Retreat, But Don't Surrender

The kids let me take a few pics on the porch and in the front yard yesterday. This is what happens when I say, “Can mama take a picture of you on the porch? You can have a piece of candy!” Then they do whatever I say for about 2 minutes. Pretty sweet deal… ;) I recognize, though, that this is a power that I must not abuse. :) I did manage to capture Elliott as well in a photo that I’ll be using for an upcoming project, and therefore can’t share yet - but it’s one of those rare ones that make you gasp and put your hand over your mouth, and you just sit there with tears in your eyes wondering how life got so beautiful and how can you possibly have been a part of this magic? You know those photos? I got one of those yesterday. I maybe have a dozen of those, out of thousands of okay-to-mediocre-and-sometimes-really-good shots I’ve taken in the past 3 years since I started scrapping. And every now and then, wham. Pure magic.

This one is not-quite-as-magical-but-still-my-two-kids-sitting-together, which is a kind of magic in and of itself: 


I’ve been in one of those Ultra Busy Times with projects that a) sap all my time and b) sap all my desire to be on my computer one minute longer than necessary before flopping into bed at an obscene hour (obscene around here = anytime after 1:30 a.m.) every night for the past 2 weeks. I apologize for the real lapse in bloggery here. I’m looking forward to oh, October-ish. September’s pretty much a wash, I’m afraid.

I’ve been working like mad on the Big Project, which had a bit of a setback this week, but after sitting on the floor in the middle of the room in my underwear, crying my eyes out for about 30 minutes, then taking a hot bath (there’s seriously something about steam and inspiration), putting some pants back on, then forming a new plan, all is well, and better than ever. Sometimes that cry just needs to happen first. :)

I re-read this GREAT article on staying motivated, and was especially struck by this item: Retreat, but Don’t Surrender. Sometimes projects have problems. Perhaps a retreat, a re-group, a re-formulation of plan is in order. Sometimes I don’t recognize this until I’m already sitting there on the floor in the middle of the room in my underwear. But coming back to a problem with another solution (perhaps after a hot bath, and with pants on) is an approach that has worked for me in the past, and worked again. Removing myself from my 4-inches-away view of the problem, even physically removing myself to re-evaluate really helps, too.

What problem-solving techniques do you find work for you? Are you good at recognizing the need to retreat sometimes, so that you end up less often in the middle of the floor? Am I just a total stress case and therefore the only one who ends up like this sometimes? (let’s not answer that one…) Do you have a sure-fire coping strategy?

Jessica Sprague20 Comments