Shortcut: Quit

Despite the adage "A quitter never wins and a winner never quits" I am quitting this 31 day campaign.  Quitting is very tough for me to do.  But a family member who is ill needs more attention, and it trumps this blogging campaign and many other things.

This blogging campaign resides in the top two levels of Maslow's heirachy of needs and reality of life is somewhere in the bottom three right now.  Therefore I quit this campaign (but not the blog).   Peace.  

There are lots of good campaigns out there.  Take a gander here.  http://write31days.com



Shortcut: Do Not DIY

If you want to get something done fast, do not DIY. Hire someone to do it. Sometimes if you want anything done at ALL, you have to hire someone to do it.  We recently got a generator for our house. After losing power during an icestorm last year over Christmas we decided a generator would ease stress for our family. It required people with special certified skills to put it in. 

Here is another example: I can paint trim.  But the sheer layers of paint that need to be put over the dark knotty pine in my house - 5 coats - is beyond my available time.  I can do THAT and nothing else. I have a son who needs 1:1 support most of the time.   can't dedicate my life to painting walls and trim and get anything else done like laundry and cooking and making art.  (Picture is of my house before I painted the trim in our mudroom.  I want to paint the cabinets white at some point.)

In the online world, and even my world, there is a lot of weight given to saving money over time. Sometimes this is out of necessity and sometimes out of pride.  I get sucked into wanting to TRANSFORM things such as the $25 yard sale chair.  That's part of what being an artist is - turning the mundane into something beyond the sum of its parts.  
But sometimes you just want to get something DONE.  And it doesn't matter who does it.  And if you are able to afford it, it's all good. 

Read all 31 Days of Shortcuts

Sometimes There Are No Shortcuts

Most of my shortcut posts have been about managing time and how to do things faster. You can read all 31 Days of Shortcuts here.  

There are no shortcuts for some things.  And recognizing when there are no shortcuts will save you time and frustration.  Here in Maine there is a joke about  Downeasters giving directions to "out-of-staters".  I think the point of the joke is more about the communication challenges of people from different cultures. There's a humorist from Maine who wrote about this, and here is a Youtube clip of the Maine humorist performing.



If you make things with your hands - whether it is art or bread - sometimes there ARE no shortcuts. You have to wait to let the bread rise.  You can help it along, but you can't cut that out of the process out.  You have to wait to let the paint dry.  Yeah, you can dig out the hair dryer and try to help it along, but sometimes a work is ruined by trying to speed things along.
  
There are so many things in life which can't be hurried, that are worth the slow building up.  Loving people, living with integrity, teaching kids to be resilient and strong -  there are no shortcuts for that. It takes time and our full effort.  
Recognizing there is no shortcut will save a lot of time and/or a heap of trouble.

Read all 31 Days of Shortcuts

Shortcut: Milk the Cow You've Got

Time that I usually spent doing errands and working from home was displaced when my son graduated. The problem I have is that my brain seems to think I still have the same amount of time for doing creativity and housekeeping.  I don't.  I need to turn my brain OFF sometimes.  I don't need more ideas for what to do.  I need to be more selective in what I choose to do.  

I was talking about this with a friend regarding an imagined project, and she said in her wisdom, "Milk the cow you've got; no need to buy a new herd."   This is a little bit like "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush."  



Truth is, I've got a lot of cows waiting to be milked, metaphorically speaking.  So yesterday, I chose not to go to an auction an hour or so down the road and buy any more "cows".  I spent some social time with one of my sisters, and also got to visit my dad.  We went to the top of a hill and saw some beautiful autumn foliage.

We slow ourselves down sometimes because we keep adding more stuff to our plate, when we ought to be taking stuff OFF our plate.   


Read all 31 Days of Shortcuts

"Do not let what you cannot do
keep you from doing what you can do."

John Wooden




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