There were always those kids in school who would Use Their Time Wisely and get their homework done so they wouldn't have to do it later. I was never that student, putting on the blinders from the Koosh ball game happening in the corner so that I could point my nose to the grindstone, and finish copying the definition to plateau from my Social Studies text. Who needs to write down the definition of plateau, anyways? Plateaus are unforgettable! I have never had the singleness of mind to focus on one particular project. I've never been monogamous with my work or my activities. I've always spread myself too thin, being jackie of all trades and mistress of none. I'm chronically frustrated with myself because I don't really have a portfolio of stuff I've done that makes me proud. No pictures of the cowlneck sweaters I knit or all the great meals I've cooked. I just kinda dabble, you know?
But believe it or not, something I learned in slingin' cosmetics helped me to change. When I was trying to win a contest for a purdy ring one quarter, I thought, What is the one thing I am doing TODAY to help me get that ring?
I didn't really chart my activity (see also: allergic to numbers) but I was very conscious of my daily activity. It paid off. I got the ring. And I had the best sales quarter evahhh.
Since that time, I've used this principle of one thing every day to help steer me on my course toward my goals.
I recently submitted four chapters of a memoir manuscript to an editor friend. I've got more sizzlin' in the pan. If you would have told me that I could do this, in spite of moving and compiling syllabi for three new classes I'd never taught before (and mom-ing and wife-ing it up), I would have said, Sorry, Palsie. You've got the wrong woman. I don't have time for that scheduled ballyhoo.
But I did it. I committed to writing 500 words a day, 4-5 days/week, and I pressed my fingers to keys and the cursor moved, and yeah. Yeah, I'm too fat for some of my pants. It's true I have probably paid Netflix $48 to hang on to one DVD for the last three months. But I wrote some stuff! It may never go further than the editor friend's desk. Still. I didn't stop in the middle of the first chapter and decide to up and learn Scottish highland dancing. This is big for me.
But not as big as Little Man's BUZZ CUT!!
Now you see his hair.
Now you buh-bye.
(He looks a little displeased here, but he was a cool customer of the buzz.)