December 19, 2006

Order of operations

I don't know if anyone might have figured this from visiting with me here, but I may be a tad on the impulsive side. There is absolutely no end to the number of times that I have executed the order of operations in my life like this.

Conceive - Execute.

I come up with an idea, and then I just let'er rip. Whatever will be, will be. Sometimes ("Hey, you know what sounds like fun? Knitting Olympics.") ideas take off and end up way bigger than I expected. ("Do you think maybe knitters could raise a little money for MSF?") When this happens, because I missed a step, often I'm left running behind at a thousand miles an hour, trying to catch up with the idea I had in the first place. ("I think having three children would be so much fun.") For the longest time, I had no idea why I kept getting messed up by this. What was going wrong? How did my own ideas keep ending up way more work than I thought they would be? ("You know what? I should spin and knit Joe a Gansey.") I was thinking this right up until this morning, as I sat entering more of your generous donations. It's overwhelming. Dizzying even. (Do you see that total?) I've finished entering all the emails that I got through the 16th of December, and there's still tons to do and man....I wasn't expecting this...

Same thing with Christmas. Same day every year, lots of lead time... it's not like they announce the date in late November and everybody's got to scramble to get it done by whenever Christmas is that year. No, no. December 25th. Every year. No surprises. I know I need cookies, I know I need presents, I know I need to have the shopping done and the house clean. I know. I conceive of a certain sort of holiday, and I start executing the idea and disaster ensues. This year I suddenly got it. I figured out what I've been missing. What on earth I've been doing wrong - the step I'm missing. It hit me when I got out what I have left to do this year.


1. Argyle socks. (No hope.)
2. Large socks. (Maybe. If I don't sleep, and while I'm not a big fan of sleep - it's hugely unproductive time, I have come to accept that I do require it.)
3. Cabled scarf. (No worries.)
4. Kitri socks. (These only need one beaded lace cuff. Walk in the park.)
5. Shawl. (Stop that laughing.)
6. Half done green socks. (Too easy.)
7. (not pictured) a pair of socks that I didn't even start yet but still have high hopes of finishing.

Also not pictured is all the baking and wrapping and shopping. Although we've cut way back because of our MSF donation, there's still some of this that's unavoidable. (Apparently. I tried to avoid it but it's still here.) I was looking at this whole mess and trying to pull it together and come up with some sort of an idea for how to manage it all, and that's when it hit me. Order of operations. The missing step. I've been doing it like this:

Conceive (think it up) - execute (leap in and get started)

The step I'm missing?

Conceive - PLAN - Execute.

Now, if you'll excuse me. I need to go get me a plan. Should help a lot. (Let's discuss the idiocy of learning this at the age of 38 another day, okay?)

Posted by Stephanie at December 19, 2006 5:22 PM