I don’t always get the job done well, but it is done.
Well, until I have to go back and redo it because, come to find out, doing a job pretty much right but not exactly often means having to fix things later.
I am still learning this lesson at 32 years old. I know. It’s kind of embarrassing, but mostly I’m proud that I am finally developing the patience needed to slow down and do it right.
Sometimes doing the right thing means doing nothing for a little bit.
When I was working on making my
dress tunic at Lisa’s house, I struggled with figuring out how to attach the collar to the bodice. Then, at about 10 o’clock at night, we realized that I had cut the fabric the wrong size and there was no way I was getting that garment onto my body, even if I did manage to create a finished neckline.
I considered just finishing it and living with a shirt that didn’t fit me.
Maybe I could lose weight, or find someone to give it to.
I wanted so badly to be done.
Lisa suggested I go to bed and come back to it in the morning.
I didn’t want to go to bed. I wanted to do. I couldn’t stand the idea of walking away, even for a little bit. But then I remembered the whole point of the Life List is to have experiences that enrich my life, not to check things off an arbitrary list of my own making. I wanted to wear something I’d made. I wanted to get it right.
I went to bed, and the next day I came back refreshed and ready to start over. Today I have a beautiful tunic in my closet. I wear it with pride and remember the fun I had making it with my beloved girlfriend. It’s a symbol to me of perseverance and patience.
Now I am faced with a major decision and I am desperately trying not to settle.
Where will we live next?
I thought I had it all figured out.
I have always wanted to live in a city. I imagine running my daily errands on foot rather than by car. I fantasize about apartment living and neighborhood festivals. Whenever I visit a city, I long to plug into the power grid that I can feel pulsing all around me. Jared and I spent a good chunk of our 10-monthdeciding where we’d settle when the trip was over (once we figured out that, yes, we did want to be at least a little settled somewhere.)
We fell in love.
And then we went home to Florida and realized we were already settled somewhere.
Just driving across the state line made me feel more relaxed. I felt comfortable in our friends’ home. I drove through my old neighborhood, past our old house, and I cried for the security we’d given up. I loved that house. There was never a day that I didn’t love that house, even when I decided that we had to give it up to have more.
I wanted it all back. I wanted to be home, to be safe, to be plugged into what I already knew. I wanted to reclaim the life we’d spent four years building for ourselves after leaving another home in another town.
That town in Iowa feels strange to us now. It’s filled with memories, but it isn’t our place anymore. Choosing yet another place would mean turning yet another home into an old, disconnected memory. The only way to get that city life–a life that may only exist in my imagination–is to let go of the feeling of belonging I already have in Florida.
On top of all that, there are dozens of other unknown variables in the mix, questions about things like money. These questions won’t have answers for several weeks yet. It’s a little difficult to choose a home when you don’t yet know how you’ll be paying the rent.
I am willing myself not to decide right now, not to do. We have a little bit of time before we have to make anything permanent, and I’m trying to relax. I am breathing, thinking, and trying to open myself up to wisdom and affirmation.
I hate the uncertainty of not deciding, but I am trying to be patient.
I am practicing the art of doing nothing.
Thus far, I am sucking at it.