Life's Little Details: Knitting, Sewing, Green Living, Frugal Living and Cooking In A Little Corner of Southern French Countryside.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Avoid It Like the Plague

Hubba Bubba Barbie Sweater
Originally uploaded by Sheepish.
Avoidance. Many people like to call it procrastination. You're waiting till the last minute to do something. Really, it's avoidance. You just narrowly miss avoiding doing it all together. Then, it's procrastination.

I've got plenty of things I avoid doing these days. There's the laundry and dishes, of course. Then, there's that pesky dissertation nuisance I started a while back. There's all the clutter around here that needs to be cleared. I avoid it all. Lucky for us, though, my main avoidance technique is knitting. I get all sorts of knitting done when I should be doing other things.

I've figured out what makes knitting such an ideal avoidance technique, though. It's the fact that when I bury my head in a wad of yarn, I don't see the mess around me. I could be on a tropical beach for all I know. Reading has the same allure, but it's not as productive as knitting. I can actually claim I'm getting something done when I knit. That certainly gives the knitting some extra points.

I've been re-diving into the mess around here the last few days and reading some more tips on organizing. There's some good stuff in these books. Now, just to apply it...

Reading one of them I did realize something abouut myself. It's a pretty important thing to know, actually. See, when I walk into a room, I take in the whole space. Some people focus on a chair or a lampshade that their eye is drawn to. I see everything at once. So, when I enter a messy room in my own home, I can't focus on one particular spot I'd like to start cleaning on. The organizing picture is gets out of focus while I take the entire scene. Good to know, since there are ways of overcoming this if I'm aware of it.

This also explains the difference between me and my sister-in-law, who can whip through a room in mere seconds, leaving nothing but tidiness and a faint scent of cleaning solutions in her path. It also explains why she always wants to offer me advice on how to be more efficient her way, and why it only serves to depress me, because I know I can't. It feels like criticism, but I now understand that she is unable to see that our minds work differently where clutter is involved, and that she sees it as a lack of effort on my part. Knowing that I see things more "wholistically" (to quote the organizing book) will help me not beat myself up about my inefficiency from now on.

Anyway, why are we talking about this? Well, since I wasn't able to use one of my other avoidance techniques (the internet/blogging) for several days last week, I got lots of knitting done. And, in the photo here, you can see a 75% finished sweater for my daughter. She loves it for now. Experience tells me that could change once it's done. For now, though, she happily says it looks like something Barbie would wear (please note that to a four-year-old, that's a good thing and not a reference to a girl's promiscuity).

See it's not so bad to avoid the dishes.