Are you under the illusion that everyone else seems to be on the ball and you're scrambling behind it? Does it feel like everyone else gets to their to-do list while yours only continues to grow? Can it seem as if others are accomplishing goals, taking steps forward, moving onward, upward, forward, and you are spinning your wheels?
I received a quasi-compliment about how I seem to get things done. Final products appear and wow others that I have accomplished them. I wonder if they think that either I a) don't sleep or b) have nothing else important in life to do.
Not so. Not true.
Funny enough, I'm guilty of thinking the same thing of others. Others who seem to get things done.
But I had an amazing revelation today about all this. You see, yesterday James picked up a wall map that I had laminated at Staples. I also picked up the baseboard I'm going to use for it's frame and some black paint to paint that baseboard. "You get all these projects done," was said, in reference to the map.
I laughed. Not so. NOT true.
I can understand the confusion. A map on a wall? It should be a short project easily started and finished in one evening. Yes, somewhere in another dimension, another version of me (without children to raise and a home to run) bought the map on her way to work. On the way home she picked up the wood for the frame and had the map laminated. Then she cut the frame to size, slapped on some black paint and mounted the whole thing on the wall before bed.
Reality: I have wanted to put a map on the wall for 4 years. More than 2 years ago I finally bought the print of the map I wanted. Yesterday I finally had it laminated. I have no idea when I'll get to cutting and painting the frame, much less mounting it, polyfilling the cracks in the frame (because the odds of cutting it perfectly are....hahahahahahahha) and retouching the paint. But you know what? When the map is finally up, I will post a picture here and write about how much I love it and how useful it will be in teaching my children and how we will dream of the places we will travel to...and someone will read that entry and think that in an hour the night before I came up with the idea, executed it perfectly and voila.
NOT SO. NOT TRUE!!!
I have vowed never to look at someone's finished product and wish I could wave the same magic wand and make it appear. These tiny little projects that finally show themselves are the final product of weeks, months, and years of dreaming, planning, working.
One more example. I've been working on the nursery for months. The dresser in there needs a second coat, but the paint can has been sitting there since before Christmas. There are so many little pieces that I want to do, little projects that would take no time at all, except that I can't even find that little bit of time to complete them. When I post the picture, I hope I will remember to detail just how long it took to put together. That sort of thing might be easy for someone with a talent for decorating, but for me it was a labour of love, (and "labour" in the sense of labouring a baby, which I have done 4 times and don't use that analogy lightly!)
It's good to have goals. It's good to have long term goals with short term steps to get there. It's good to make lists. But it's most important to remember that not everything on that list needs to (or can be) done right now. The list is a list of dreams, hopes, and ideas that might one day come to fruition. Some of them might lead to other ideas that you like better. Some might be dreams always left unfulfilled. Some might be ones you get to now, some next year, some next decade. But make that list, keep dreaming, because if you don't make a list at all, then the odds are good you'll never accomplish much at all. Most important, never, never, never be under the illusion that everyone else has their life more together than yours. They are probably looking at you and thinking the exact same thing.