Archive for February, 2013

2013 – The Year of Finishing Things!

I am not good at finishing things. I am great at starting things, but very few of them ever get finished.

Ending and finishing are not the same thing. I had to end my PhD unfinished. This has been very hard to deal with and does not help my view of myself as a person who is bad at finishing. This is an unhelpful way to see myself. So in order to change that, I need to declare this year one in which I finish more than I start!

You may wonder how that is possible. Please see the second sentence of the first paragraph πŸ™‚ Obviously I need to finish some things I started some other year!

Fortunately I have not started heaps of things yet this year. I have started a few though. I need to make a list:

1) A Victorian crochet pattern for carriage boots – this is going quite well so far and is my current crochet project, I think it might be possible to finish this one. Here is the link to download the 1851 booklet for anyone interested!

2) Needle felted penguins for my Mum – I need to finish these this week as she wants them asap! (The link is to my pin on Pinterest, it does not go to the right page though. I intend to make a blog post about these soon.)

3) Renovating the purple parasol – I stripped it as the fabric is rotten and took photos to make a blog post, but I haven’t written the blog or finished the project.

4) Another Victorian pattern for a cushion, I got confused and moved on to the other pattern.

5) I started to try and blog more often, but it has been a bit patchy, I could commit to once a week, at the risk of having to resort to an emergency post of a picture of my cat. But she is cute, so that might be a risk worth taking πŸ™‚

6) I have resolved to finish a novel this year, but I always intended that to be one of the ones I have already started. I don’t even care which one and I do have time left, so I am not worried by a slow start to this one – after all, if I have made no progress by November I can use Nano and finish one there.

7) I also started some crochet fingerless mitts, but I need to use a bigger hook so I’d have to undo it all and start again, which is why it has been sitting there for weeks.

I could go on, but a list which is too long can be disheartening.

Once I have managed to finish something I hope I can then begin to see myself as someone who finishes some of the things. The more I finish the more my view of myself will change. Does this mean I will not start anything new this year? I can try, but we shall see. Just so long as I finish more than I start I will be happy! Sometimes a project will have to be ended rather than finished – some of my crochet projects stopped because they hit a problem and I just left them and went on to the next, so I can call one finished with if I decide to abort it, unpick it and rewind the yarn to be reused. But that is not really what this is about – I want to finish things I start!

This resolution has been inspired today by reading thisΒ blog post from one of my favourite writing blogs. If you are an aspiring writer like me, she is well worth checking out.

I could put off posting this to add some photos, but maybe it better to just finish it here and have photos in the next one! Start as I mean to go on. Perfectionism is the enemy of getting things done.

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February 28, 2013 at 1:26 PM Leave a comment

New Word – Disimprove

I have been using this word for a while now and I find it increasingly useful, although I would prefer that not to be the case. The meaning of the word is when someone tries to improve something but actually manages to make it less good. I am sure you will be able to instantly come up with several examples! See, the word is very useful πŸ™‚

It is not the same as deliberately ruining something, as the intention is claimed to be good. So the company who makes your favourite biscuit deciding to stop making it is not a disimprovement, but them changing the recipe so you no longer like the biscuit is.

Neither is it the same as things getting worse for other reasons: my arthritis might get worse, but it is not a disimprovement unless it was as a result of trying to change it for the better, for example if one had a hip replacement which went wrong, or when drugs cause horrible side effects worse than what they are supposed to be treating.

It can be done with the best of intentions, or it can be an excuse, as when the recipe change is claimed to improve the taste, but is actually a result of their desire to use cheaper ingredients. As long as it is claimed to be an improvement, but isn’t, that is a disimprovement.

Governments are very good at disimprovements.

Sometimes if enough people protest the disimprovement might be changed back. This would have to be called an undisimprovement, as it is not an improvement over the original situation, just a restoration of it. I was disappointed when Blair did not undisimprove what Thatcher had done and even more disillusioned when he continued to make disimprovements of his own.

Unfortunately, not everything can be undisimproved.Β It may be too late to correct climate change, but that does not absolve us from trying.

What do you think of my new word? Will you start to use it too? It would be great if a word I invented got into the dictionary! I would really feel my life had been worthwhile πŸ™‚

February 12, 2013 at 11:03 AM 3 comments

Balance

Such a difficult thing to manage, yet so essential. And easy to forget!

The responses to my last post made me think. Although I have found it useful sometimes to have a primary focus for a month, like last January when I did so much on the HBP (I have done some since then, but I feel as if I achieved more that month than in the whole rest of the year! It may even be true…) with things like health and my long term novel writing goal, I think it has to be far more important to gain some kind of sustainable balance.

I am in charge of the timing for my novel writing goal, so I don’t have to neglect my health for it to work! I did feel I had to if I was to get a thesis written in the timescale allocated. But that is precisely why I had to give it up. So then why even remotely consider doing that to myself if I don’t have to? Am I mad? No, don’t answer that…

So I need to try and find a balance which works for me. No more waiting to get well, I need to work at that. But not too hard or I wear myself out, seriously, if you didn’t read the spoons article, go back and read it if you don’t understand. I have a ridiculously small amount of energy compared to normal people. I’d love to be able to walk every day, but I have found that if I have a walk two days in a row my knees swell up like melons, which is not fun. We went for a little walk on Saturday, no more than half an hour and not fast either, but I had to have a nap when we got home and was too tired and grumpy yesterday to do anything. We had been out on Friday too, so I guess I just overdid it. 😦

But I do love going for walks, so I am not about to give up! I just need to be careful to get the balance right.

It’s a beautiful sunny day today, but I am enjoying it from inside, which is sensible. I ought to work on the novel if I’m not going out, but here I am writing a blog post instead… Of course, that is still writing πŸ™‚

And the novel plot still twists and untwists in my brain as I do other things.

A random picture of Pebble being cute :)

A random picture of Pebble being cute πŸ™‚

February 4, 2013 at 2:43 PM 2 comments


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