Start Me Up

Posted by on Jun 01 2010 | Singing Lessons, Songtaneous

So I spent the holiday weekend spring cleaning. I cleaned my kitchen and … er … well, my kitchen.

Yep, my eyes were bigger than my work ethic.

Here’s what happened.

I decided my kitchen needed a good old fashioned, deep down spring cleaning. Oven, fridge, cupboards, windows, walls — the works. So Saturday (after sleeping in, it was a holiday weekend), I got up raring to go. Except …

My landlords were painting the porches on our building, which meant I had to deal with my lack of proper porch cleanup last fall. (Usually, I prep my porch for winter, but last year I just pulled in the furniture after the first snowfall.) So I pulled the furniture and pots full of dead plants off the porch and into my dining room.

And then I pulled the stuff from my kitchen into the dining room so I could pull out the oven and the fridge (and scrub the walls and floor behind and under them).

So pretty soon all the stuff from the porch AND my kitchen was in — you guessed it — my dining room.


By the time I got the everything back to the porch and back to the kitchen, I was over spring cleaning.

Here’s what actually happened …

I’m a poor starter. When I can see the finish line, you can’t stop me, but when I have to start a project, I just … don’t.

Not until I have to.

And even when I have to, I fumble around and cast about and go around in circles and second guess myself.

My friends M and R love to start projects. “Isn’t this exciting?!” they ask me with smiles on their faces and gleams in their eyes.

No. Not to me.

While thinking about cleaning my kitchen was nice and imaging the ease and wonder a clean kitchen would bring to my life was delightful, actually cleaning my kitchen … not so much.

What to do first?

Clearly, there’s an order in which these tasks should occur? But what is it?

I should clean out the cupboards before I sweep the floor, right? And I should probably wash the walls and windows before I mop the floor?

I find all the tiny decisions involved in starting things exhausting (and a little overwhelming). My perfectionist (and procrastination) tendencies come to the fore. I want to start in exactly the right place and I don’t want to waste any time or effort.

Which is ridiculous.

I mean, I’ve learned from spontaneous singing that if you wait for the perfect place to begin, you’ll never start.

And, most important, that you can find your way to a “path” AFTER you begin. (Huge lesson for me and one I still have trouble remembering.)

This weekend’s kitchen adventure reflects my challenges starting the other projects in my life — ebooks, CDs, curriculum — all things I’m trying to start. (Blegh)

So I’m going to practice starting.

I wrote myself a note the other day that simply says: “Stop stopping.”

I’m setting scheduled times to work on projects and not letting myself wimp out.

I know if I keep at it long enough, I’ll eventually cross the invisible line where a project I’ve started becomes a project I get to finish.

More Bloggity Goodness

6 comments for now

6 Responses to “Start Me Up”

  1. Oh my dear, check out She addresses perfectionism, procrastination, and routines in a way that has allowed me to pursue my art or just relax and enjoy my home without guilt!

    01 Jun 2010 at 12:16 pm

  2. […] on starting: “The beginning is the most important part of the work.” – Plato “Every new beginning comes […]

    04 Jun 2010 at 11:53 am

  3. […] career are about trusting my instincts, speaking up when I have things to add, being brave about starting and graceful about […]

    08 Jun 2010 at 8:54 pm

  4. “So I’m going to practice starting.”

    If I didn’t know better, I would say this was a blog post *I* might have written. From the sound of it, I possess the same … uhm … “skills” you do when it comes to procrastination and perfectionism.

    But in that one sentence, you provided a glimmer of a new idea that I can’t help but want to embrace: practice starting.

    So that’s what I’ll do.

    Thanks again for (another) inspiration, Sarah! 🙂

    09 Jun 2010 at 3:42 pm

  5. @Joshua W

    You’re SO welcome. Good luck!

    (If my bumbling along can serve others … *smile*)

    11 Jun 2010 at 8:54 am

  6. […] Start Me Up […]

    06 Sep 2010 at 4:03 am

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