Friends, it is a GOOD THING that I started this project early and that I picked something easy – because I’ve been down and out with the flu for THREE WEEKS. Three weeks?!?! Tell me about it.
With big projects like this, I like to start small. Like, really really small. Just like a long-distance race, the journey is in creating a habit, setting the foundation of practice, before you build on it.
And, with that, it’s also true that the beginning of a project can be the most exciting part.
So I started with one foundational project, knowing that it would be enough to propel me to start, to stick to the habit for a few days, and give me some tools to build off of.
My First Finished Project: Organizing Old Photographs
So the first project was to FINALLY finish the photo organization that has been an effort I have picked up and put down 100 times in the last 10 years. I am the family documentarian after all, so I have all of the albums from my life, things from my parents’ childhood, even pictures of their parents. And, of course, my husband’s things as well.
I have kept them in a series of boxes, across our basement, and in our closets, for years.
It was time to finish the job.
You see, each time I picked up the photos, I would complete a major step in the process: pulling photographs out of a hodge podge of albums, organizing them by year, placing them in boxes. I spent hours scanning paper photos, and negatives, to digitize them. I got rid of duplicates and triplicates. I uncovered memories long since forgotten.
And it was HARD.
Not just for the physical effort, carrying heavy boxes, sitting for hours to sort them, sneezing from dust and mold that coated them. But also for the emotional energy spent relieving and imagining life at different points of time, along with the brain space needed to remember, consider, go back, and bring it forward again.
And that part was mostly done, but what remained was the pieces that needed to be put together. Assembled. Organized. And kept in a place where they would be safe, free from dust and mold, free from forgetting.
So I took the 9 boxes and 4 large bins, consolidated them into less boxes and one half full bin, discarding the unimportant and forgotten things, and put the rest away.
Next Steps …
Of course, I know that I have more work to do on this project. I could spend the 100 days just working on bringing old photos into albums. And maybe I will some day. But this 100 day project isn’t about this one thing. It’s about ALL the discarded, half-finished, incomplete projects that have been cast aside. It’s about making a decision for what should be kept and what I should let go of.
And it’s incredibly liberating. To be free from the burdens of “should” and “when I have time”. To be free to start fresh. To have the space for bigger things.
And I can’t wait for the next big thing.