How Did it Go?
Wonderful! Amazing! The best thing I have done for myself this summer!
What, you are asking? My "No New Ideas Month." In June, I realized I was creating too much brain drain and stress by constantly finding, researching, trying, deciding, looking up new ideas, and then repeating the process again and again. Telling myself I couldn't act on any new ideas for an entire month was an experiment that went beyond my expectations.
In fact, I was nervous about a week's vacation with this limitation, let alone a whole month. My normal week off would have been filled with time spent on new ideas. Instead, my vacation flew by without me even noticing the lack of new ideas. In fact, I didn’t even miss it the whole month.
The secret to succeeding at it? Realizing I have enough of my own ideas and interests! I really didn't need any more. Enough - a powerful word. It is actually the key to a lot of things.
It is amazing how many little things we accumulate in our lives. They are small, they don't cost much, and we have no hesitation buying them. Then over the years, they gradually accumulate into large piles. That is how my ideas were going. I kept finding little ideas, especially on Pinterest. I'd save them for later, and move on to the next. I kept collecting ideas.
Pinterest became addicting. It was like a "high" to see all these pictures and new ideas. Then a new idea popped on the screen and I'd follow that. Down another rabbit hole I went. In hindsight, the process of collecting ideas was actually frying my brain.
That wasn't all. I'd start acting on ideas, jumping in without thinking. I made lists. I ran to the library for books on the subject. I bookmarked pages in the book (too many as you see here). I bought supplies without trying the idea out. I had great ideas for quilting, bought extra fabric for the next project when I hadn't started the first. When I started the first, I found out I didn't like it. Now I have fabric I have no use for. This was a constant cycle for me.
Forcing myself to stop the idea collection, remove Pinterest from my phone, and start focusing on the things I already have was a great relief. My mind got a chance to rest. I found space to focus on just a few things and I loved the feeling. Space and time. Yes, this month gave me space and time. I find that I value that more than new ideas.
So to be honest, did I really have no new ideas? That is impossible. I did tell myself I could write them down, to revisit in the future, but they lose some luster this way. (That's actually a good thing). I did have one idea that seemed brilliant, not to be passed up, and I almost acted on it. Thank goodness I didn't, because a week later circumstances changed that made the idea implausible.
We also worked on finishing up a couple of ideas that we started months ago. Those weren't new, so didn't count. In my new found time I read 7 of my favorite author's books (Agatha Christie), sewed one small quilted wall hanging, biked, kayaked, spent time with family, helped family with college homework and with moving, cleaned the house, and continued decluttering from June's Mins Game. I never felt bored.
My lessons learned: Pinterest is great in small doses, and good ideas are best written down and thought over. Making a list of what I already have, and doing those things is extremely helpful in reminding me what I can do. In fact, I never seem to get through that list anyway. Enough is a powerful word to keep in mind.
Hopefully I can remember these lessons. I'm trying to refocus a few things, and slowly work out some ideas that have been brewing a long time, but need solutions. Maybe I will find the solutions, maybe I won't. Instead I hope I continue to find space and time.