Field Notes

I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Get Up.

That’s what it feels like, anyway.

Two years ago and all the time in my life before that I was a complete overachiever + perfectionist + compulsive planner + lots of other things that kept my shoulders firmly planted next to my ears at all times. Some of you who have only met me recently would probably say, “Uh, you still seem a little like that?”

Believe me: I have changed. While I can still make things look good, I still care about details, and I am still more organized than the average person, I don’t routinely give myself and everyone else in my immediate vicinity anxiety and/or the shakes with actions and statements that seem to indicate everything needs to happen in a certain way at a certain time. I’m very laid back now.

I know, I know: my writing “I’m very laid back now” looks a lot like a “methinks the lady doth protest too much” situation, but ask my husband and my closest friends. They’ll vouch for me (and have done so in many situations lately).

Anyway, over the past few months and as a result of a terribly lazy combination of summer days, pool time, and not many work hours I have almost completely lost my mojo. Other than regular household chores–at which I excel these days, by the way–my project life has suffered.

It’s not that I don’t have projects I’d love to start (and finish). Some are big and could keep me busy for weeks or even months and some are tiny and could be completed in an hour or less. I could type out a fairly extensive list of the projects that are currently living in my head if I wanted to, but I’m not as much of a list-maker these days.

That revelation is still shocking to me. I don’t even know who I am anymore.

This afternoon I decided that I need to force my own hand. I can potentially accomplish so much with all the time I have (and once pool season is over, whoa!). It’s just that I have to find a balance so I don’t get back into the “Go Big or Go Home” territory that is so familiar and comfortable (in some ways) and also mentally and emotionally taxing to me. I want to be casual in my work style and avoid the intensity that has plagued me in the past.

Can it be done? I think so.

After deciding on a large, long-term project I grabbed a legal pad for taking notes and organizing myself. Then it occurred to me that using a large notebook wasn’t going to be helpful in my desired avoidance of Going Big. I put it back and instead claimed this stained up (but brand new inside), tiny Field Notes book from my blank notebook collection. For me, going small is the new black…or something like that. I’ll keep you posted.