My life…a project?

It takes half your life before you discover life is a do-it-yourself project. ~ Napoleon Hill

My response to the above quote:  For some of us, it takes more than half.

My life is a series of projects but I don’t know that I have ever thought of my life as one of them.  I don’t know why not as I can make a project of almost anything–mowing the lawn (front yard today, back yard tomorrow), painting the bathroom (This one has been in the planning stages for about four years now.), running errands (I have a specific order so that I make the best use of my time, gas, etc.)  You name it, I can usually create a project around it.

Sometimes my self-confidence is greater than my ability, especially artistic projects such as the one pictured here, which is now underway.  I’m reading a book called The Scent of God: A Memoir by Beryl Singleton Bissell.  As I was reading today, I highlighted the following passage: …I possessed an outsized sense of my abilities and set to work with gusto.  There is so much me in that statement that I laughed aloud when I read it.  I start out with grand ideas of a masterpiece and usually end up with “adequate.”  I seldom, if ever, meet my own expectations, but I do get compliments, and even praise, from others.
Of course many of my projects are for church and church folks are usually nice, and grateful for my effort.  Knowing that maybe they are just being nice helps me to keep a perspective, but it doesn’t slow me down at all because I must create and play with color.  It’s intrinsic; it’s who I am.  I don’t have a choice.

What about the project that is my life?  I’m not a list maker.  Well, I make mental lists all the time but I seldom write them out.  Maybe I should.  I don’t know.  I think making lists, mental or otherwise, is a way of stating goals.  Over the years I’ve made and achieved numerous goals.  I have to admit to you and to myself, though, that my retirement has not always been goal-specific.  In other words, I haven’t made a project of it.  I consider that a mistake and I’m working to change it.  Take heed, you readers who are younger than I.  That would be most of you. 🙂

This paragraph would go under the heading of “thinking out loud.”  Thank you for indulging me.  I think it has taken me longer than average to get beyond the fairy tale aspect of my marriage and life in general.  I always thought of my ex as “the love of my life.”  That sounds absurd to me now.  It’s as if I made him my project.  Does that make sense?  That must have put a hell of a lot of pressure on him and our marriage.  My goal/project should have been our goal–our marriage, our life together.  When it turned out that we no longer had that common goal, it would have been nice if we could have talked about it.  We didn’t.  It is done.  Now I must remind myself that I would not have learned all these  lessons by staying in what had become a stagnant relationship.

Note:  My blogger friend Kim has a list of her favorite books on her blog.  That’s where I found the memoir I mentioned above.  Check it out.

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17 thoughts on “My life…a project?

  1. I often feel the same way, Uta. I stay pretty busy. I imagine you do, too. It’s just that sometimes I start to wonder whether I’m making the “best use of time,” as you said above

    Other times I think maybe I’m being too hard on myself. I wish I could somehow strike a happy balance, but I’m not sure anymore that “happy” is in the cards for me. That’s not to say I’m “unhappy” either, just unsettled a lot of the time.

    Thanks for stopping by. It’s good to hear your “take” on how I’m thinking.

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  2. ‘ . . . .my retirement has not always been goal-specific. In other words, I haven’t made a project
    of it.’
    Yes, this is a very thought provoking post. I think I need from time to time this reminder that retirement should be goal-specific. If I am going to regret one thing when it comes to the end it is this, that I may not have made the best use of time during the last years of my life!

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  3. Like Tara, I like the way you are looking back on your relationship with D, and analysing what you may have done differently. It gives me food for thought, and inspiration for my own life.
    Thank you.
    Ps. I really like your creations too, and I ain’t a church-goer 😉

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  4. Dear Pat,

    We were recently nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award by Ella Dee, a writer of http://elladeewords.wordpress.com/

    The rules of this award are as follows:


    1. When you accept the award, thank the award-givers and link back to them in your post.

    2. Share 7 things about yourself.

    3. Pass this award along 15 or 20 bloggers you read & admire.

    4. Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know about the award.


    We have nominated your blog for the Versatile Blogger at http://sevenleggedexpressjourney.wordpress.com/2012/03/22/versatile-blogger-award/
    amongst 10 others we enjoy and admire. Please accept this award and our congratulations and appreciations for your inspiring other bloggers in the World and pass it onto others who deserve this award as well.

    Thank you.

    Pedo Koneko
    http://www.Sevenleggedexpressjourney.wordpress.com

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  5. This is a lovely honest post Pat and I thank you for passing on your wisdom. I’m not a list person either but I do keep a little box beside my cooker. When I have a good idea – something I want to follow up, or alternatively, when I have a worry about something that I need to deal with I write it on a post it and put it in the box. At the end of every week, or sometimes every fortnight I go through my little box. It never ceases to amaze me how many of the post-its I can throw away because either they are no longer relevant or no longer important. Somehow the process of being able to throw these away makes me feel a contentment that despite the fact that I think I’m not I am in fact achieving things. Oh and the box is beside my cooker because thats where I do most of my thinking. 😉 Have a lovely day.

    Jacqueline x

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    • Thanks, Jacqueline. I love the idea of putting your cares and concerns in a box and checking on them later. Looking back at them and realizing they’re no longer relevant would certainly help to recognize what’s worth spending time on and what’s not. You’re very wise for someone so young.

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  6. ~~~~Ohhh, Pat,
    I so much looove reading your blog…your honesty…your truth.

    You know… after Kay’s murder, Beryl Singleton Bissell emailed me to have lunch w/ her on the North Shore. ( She actually reads my blog!) …… Her daughter was murdered by her boyfriend and we have lots in common. It was one of the most insighful meetings I’ve ever had. We talked for many hours and walked around her garden. She even showed me where she writes her great books!

    She is amazing & beautiful.

    And so are you. Xxx

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    • Thanks for sharing about BSB. I’m loving her book. How wonderful that you were able to spend time with her, but what a sad commentary that you both needed that time together.

      I’m going to go back to your list of “kick ass books” to find more reading. I was amazed at how many of your selections I have read and loved, too. xoxoxo

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  7. Better a lesson learned late than not at all. Too bad we gain all this wisdom when we’re too old to use it. Can’t pass it on to the youngsters either, because they are sure they know it all. 🙂 Angie

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