Jules over on Pancakes and French Fries recently posted about the tyranny of her to-do list and how she realized that she doesn’t look back enough to give herself credit for all the things she’s completed. I think this is sadly common to most of the human race. I commented on her post and said something like,
“Oh man, our house project list is so important to our morale! It lives on the refrigerator and gets redone when it’s mostly completed. When we do something on it, we make a ceremony of crossing it off and cheering! For really major things (i.e. replacing plumbing) we open a bottle of cheap champagne. Celebrating the little victories makes it easier to notice all the stuff we’ve completed, rather than just focusing on all the stuff that’s still not pretty around here.”
It’s good advice and I wish I lived up to it every day. This seems like it’s a huge area for do it yourself types, a kind of subconscious pressure on our brains, and even more so if you’re supposed to produce things to blog about. We enjoy fixing stuff up and DIY-ing and decorating at least partly because we enjoy the end result. But I bet I”m not the only one who has a bad habit sometimes of finishing one project and feeling impatient or discouraged when I look ahead to all the other things that need doing. There is always something to add to the project list. But know what? I am blessed with work to be done! I would hate the lack of house projects if everything was done and fancy and tweaked to perfection. And things are getting visibly better week by week.
How about next time you finish a satisfying large project or a series of little ones, you stop and turn to your spouse, friend, cat, dad, neighbor, or God and raise a toast. Brag about what you’ve accomplished – go ahead! Drink something nice. Stop from time to time and admire your work together – “Remember when the garage door was a rotten and poorly functioning wooden death trap? Man, we were awesome when we put in that slick new automatic door.” [real conversation, sort of.] It’s going to make the process of getting to your goals so much more enjoyable.