What I am discovering about myself is that I need a short horizon and small projects. My brain becomes overwhelmed with long term goals and multi-faceted tasks. Think of a flooded engine, giving it more gas isn't going to make things better and will probably make things worse. Just "trying harder" doesn't work for me anymore. I need to have something to look forward to, and I need help breaking down projects so they don't overwhelm.
One BIG project Niels and I continue to make strides toward is combining our two households. Granted, all of our belongings from our long seasons of singlehood are under the same roof, but there is a lot of purging that still needs to be done. The biggest obstacle for me is that much of the "stuff" I have is notes and writing ideas. I still hold out a modicum of hope that I will be able to write again someday, and can't bear the thought of throwing away my research and ideas. So I have many tubs of papers. Eventually, I'll get to that.
For the last several months, the table in our basement has become our paper collector. People coming over? Bring everything down to the table? Back from a trip? Bring everything down to the table? Start a project but run out of steam? Bring everything down to the table. You get the idea. When Niels asked what project I wanted to tackle on Project Day, I brought up the table.
Having the day marked on the calendar in advance helped me start to think about what needed to be done. It's embarrassing how poorly my brain functions at times. I have 2 big filing cabinets. Eight drawers. I have a table full of stuff to file but it took me three months to realize that I could sort the table full of stuff into eight piles based on which file they went into. And even that came from Niels when I was venting my frustration. Reminds me of the fact that it took six months to figure out how to put my medical papers in chronological order after my initial fall. Sigh...I miss my brain.
One project left over on the table was "put pictures of people we know in our picture frames." It's kind of a joke around our house that we have tons of frames, but no pictures in them. Some of the frames are even hung up, but with the original pictures in them. So one day, I took all the frames and set them out on the table. Then I ran out of steam. Sunday, we inserted the pictures.
Turns out we had about forty different frames. Some were broken, some were out of date, some were not our style. We put those in our donate pile. We still had about twenty left. While I was sorting those out, Niels was backing up our photos onto our network, finding pictures to print and putting them into frames. We still have a couple left to do, but at least there are no longer any pictures or frames or scrapbooking items (put off for another day!) on the table!
As a postscript, my friend-of-the-week, Jackie, came over yesterday to hang with Daniel for a few hours so I could do some filing. I have to make a few more file tabs, but almost everything is now off the table.