Avalanches into Sinkholes. And Comparison? #MotivationMonday

Monday, April 13, 2015

Aw jeez, I feel like I haven't been here in forever!  My goodness, sorry my friends.  Everything's ok!

I probably shouldn't make joke titles about sinkholes and avalanches though, considering my long-standing courtship with Murphy's Law but that's how the previous week felt.

Some work came in from my pal which was great and then a job that I had been working on came back in again absorbing all my time, keeping me from anything house and from you.  Obviously work = cash = good but work ≠ house progress and the returning job has been particularly stressful, making for a tough week last week and it's only heating up.

Man, I haven't been to Menards in, wow, I can't even remember.  Like two weeks?!  More?!?  Oh dear.  They're fretting for sure.

So what has been going on?  Heh, well, nothing sadly. 

I know, real exciting, right?  Yawn.

I haven't even had time to tape new color chips to the stair wall.  Yeah.  Seriously.  I did toss the bag of them to Mike one evening and he said, "ooooOoh no.  No.  No no no no no," banishing them to the coffee table.  Waltzing away I chuckled out a "yeah babe," then kept hope alive.  The bag is still sitting there, untouched.  I guess he kinda really meant no, huh?  Hmph.  Darn it.

Finn goes to the vet this week, a new one, to check on his ongoing pain in the butt Giardia issues.  I pun but we are a wee nervous as a.) new vet, b.) Finny barked unfriendly-like at everyone on a casual drop in visit to the previous vet several months ago, c.) he still exhibits inter-species disdain and d.) we just want this poop to clear up, in every sense there.  Yeah ok, sorry.  So, send good vibes out Wednesday morning if you would please!

Hailey's been at the forefront of my mind as of late, occupying my thoughts.  She's always on my mind, I know, but sometimes more so.  I keep waiting for the day when happy fun memories come flooding to me rather than that horrifying morning on repeat.

Two things that helped bouy me during the stress last week were some unexpected plugs as little ol' me, just a-typin' and DIY'ing it away, doin' my own lil' thing, goodness -- I'm speechlessly flattered.  In a tip of the hat to The Colbert Report, humbly and with no facetiousness, it's a new segment:  Who's Honoring Me Now?  

Cory of Handyman How 2 built a sixteen foot workbench (sixteen feet!! Holy super cereal jealous!) and revealed that I inspired him with my workbench.  Aw jeez, that gave me the warm fuzzies!  And then Jennifer of Noting Grace included my pallet wood pantry floor in a Hometalk clipboard that she put together.  Super cool, yeah?!  I'm so honored! 

So thanks guys, that was way neat, you made me blush, and you were two St. Bernard's in the avalanche.

One thing I've been thinking about recently though is comparison.  I had a long conversation with myself in my head while walking Finn in the park the other day.  It's something we all do on a daily basis.  Comparison that is.  Unless you too have long conversations with yourself in your head then I'll feel less crazy.  Comparison can result in positive outcomes but it can also do some harm.

Comparison?  Why the heck are you thinking about that and what could that possibly have to do with anything?

Because in thinking about what can cause decision-related fear or make people feel "stuck," it dawned on me that comparison is a huge influencer on design, how we think about design, and how we make design decisions.  It's comparison that freezes us.  Comparison kills, dude.  Maybe that sounds like a stretch but here, think about it with me a minute....

It happens in lots of ways:

Of course there's the obvious, Keeping Up With The Joneses.  We might compare what we have, what we've done to the storied Joneses, feel in some way that they "did it better" then get ourselves wrapped in a wallet-pounding venture that leaves us left with an environment that doesn't reflect ourselves.  All because we compared.  Boo, likely no happiness there.

Comparison situation two:  ah the ilk of Pinterest.  I am quite fond of that site, don't get me wrong.  I think it's a valuable tool for sure and I visit daily.  The crux lies in comparison -- you see The Room all done up to the max, it blows your mind, kapow....One of two things happen:  you get beau-coup motivated and in a whirling dervish get that space that's been nagging at you done the way you've always dreamt it.  Sweet!  Or, you compare your whichever room to that room and sigh "I wish," turn all opposite-Stuart Smalley, that you'll never be good enough nor smart enough to ever achieve your dream.

Situation three?  Aw, I had this great idea, it's a smidge off the wall but oh ok, I see, when I compare it to others or similar versions or other things in general, oh ok, I must be totally nutso, this is less of an idea, a bad idea, all right, ok, never mind, I won't take that chance.  Opportunity?  Lost.

Similarly....Oh lookie at that fabulous who's-a-what's-it that that person did!  Damn, that's cool and I'd love to do replicate it!  But.  Hmph.  My skills couldn't even begin to compare to that person's, I'll never be able to reproduce it.  Pfft, forget it then.  (Ummm, noooo, not true.)

Situation four?  So-and-so (insert any whoever person/people), their house/office/place/whatever is all x, y, z.  X y z may be a good thing or maybe it's, well, the opposite for you.  You compare your design choices to theirs and you either feel more skillful or you feel less design-savvy, like you have no taste, can't decorate your way out of a paper bag.  You feel poopie.

That whole big thing of late, comparing yourself to others' highlight reel as the kids say these days.  Yeah, it can be a motivator but it can also stifle creativity, shut down our abilities to make design decisions (or any decisions) lest we get judged or made fun of or told we're wrong or doing it wrong or whatever yucky that brings you down.  

Therefore?  We don't do anything. That room languishes in that color you dislike for years.  That furniture arrangement because you felt powerless against it.  Those sad droopy curtains because why bother.  You catch my drift here.

You should never feel bad about your design choices.  Never.  They are distinctly and uniquely yours, something to be proud of no matter how "normal" or "weird" they are.  (Those are all just relative terms, honestly.  Am I right?)  It's who you are.  It's what makes you happy.  Who cares what anyone else thinks?!  Do they live there?  No?  Then screw 'em.  

Go bold!  Go big!  Go greige if you want (though I might urge otherwise)!  Be yourself, gosh darn it!  Get out there and do it!  There are no mistakes, only choices to learn from.  Besides, if you make a "mistake," you know what that means?  You get the exciting chance to redo, to try again. 

Once you let go of comparison, as when it dawned on me the other day, the world feels brighter and lighter.  Or it did for me anyway.  I'm not saying bam, done, easy peasy, oh ok we'll all suddenly stop comparing things -- it may not be so simple, but start small and it will grow.  Pick a corner, muss it about, don't compare it to anything else out there in the world and see how it goes.

So yeah, #MotivationMonday for you.  Get 'em.  Rawwr.

A photoless post, hm.  Always meant a photo of Hailey.  Finn can join the fun too.

Sweet pea Hailey
Big boy Finn




















Hopefully I'll be back soon!  xo

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