Saturday, December 29, 2012
How Do You Know When to Abandon a Project- Learning to Let GO
I love watching the home renovation shows like Property Brothers, Love it or List it, and Bar Rescue. The obvious satisfaction of seeing a before and after, with a much improved after, is a compelling, almost obsessive pastime. I think I like it because they actually get things FINISHED, and I am a finisher. I don’t like loose ends....
Enter, stage left, a (quilt) project, started in 1990-something......taken out of the box and looked at and rearranged and restarted, after 7 years. Made three rows, need to make 8 more. I’m out of the fabrics in the colors needed to make this a successful quilt. I have learned much about color and value since seven years ago to know that without the correct colors, this quilt just won’t work. There’s nothing wrong with starting and stopping a project, but how do you know when to just give up on one completely? And especially when you’ve invested time and money already on it? Years of your life too?
Try to take a realistic approach to it, and as unemotional as you can, ask yourself some questions. What it will take to finish it– more time at the quilt store? More money? More fabrics not already in your almost quilt store sized stash? Once you start looking at the project again, you’ll probably remember why you stopped working on it. If you really love it, can you finish it within a week or two, better yet- in a DAY or two? Why? Because you’ll be done with it and the problem will be resolved. The important verb here is to create MOVEMENT in your life, not stagnation.
A more important question: do you really LOVE IT? If you can honestly say that you are not IN LOVE with the project, there’s no use keeping it. It will just become a guilty burden for you.
Does it have the same meaning for you as it did when you started it?
How would you feel if this project wasn’t sitting there anymore, in your to do pile, staring at you and making yourself feel guilty for not finishing it? If the answer to this question is "FREE"- to move on to more updated fabrics and new more modern projects, then stop the project and give it away, sell it or whatever. It’s best to not have it there anymore, because if you keep it, you’ll still feel guilty. Whatever you do, DON’T make it into a pillow, unless you LOVE IT. It will drive you crazy every time you look at it, because you’ll start thinking about it too much, and kicking yourself for not finishing it.
There’s a freedom and weight lifted off your shoulders by clearing out the cobwebs in your head (project box). You’ll feel lighter, more energetic, look forward to new projects.
Sometimes you just have to let things go. Live unapologetically. Don’t worry about what others will think if you abandon this project. It’s YOUR life, and you only have so much time to live it. Do what you LOVE doing, don’t settle for the mediocre. This is the time you need to be decisive, stop procrastinating and get moving! Good luck and Happy New Year!