I’m prone to ideas for projects that will take a lot of time to complete. Ideas so full of good intentions they should have their own girl guide badges. Projects that before I even begin I start wondering “Why?! Why am I doing this?” This one, an alphabet photo-book, was no exception. Here’s what happened (cue crazed moment of ENTHUSIASM FOR LIFE):
Hey! I could make a special photo-book of our holiday for the girls!
Yeah? Sounds simple enough.
I could print one copy each, for them, and one for Matt and I to keep!
The thinking with exclamation marks is worrying me.
Perhaps I could make it a bit different..?
I know! I could make it an ALPHABET photo-book!
Here we go.
Photos for each letter of the alphabet! And a little rhyme to match!
Please someone tranquilize this woman.
My rationale was that the alphabet format would help teach the girls letters and that they’d love, just luuuuurve, the little rhymes too. How hard could it be? How many letters are there in the alphabet? 24? Oh, 26? (I am the one that needs the help, not them, clearly) Surely it wouldn’t be too difficult to allocate 26 words to 26 letters, find photographs from our holiday that matched (that weren’t blurry or uninteresting and included lots of snaps of the girls themselves), AND create 26 mini poems to match??!? Pppffff. Piece of cake!
The other problem I have, other than a special talent for dreaming up time-comsuming projects, is that once I decide on a project being remotely possible my brain will nag and nag and nag until I have completed it. It is utterly relentless. I try to reason with my brain that I am much, much better at coming up with ideas than following them through. This is a well-evidenced fact. I add that I have little to no actual practical skills. Also well-documented. I’m lazy. I’m busy. I’m tired. I don’t want to. My brain refuses to leave me be. It says – You have opposable thumbs, you can physically do it, now DO IT!!
(Dreaming, Scheming Brain + No Practical Skills + Relentless Internal Nag = Late Nights Spent in a State of Perpetual Frustration. The kind of equation always welcomed at this time of year, in the lead up to Christmas.)
Of course, all that said, when the project is finally complete (and I can go back to dreaming up more stupid ideas) the hours I spent on the last one seem to melt away from my memory. It’s like a newborn! All cute in the recalling and I forget just how long it took me, how frustrating and difficult it actually was. Because when it’s done it simply seems lovely. Despite all the flaws that make me whince. It’s done and now it’s a thing and would you look at that?
Unfortunately for me the girls don’t often “look at that”. The alphabet photo-book is not their favourite. They don’t mind it, don’t get me wrong, but they don’t love it in equal proportion to all the effort that went in. Which cracks me up. All that time and energy and pulling out of hair and they’re just “meh”?! I thought they’d at least love it for all the photos of their gorgeous faces but no, they’d rather use my iphone and take selfies, thanks very much. Matt nudges me and asks, yet again, “Why do you bother, babe?”, to which I can only shrug, unsure how to explain. The truth? My brain made me do it.
(Until next time.)
P.S. I know I’m not the only one with this problem. Yes, you, up till 2am icing the Princess from a Disney movie cake / researching how to plumb in your own espresso machine / sanding wooden building blocks. I know who you are…