Is Multi-Tasking the Right Way to Go?

Today was a day of many meetings which meant mostly sitting or driving between sitting. Since I still don’t have a self peddle car even the driving meant more sitting. Because I started tracking my steps and trying to get at least 10,000 a day I have become keenly aware of how many things I like to do sitting down.

First on the list is eating and since eating while walking is not easy to do while having a salad I am going to have to continue sitting for that lest I chip a tooth with my fork. The second big sit-down is writing. In desperation I am writing on my I-Pad now while walking inside my house. This is very slow, but I am in need of both words and steps. I am not planning on doing this everyday.

My third favorite thing is needle pointing. Today I was almost finished with a cute squirrel ornament I was working on, but had run out of background color. I had a short window in my day between meetings so I dropped into my favorite local needlepoint store, Chapel Hill Needlepoint and a few of my regular stitching gang was sitting at the table working. Since they are regular blog followers they wanted to know how many step I had done today. It was pitiful to report that I was only up to 5,400 with a busy day still ahead of me.

I decided it was time to see if I could walk and needlepoint at the same time. I was only working on background which makes for easy work and the lighting is excellent in the store. So stitch, walk, visit, talk, tell stories and answer a question or two from customers who did not know me but thought I must work there otherwise why was I walking around the store so much, I did. My friend Annie captured me on my loop around the table.

Now I know my needlepoint was slower as was my walking, but I had less guilt and more fun. Unfortunately most of my needlepoint projects require a little more attention than I can give them while walking. I already needlepoint while playing Mah Jongg and I’m sure I’ve let a few winning hands go by because of it. So is it better to multi-task and be slightly slower or less adept at something or is it better to concentrate on one thing at a time? I think that since I am walking and writing at the same time right now I can not also add thinking about great philosophical questions to my multi-tasking.


Rip It Out, Even Twice



Since the deadline for completing needlepoint Christmas ornaments is ten and a half months away I have slowed down the speed of my production from hyper-fast to just impressive.  Without the self-imposed pressure to get just one more canvas done I veered off into creativity mode on this week’s ornament.  It is a little bird house with flowers and rather than just do the standard basket weave stitch I decided to do this one like a sampler and do a different decorative stitches on each flower and the bird.


Decorative stitches are a growing thing in needlepoint and most people I know who do them have a stitch guide showing them what stitches go in which places.  Since I was winging this I just used trial and error.  I must confess to more error than trial.


Since this was a painted canvas not specifically intended for decorative stitches some parts were an epic failure.  I completed one whole flower and looked at it and thought it was horrible so I ripped it out.  I tried a different stitch and it was worse than the first one.  I sat and looked at it for a day while I completed a different area of the canvas.  It was still horrible.  I ripped it out again.


I started over completely ignoring what was painted on the canvas and made up my own flower and my own stitch.  Better, not perfect, but better.  I used twenty-one different patterns in the little four by six inch ornament.  I learned I don’t like so many different patterns.  It was a good lesson.


The real learning came in idea that it was all right to rip something out even twice.  I am much happier with the product than I would have been if I had left the offending needle worked section.  Completing a job does not always mean it is done.  Sometimes you just on the way to figuring out when done means finished.


It is kind of like painting your house.  Just because you buy a big can of paint and cover all the surfaces with it does it mean it is right.  If it turns out to have been not exactly the color you imagined it to be or the light makes it look unappealing, repaint it right away.  Living with the mistake will be way more annoying than spending the time and maybe the money to get it right.


I am in no way espousing perfectionism.  That is a different mental illness and one I am far from, but not settling when you know something is wrong is the right thing to do in the long run. It is better to lose one day’s worth of work and have something I like than have something I dislike which equals losing a weeks worth of work, plus the money I put in it.  Do I like ripping out completed work, for goodness sake no, but will I remember that pain when I look at the finished product years later, probably not.

Obsessive Personality Disorder- Oh Yeah



As a person who has spent a lifetime struggling with my weight a learned person might diagnose me with some sort of obsessive personality disorder.  I’m not about to WebMD my traits to get a more exact determination, but you get the picture.


I do catch myself sometimes silently repeating a phrase in my head like, “take the garbage out, take the garbage out, take the garbage out…” as I am on my way to do you know what.  Since I have spent the last year and a half being obsessive about eating healthy food and documenting my crazy daily life on this blog I think I have lessened the bad food obsession but have not in anyway reduced my personality disorder — Maybe disorder is a strong word, lets call it my condition.


I recognize that I now have Fanatic Needlepoint Affliction.  September 10th is the deadline to turn in all completed canvases to have Christmas ornaments fabricated by the holiday.  I set a goal this year to make a dozen new ornaments.  I way surpassed that goal months ago.  Do you think I slowed my stitching down?  No way.


Last week, knowing that I had only two weeks left to do finish all the ornaments I could I picked two I wanted to finish.  Bam, Bang, I got them both knocked out in a week.  So now I have one week left, maybe just one more ornament I thought yesterday.  I still have one week.  I can do it.  But my Fanatic Needlepoint Affliction took over and I will finish this one tonight.  That will leave me five more days and I appear to be stitching at warp speed.


A second bit of evidence about my obsession disorder is called Whole Series Netflix Watching.  This summer when Carter was at camp I discovered a made for Netflix TV series called “Orange is the New Black” about a woman who is sent to prison.  It was about thirteen episodes long and I watched the whole thing in three nights.  I did not watch the news, or Jeopardy or read a book or anything else.  Well, I did needlepoint while I was watching it in a layering of all my afflictions/disorders/conditions at once.


When I finished watching the series I felt spent and sad knowing that I had used the whole thing up and there was no more.  But it was so great.  I really got to know the characters well and by watching one show after the other with no pause in the action.  There was no trying to remember what was going on in the plot like happens when you go weeks between watching episodes of a show.


I thought that Netflix Condition might have been a one-time thing, but I should have known better.  Two nights ago in the search for something to watch during the dead zone of TV seasons while Speed Needle pointing I found “Breaking Bad.”  Yes, I know I am the last human in America to watch it, but I don’t have Showtime or whatever channel it is on.  In three days I am half way through season 2.  I figure I can watch all the seasons in the next week as I crank out as many Christmas ornaments as possible and then I will lay wasted, worn out, kaput.  Please god just keep my obsessions out of the kitchen.