Once, thanks to the generosity of friends, we had a vacation on a small island off the coast of Maine. It was lovely. There were basically two places to buy anything, and one hotel. There was beach on every side. Sigh. We stayed in a cute house and thoroughly enjoyed everything about it. (That house was where I got the idea for the colander over my kitchen sink light. Only, that was supposed to be temporary until I got a tin fixture like the one they had.)
The one place to buy something was a little general store that was open for a few hours every day. It was a longish walk from the house and everything cost so much because everything had to be brought in on the ferry. The other place was a gas station you had to drive to in the old clunker left by the owner — everyone on the island has an old clunker to drive and also at least one dead one in their yard, because it costs too much to ferry the dead ones back to the mainland. Other than the dead cars, it’s very pretty there.
We were getting gas and took it into our heads to need to know whether this gas station was further from the mainland than the store — was it east or west? Not sure what we were getting at. Neither did the geography-free teenager pumping the gas. She was completely flummoxed by the question (and I just don’t remember exactly what we asked her, it was probably dumb).
After a few awkward moments she extricated herself by saying,
“This part of the island is where you are now.”
This has entered into the collective family memory because it’s so dang true!
You overhear a conversation about curriculum between two homeschooling moms.
A friend tells you about a fabulous school two hours away that meets a child’s every need.
You search for ideas for a playroom on Pinterest and spend an hour drooling.
Each one of these things is anxiety-attack material. You can spend your whole day focusing on what you don’t have and didn’t do!
But to be a woman on a mission or a man with a plan, you have to identify your goals and stick to them. Don’t lose your groove!
|Please excuse our appearance, we’re spray painting your table.|
|Works in progress.|
If it gives you an anxiety attack, it’s a distraction. It’s not helping.
If it makes you say, “Yes! That’s what I’ve been looking for! or thinking of! or knowing I could do!” then pursue it, but on your own terms, at your own pace.
If you will never be able to afford it, then that’s a sign it’s not for you (although it’s always worth wondering if you can find a way to hack it!).
If you know that pulling weeds is what you should be doing, then pull weeds.
If you have little children to run after, then you probably aren’t going to be driving two hours to a prep school. And that’s a sign that it’s not for you.
If you have a train to catch, catch it.
If you know that not taking a shower is more of an issue for you than not putting silver leaf on the edges of an occasional table, then get off the computer and take a shower!
If you can make something pretty, even if it has nothing to do with putting silver leaf on anything, do it.
That’s my pep talk for today. You are doing fine, just don’t lose your groove.
This part of the island is where you are now.