Monday, July 19, 2010

Letting go

I can't believe it's been a little more than two weeks since my last post!
Every time I post, I think that's the week I'll get into the swing of posting at least once a week ... and then the very next post starts out a little something like 'I can't believe it's been so long since I've written!'
Since my last post, I've made a little more progress on the house. I built my desk -- I also made a sort of big mistake on the desk, but it's something only I would ever know about. Instead of a cabinet on the side of the hutch, there is just a shelf. I accidentally mixed up two of the pieces and didn't discover it until it was much too late and the door to the cabinet wouldn't fit anymore.
Luckily, I've somehow managed to become a little more 'go with the flow' in the months since buying this house.
I've never, ever, been a go with the flow person. I've desperately tried to be a go with the flow kind of gal, I've even given a reasonably good acting performance of a go with the flow person from time to time. But, it's never been real.
It's amazing how buying a house, and doing a LOT of work on that house, can teach you about 'letting go.' I have some perfectionistic, control-freak tendencies. Mostly with my work. While painting my living room in March, I spent a good bit of time alone working to meet a deadline on getting that room done.
It was during that stretch that I learned how to let go a little bit. I had to make decisions every day of this redecoration process about what I was able to live with and what I was able to do without. If the paint wasn't entirely straight, if the tape pulled off some of the paint, if the paint dripped...I had to make snap decisions about what needed to be redone and what I could live with.
It was a great lesson. I've had to figure out some things about 'letting go.' I had to learn how to accept what I was capable of doing rather than expecting more than I could do.
It helped me at work, too. I learned how to set reasonable expectations for myself and to say 'this is how much work I can do in one week' and to stop trying to cram more and more work into each week in this effort to produce a perfect newspaper every week.
It's amazing how much my stress level came down. It's not gone, I'm still in a deadline-based business and am still writing, editing, photographing, and paginating a paper nearly entirely by myself each week.
But, instead of trying to bust out 900 editorial inches of material each week, I'm accepting that it's a lot more reasonable for me to produce about 650 to 700 inches. Sometimes I have guilt about it, but most of the time I accept that it's what I'm able to do.
It's a struggle.
I've been struggling with ideas about the house, too. I have postponed a house-warming party because I have this concept in my mind that everything has to be finished and perfect before I 'unveil' my home to everyone I care about.
I'm trying to apply my new 'letting go' lessons to this, but it's hard. I'm getting a lot closer, though. Once the office is unpacked, which will be easier now that the desk is finished, I can get the carpets cleaned and the air vents cleaned, and I think that is the goal I'm going to stick with for the unveiling.
Finishing the basement into a guest bedroom can probably wait until after my aunts, uncles, cousins, grandmother, and best friends have been over for a quick party.
Does anyone have any personal tips or advice for someone who is trying to learn to 'let go?'

No comments:

Post a Comment