Deadlines are a necessary part of a nutritious breakfast. I don’t feel complete unless I have something to work towards, and a not-too-distant end in sight. One project is never enough. I usually have several going at the same time. But sometimes, having too many pans in the fire can get you burned, or worse, burned out.
Lately, I’ve noticed that my major projects tend to begin in the fall or winter. My husband calls me a lizard the way I need sun to be active (and keep my extremities warmer than a block of ice.) As the sun goes down earlier and earlier, I combat my curlup-in-a-blankie instinct by overcompensating with creative energy. I start writing a cookbook, or sign up for classes for my latest career idea. By spring, I am at a fever pitch. Do I finish the book, or change careers? No, not yet anyway. By summer, I’m deflated and ready to soak up the sun. And then the leaves fall, and the cycle begins again.
So here we are this lovely spring, and the fever is a bit higher than I like at the moment.
Besides a full time job as a paralegal/office manager, raising a husband and two beautiful girls, preparing for a comprehensive exam and certification test in my food safety class, writing a weekly blog, giving monthly art docent presentations in my daughter’s 2nd grade class, attending softball games, attending monthly parent meetings, and painting dollhouses to sell at the school craft fair in two weeks, on Saturday I went on a cleaning marathon. Naturally.
Between Saturday and Sunday I did about 12 loads of laundry. I cleaned the guest room aka Grammie’s room, for the first time in eons. I decluttered the kitchen and living room. This morning, I cleaned my oven for the first time in seven years. In part due to the terrible smoke that poured forth while preheating for unplanned banana muffins, and partly in the spirit of continuing my nasty procrastination streak. And then for therapy, I baked a heavenly loaf of Challah. This is by far my favorite recipe in “Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day.” (I am excited to report that my new pizza peel is not only attractive, it also works very well. The dough slid right onto the baking stone without a hitch.)
The question is, why do I torture myself this way? How do I get to this point? Or more importantly, how do I prevent the crash and burn fallout of overextending myself? The only way I can see is to move to a place like Phoenix that gets more sunshine. Although, Sacramento is ranked number ten for sunny days with an annual average of 78%. Phoenix is 85%.
Realistically, I think it is enough that I now recognize this pattern. I know now not to make any irreversible decisions come December, however tempting it may be. But that doesn’t mean I can’t take the occasional class, or have some fun projects in the works. Right? At this rate, the next time I consider tackling a new project, consider tackling me. Or at least ask me to take a current inventory. Even better, suggest an irrelevant novel or two.