I’m in a quagmire. Isn’t that a great word? Maybe I’ll use it for TNQDE tomorrow. Great as the word is, however, the state of mind is not. Great, that is. Not great at all. John’s in a similar state of mind and between the two of us, we’re just getting loads done.
Actually, I am getting a lot done. Saturday I did laundry, went grocery shopping, cooked a turkey dinner, did a little freelance project for a friend, and finished reading a book. Sunday I made coleslaw and beans, did a little more freelance work, applied for a summer job, and finished my lesson planning for the week. The weekend was extremely productive. The problem is…that’s not what I wanted to accomplish this weekend.
One of my sister’s had a birthday a couple weeks ago. Believe it or not, I bought the yarn for her gift and started planning the project before her actual birthday. As of yet, her present is uncompleted. Why? Because I’m in a quagmire. I started off the project by taking out books from the library, making a gauge swatch, test knitting the tricky bits of the pattern I’m writing, but… the first try still came out all wrong in every way. The second try came out wrong in exactly the opposite ways. The good thing is that I have worked out the kinks and now have a working pattern. I just can’t find the enthusiasm for taking apart and remaking the project yet again, so I have very productively avoided thinking about it for the past two weeks.
(Joy, when you finally get your present, it will be a work of skill and art, I promise. No shortcuts on this gift. Also, did I mention how proud of you I am for getting into grad school? Raise the roof!)
John is in a similar place with his website, which he decided to make more or less from scratch himself. He’s got all the design skills, but only the beginnings of the coding skills, so he’s been fighting the same battle. Just when he thinks he’s got something that works, he discovers a reason that it won’t work and that will, in fact, require him to start over completely. Two weeks ago, he spent the entire weekend at his computer, hacking (I say in the most geek-complimentary sense possible) away at the code. Today he’s been playing computer games (except for a break to help me in the kitchen) and why? Because he’s in a quagmire.
Neither of us wasted time or effort on our preliminary attempts. I am a firm believe in the power of failure to teach and inform later attempts. What we have learned will stick with us and make our future projects that much easier and more likely to succeed on the first try. I’m just currently stuck in the mud of mental exhaustion. Every time I look at my project bag, my brain screams, “But I already did that. Twice!” Failure may generate the steam for two more tries, but it certainly doesn’t generate the enthusiasm.
No sir, it doesn’t. Fortunately, when I need a pep talk to find the magic in the wake of a fiasco, I can always count on Lionel Jeffries to perk me up…