyone.
  • Wrap those perfect gifts creatively, beautifully, inspired-ly.
  • Decorate home (interior and exterior) perfectly so it accurately reflects a) love of family, b) love of season, and c) love of Martha.
  • Turn oven to preheat for perfect baking every time you enter the kitchen.
  • Spend time with family and friends making perfect memories.
We all know that's impossible, don't we? Does that stop us from trying to attain at least a few of those impossible goals -- and work, too? Um, don't answer that.

This year, I decided to post a Daily Doodle on my Facebook page every day in December. It was my commitment to myself to spend five minutes a day during the season of impossible goals to do something that's doesn't aspire to perfection -- just a simple little doodle on a 3x5 index card. I missed one day, which I blame on the sugar coma induced by overconsumption of Christmas cookies. But on the whole it started off as a very do-able and enjoyable routine in a month where routine is turned on its head.

And then I did something insane: I thought, "Why not take this opportunity to practice doodling with the Wacom tablet I bought last summer and haven't taken out of the box?"

On the one hand, I've enjoyed spending a few minutes a day away from Etsy selling and gift making and preparations for an upcoming eCourse -- just starting to learn how to use this new tool. On the other hand, I find myself on a slippery slope that leads toward a midden pile of impossible goals: I seem to expect more perfection from something made using an unfamiliar device that has to be plugged in than from something made by my own hand in the few minutes it takes for the oven to preheat.

Over the weekend, I put away the tablet, went back to index cards, and got some perspective. I may still be insane, but I have some perspective on my craziness. In other words, I got my tongue unstuck from the frozen lamp post that pops up when I double dog dare myself to try something new in the presence of witnesses.

And then today, a holiday miracle arrived, via Liz Massey's Creative Liberty: Liz shared The Done Manifesto by Bre Pettis and Kio Stark. Here are my favorite elements.
#6 -- The point of being done is not to finish but to get other things done.
#10 - Failure counts as done. So do mistakes. And
#13 - Done is the engine of more.
It may be impossible to be perfectly at peace with imperfection and failure to achieve the impossible. I wouldn't be able to diagram that sentence perfectly, but I'm OK with that, too.

Have you recently recovered from some impossible expectation? Hit the comments button below, or tell us on Facebook. I double dog dare you!

1 comment:

This blog has moved to I hope you'll join the conversation there!