Life Lesson: Give Up the “Shoulds”

I’ve been in therapy for two years and some change.

I went to therapy because I was sick of giving myself grief — grief over not being successful enough, not blogging enough, not exercising enough. The list went on and on. I am, and always have been a perfectionist, you see.

A favorite bit of wisdom to help one get over not doing something Perfect-You would have done: “I thought I wanted to do that, but I guess I didn’t want to.”

Forgiveness in a phrase. Repeat the phrase and let it go. For instance, I haven’t blogged in months. I’ve known that each and every day — and known that blogging makes me happy and furthers my goals. Yet I have let the fact that I haven’t blogged dissipate into the ether each and every day and with that decision has come priceless peace of mind. Absolutely priceless. Continue Reading

to do to do to do to do

I’ve just arrived in Berlin on my first vacation in three years.  Now don’t get me wrong; I’ve taken a few long weekends to camp or visit family, and I long ago instituted a rule where I  don’t work on Sundays.  But other than that, running Artsy Geek pretty much rules my  life.

When Will and I made plans for this European vacation at the beginning o fthe year, I had an anxious feeling in my stomach.  It’s not that I didn’t want to go; I wanted to go more than anything.  But I was terrified about how I would afford it and whether I would find myself working frantically on the train as the vistas passed me by unappreciated. Continue Reading

Chili Weekend

Will and I like to make huge batches of different soups.  We freeze half (in Tupperware) and eat it weeks or even months  later.  We eat like kings for a week or two on the other half, normally feeding at least a few friends along the way.

Yesterday I put the beans into soak.  My mom swears that if you rinse the beans, boil them for three minutes, and rinse again before soaking over night, your beans are less gassy.  It’s worth a try, right?

As I filled the giant bowl with water* I noticed some of the beans were all shriveled up and wondered if I normally remove the bad ones, as I’ve read one ought to do.  I started pawing through the beans and as I searched for bad ones, more and more started popping out as bad.  Indeed, I could find an imperfection in about one of every ten**! Continue Reading

I am my own toughest client.

I have had some tough clients.  People who want to move the logo over one pixel, just to discover that browsers render elements differently so even though it’s perfect in Safari, it is not just so in Firefox.

I am well versed in the frustrations of cross-browser design, and spend many hours a week cursing Internet Explorer’s very existence.  But that frustration does not compare to how frustrating it is for me to design for me. I am my own toughest client. Continue Reading

Jamie likes Steve. That’s something we have in common.

I’m confused. Ana didn’t know who Steve is. She is in love big time. She’s making me be the writer for her notes. Now Peter thinks I like him. Ana says I have the neatest handwriting in the whole fifth grade. Is it true? Does Steve know?

I'm sure that Steve realized that my handwriting was in fact the neatest of everyone in the entire fifth grade.

I’m sure that Steve realized that my handwriting was in fact the neatest of everyone in the entire fifth grade.

Jamie likes Steve. That’s something we have in common. Does Steve like me? He’s been on my mind all weekend. Steve is one of the only boys in the fifth grade that doesn’t like somebody. Maybe he doesn’t like someone or likes someone but doesn’t tell anyone.

my first movie!

I had not edited any video since the 90s. This was such a challenge, and I must have spent about 40 hours on it. It was complicated by the fact that I have this need for perfection before I can move forward with any project, and Van Gogh My Pet was never going to be perfect until I had completed this movie.

The background music is from one of my favorite bands, The Real Tuesday Weld.


In lifecoaching yesterday we talked about my need for everything to be completed. This is a need I have been battling since I left my job last May. My head is overun with get rich quick (slow) schemes and creative projects. Yet, it took me six and a half months to get Van Gogh My Pet to a point where I was confident sending it out to friends and family, and promoting it on Facebook. I have yet to get in to Twitter–to my detriment, I’m sure.

When I look at my blog, I see the undone entries. The ones I thought of, and wrote myself a note, but was too busy or indisposed to write right then. I assume that some day I will go back and the inspiration is in the note. Sometimes I look at the note and I haven’t the foggiest idea what it meant. Then I chuckle…Lost inspiration either makes me chuckle or spiral into a listless depression.

I had spent 6 and a half–nay, eight or nine months–planning for and working on Van Gogh My Pet. I spent the last two weeks frantically putting the pieces I had so long thought about together. My friends would say–what is left to do? It looks beautiful! And to me, it looked a wreck. This frantic work has left me with a hole in my life, just as Mad Men had a few weeks earlier when I had finished season three. And I realized that if I hadn’t had to work so frantically, not only would I would have been happier and more relaxed, but I would have been building enthusiasm with fans as it happened. The day two weeks ago I finally got my movie on the internet, I wanted to e-scream, I DID IT!! I FIGURED OUT HOW TO DO THIS! DON’T YOU LOVE IT? and I stopped myself. Van Gogh My Pet wasn’t worthy of anyone’s attention. I hadn’t worked hard enough to make it so.

I am beginning to come to terms with letting these works in progress–or wrecks, as I see them–be works in progress in the public eye and letting someone or no one or the world watch as it comes together. I say to myself, I want to be an internet celebrity. I want to share my life with the world. But when it comes to the day to day, I tend to shirk from engagement with the world.

I hope that today, November 16th, 2009, is the day when I can begin to share with the world my internet persona, this blog and, Van Gogh My Pet, Tupperware Sisters, and so many dormant others–wrecks though they might be.