Quilts for Sale

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Prioritize! Focus!

When I was in high school, a recurring report card comment from my teachers was, "Ellen has too many irons in the fire." I'm still that way. But now I realize too many choices are not good for me, as I want to do them all and I want to do them all right now. In order to accomplish anything, I have to prioritize.

Completing two large quilts was number one over the last three years. Once those were finished, I dove into a studio revamp which included purging and painting. I have several small pieces which need quilting, but my focus has been diverted.

Ever notice how shabby everything else looks if you paint just one room? Ours is a very old house with some rooms which haven't been painted in years. I've painted or wallpapered every single room in our house - by myself - two or three times. I just can't do it again. Besides, I have no desire or business getting on a stepladder in order to reach 9 1/2' ceilings - ever again.

My dh helped me paint one room and we've agreed "we do not work well with others." It was not fun, took five months peppered with comments such as "I AM holding my brush right." We never got to the woodwork and now I'm not so sure I even like the color! Having the studio painted by a professional was such a joy. It is beautifully and spotlessly done. Why did it take me so long to realize it's possible to hire people to do almost anything?

We're getting to the age where, although we can still do things ourselves, it makes better sense not to. My dh threw his back out for weeks last spring hurling pitchfork after pitchfork full of compost on the garden and then roto-tilling it in. This year the hard work will be done by young, strong and fast Roberto and Eduardo.

I was raised by very self-sufficient parents who did everything themselves and taught me and my three sisters to do the same. I used to feel very guilty about spending money for someone else's labor. My husband was raised in a very frugal Moravian family and graduated from a Quaker college. It goes without saying that he holds tightly to a dime.

Life is very short. Neither of us needs to risk injury. In order to have time to do the work most important to us, we're hiring workers who really need jobs. It will help them and help stimulate the economy at the same time. Delegating is a great tool in prioritizing!


Exuberant Color said...

At our age we have to be more careful and it is a blow to find that we can injure ourselves when we used to be able to do everything. Is this something to do with growing older gracefully? Letting more capable young people help us now and then? I know I accept any help I can get now.

Kay Koeper Sorensen said...

You are a woman after my own heart!

Patty Cramer said...

It's about time girlfriend!! Live and let live - live and let others do the heavy stuff!!!!! :) :)
I was hoping for someone to come and help me organize my house for my birthday - but oh well - I'm working on my quilts and it's great. I just finished another one today - Glad you're just going to enjoy life - we'll boogie when I get there!! Woo Hoo!!!!