Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Challenge Accepted

Maybe you can relate to this: Despite how much you want something, or crave a certain life or ability, or the time to sit down and work on a particular project, you often feel like you're in over your head and quit before you start. You'll never write a book, or be a painter, or take beautiful photographs, or be a designer, or a baker, or a blogger. You'll be mediocre-at-best, so why bother trying?

That's how I feel quite often, and have for a long time. I bring this up, not for validation, but because this seems to be a trend in the blog-o-sphere this week: talking about doing/making/being something, but never actually doing anything to make it happen. And I am here to say: it's time to put this trend to rest.

This past weekend, my friend Shannon tackled a massive purge, ridding herself of objects and things that continually remind her that she isn't in a position to make her home exactly how she envisions it; "stuff" that she's accumulated with the idea of wanting/using/needing them someday, in the future, perhaps. I related to this problem immediately. When you're faced with tons of stuff (knick-knacks, artwork, frames, decorations, etc.) and you start to feel overwhelmed, you can do one of two things: use them, or get rid of them. I greatly admire her ability to say "You know what? Enough is enough. Most of this stuff is crap, and I don't need it weighing me down or sitting around taunting me because I have no place or use for it yet. There will always be beautiful things to acquire—when I'm ready."

This was Stop #1 on the 'Stop Being So Lazy and Quit Procrastinating' train. Then, this morning—as I made my way through my daily blogroll—I came across this, via Young House Love:

Sherry (the female half of YHL) and her friend-bloggers Emily, Lana and Katie challenged their corner of the Web to finally do something about all of those pictures that they are drooling over and collecting via their Pinterest pages. More specifically, I viewed it as a personal challenge to me and my Pinterest page.

OK, so I may not be able to take a trip to Neuschwanstein Castle or plan a wedding anytime soon, but there are more than enough DIY craft projects and recipes that's I've "pinned" to tackle in the short term. Which is exactly what I plan on doing. This week. Tonight, even.

The challenge is simple: Each week, between Tuesday and the following Tuesday, tackle at least one "pin" on your Pinterest page and share it—no matter how it turns out—with the world, or (in my case) the six of you reading this.

Making an ornament or a pie is a far cry from actually sitting down and writing that novel that's been brewing for five years and counting, but it's a start. It's a matter of knowing how it feels to complete something, and how exciting it can be to enter into projects with excitement and motivation rather than apprehension and self-criticism. It's already close to August, but if this were January 1st, you could think of this as my New Year's Resolution.

How about you, fellow blog readers? Anyone been eyeing a certain project or recipe or book or something else that you just "haven't had the time" to tackle? Let me know if you suffer from this same to-do list apathy, or have you always done projects the moment they come to mind? I'd love to see photos or hear your stories—good or bad.

*Images: 1) via Free-Photos, 2) via Young House Love


  1. YAY!!! Let me know if you need anything (supplies, emotional support) for your projects! :D

  2. I read your blog sweets every one of them.. I just didn't subscribe, but now I have. You give me courage to try sewing. something I have wanted to do and received a sewing machine to do the sewing. I got it two years ago as a Christmas present from my mother-in-law. I have yet to even take it out of the box!! I have no clue how to use it or how to thread a bobbin. Like you, there is never enough time, I work too much and too many hours, have too many other things to do.. Well, it's time and you give me courage to try it.. I will let you know how I do, and I look forward to reading your blog and finding out how you do. Love ya!

  3. Cooking lesson at the French Culinary Institute! I am dying to take the Saturday "eclair and cream puff" class for a whopping $200, but it's so worth it in my eyes if I can make endless Frenchie sweets at home.

    When I asked Joe if he even liked eclairs and/or cream puffs, his response: "does a bear shit in the woods?" I rest my case.

  4. Stacy this is so exciting!! I applaud you for vowing to do this. I remember one time I pledged to post 11 blog posts in the month of November. I think I got, like, 7. Anyway, I'm proud to say that I HAVE made 2 of the recipes I've pinned, both cookies and both turned out pretty good! As far as the DIY projects, though, those are the ones really taunting me. My hesitation is this: if I'm already throwing out a bunch of stuff because I can't be bothered to decorate with it, should I really be MAKING things to decorate with? The recipes, however, that is something that most definitely will not take up space for long! Plus, I've been meaning to start cooking like a grown-up. If this happens, you'll be the first to know :) Can't wait to see what Pins you whip up!

  5. I've been collecting pages and pages of images from magazines and catalogs (mostly Anthropologie) for years so I could decopage on a large canvas... And I've never started or even gotten the materials to do it!

    That is definitely the project I want to start. It would add so much more character to my apartment walls.

  6. Hurray! Glad to know other people have projects lingering on their to-do list too! And Shannon - I think tackling recipes is the thing to do, rather than adding more clutter to the mix. But maybe there's a recipe you've been avoiding because it's one step above what you're used to? Try that one! Personally, I've never worked with yeast or made bread at home... that might have to happen this weekend. :)

  7. No photos, but I'm longing to get back to my writing. As soon as my kids are back in school, I promise!