One absolute truth that has grieved me for most of my life is this: When I have projects underway that cannot be set aside or  deadlines close approaching, I will get an irresistible urge to start something else.

I’m not normally big on housework. I can easily convince myself that floors can wait, that closets and drawers and anything unseen can be put off, that it’s really not a good day to do windows…

Unless I have a bit of writing due, in which case I will decide that the floors have gone too long without a good scrubbing, that the closet must absolutely be organized today, and that maybe – while I’m at it, I should paint the shelf and put new hooks on the inside of the door…

Until I’m in such a mess that there is no turning back, but then the new hooks will plant the idea of a new hat and in the blink of an eye I’m going through yarn and patterns and half-finished crochet projects…

But I am quickly discouraged that it goes too slow when I – after all – have other things that are much more important, that are being neglected…in the garden, for instance. So off I’ll go to dead-head and weed and prune with a vengeance…

Then I’ll get such gigantic inspiration for an art project that it would be a sin to ignore it and I tell myself that I must paint…

But then maybe a single hunger pang interrupts, and I think, “Why not make soup? How nice to have soup bubbling on the stove while I work. With soup, why not bread? Soup simmering and bread rising…” and before I can talk myself out of it I have cleaned the paint from my fingernails and am surrounded by carrot and onion peelings…

Such is my life.

So today, with my half-day of work in town done, my meeting finished, web seminar completed…I have an hour or two of extra time.

I could devote it to housework, what with company coming in a week.

I could spend the time in the garden; there’s plenty to do there. It’s a bit drizzly, though.

It would, in fact, be a nice day for soup.

Four large paintings are in progress in the studio. Sixteen small collages could use final touches, and yet…my printing press is calling, to send me in an entirely new direction.


About cindyricksgers

I am an artist. I live on an island in northern Lake Michigan, USA. I have two grown daughters, four strong, smart and handsome grandsons and one beautiful, intelligent and charming granddaughter. I live with two spoiled dogs. I love walking in the woods around my home, reading, writing and playing in my studio.

14 responses »

  1. I absolutely love this, Cindy! So much like me, except I’d be much better off it was housework, gardening and cooking that distracted me from, say, bookkeeping. Nope. No matter what I’m doing, it always makes me think of the book I’m reading…

    • Oh, yeah, there’s that, too! I could write a whole book on the distractions that ensue when trying to sort old magazines for recycling! Thanks for reading, Kate, and for your comments!

    • Are all creative people so scattered and pulled? I wonder. I seem to remember times in my life when I could pull it all together, and the end result was a hugely productive day. Now, it seems, by the end of the day I’m in even greater chaos! Thank you for reading, and for your comments!

  2. Welcome to the Productive Procrastinators Club! I’m so like this I can hardly stand it. When I absolutely must get something done, that’s the time I go do something else. The good thing about that is, at least we’re getting something done, even if it’s not what must be done. Good luck getting to everything…eventually.

    • Yes, Sara, something is always getting done…by why do we put ourselves through such high stress this way? Do I need that adrenaline rush to succeed? I wonder…Thank you for reading, for your comments and for your understanding and good wishes!

  3. There is so much to do in life at times! You sound like many artists I know. Perhaps we choose to wander because we want to enjoy all of life. It’s hard, though, when we know things should/must be accomplished. Happy weekend to you on Beaver Island!

    • Thank you, Kathy…I’ve been having limited success with the “Pomadoro Technique” to help me to stay on track. We’ll see. Weekends are an especially busy time for me: Saturday I work a full day, Sunday I work four hours at the hardware, then five hours serving dinner at the restaurant; Monday I serve lunch at the restaurant, then off to Aunt Katie’s to clean, then to the Station for training in how to close that business for the day. Either today or tomorrow I have to find time to draft a letter to property owners for donations regarding Phragmites control, to be presented at the township board meeting this week. Is it any wonder I can’t organize my home life, when my work life is in chaos? Thanks for reading, and for your comments!

  4. What a great post about the power of distraction, one that borders on procrastination, I guess. Interestingly, I’m the opposite. I have to get things done early, way early, and can only work on that one project till it’s complete. This has its own set of side-effects, I’m afraid.

    Sorry it’s taken me so long to get here. It’s been a crazy week!

    Hugs from Ecuador,

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