My mother once told me I was just like my father, because when I get interested in something, I throw myself into it completely. I am absorbed to the point of excluding most other things, and I just can’t learn enough and do enough fast enough. This continues until it either wears itself out, or I get sidetracked by a new passion.
When she said this too me, it was in a not-entirely approving tone of voice. I, however, was pleased to have this character trait, regardless of which parent gave it to me, and decided that my dad and I were doing something right.
When I took my plunge recently into my new work venture of being a photo album consultant, my mother once more reminded me of my fickle nature. I was just a bit offended by her expectation that this new interest would wear out in no time. Even if it did, I did not care. Better to have been absorbed and then lose interest, than to never be absorbed at all.
So when this dear friend recently pointed out to me that I am a ....ahem...project addict,...she did it gently, and I was not offended. It is true. And once again, I am glad of it.
I love falling in love just as much as anybody. But I am in a blessedly stable relationship, so I fall in love now with activities, with ideas, with challenges. And I’m so glad of it. Whether it’s being infatuated with yarn, or beads, or fabric, or paper, or the intricacies of a new software program, or the fascinations of building a business, it creates a feeling of vibrancy and mental energy that I thrive on.
There are several patterns about my new work channel that I recognize. The first is that the things that grab me the most always have to do with color. It was color that attracted me to origami when I was 16, and to candlemaking when I was 17. It was color that got me rubber stamping. It’s color that lures me into bead shops and stationery stores. It is the explosion of color that makes a yarn shop visit so satisfying. And it is color that draws me now to scrapbook supplies.
The second is that I’m living out one of my childhood fantasies. I played School as a kid, and I played Nurse (in my childhood women weren’t yet storming medical schools), and I played Army. I played Book Illustrator...setting out a new box of colored pencils just so. And I played Office. I loved to organize my desk, and I loved to have staplers and letter openers and thumbtacks, even when I didn’t have a bulletin board to tack anything to.
Starting a business is the height of playing Office. I am loving it. I am getting a crash course in marketing, and income vs. expenses, and the technology of photo preservation. Combined with the teaching skills I already possess, this feels so comfortable, so right.
My mom is right though. There will come a day when it seems routine, and the challenges have been met, and I will have something else that I’m burning to do, and I will drop this activity and move on further in the pathway of my life. Because, that’s what project addicts do. But until then, I am fully immersed, and glad of it.
And I know most of you know exactly what I'm talking about, because you are project addicts too. Speak up gang, I know you're there.