This is a phrase coined by my close friend, Kirsti, years ago. She observed that whenever I am under a lot of pressure, have too many things on my plate or have something hard to face, I add some project to my life.
…something that could wait….
…something that doesn’t affect the outcome of the current situation….
…but something that relieves pressure, adds beauty to my life and gives me a creative explosion of energy. Ya’ know, like the same reason you want to put an ADD kid in soccer?
It’s a Mindy thing.
So, this morning, despite having one of the biggest days of my life ahead of me, despite the fact that I needed to be ready to go – with matching clothes with no holes or stains, makeup, styled hair and no breakfast stuck in my teeth – I did a Mindy thing.
I gardened. I gardened in my pj’s. I had great intentions of sipping my first cup of coffee, having devotions, showering, then leisurely packing my computer bag for a two day Writers’ Conference.
Then, I remembered I had bought a small forest of plants for my deck. Cool plants to replace the ones frost killed this year. Yea, we were so shocked that we had all these snows and killing frosts out here in the PNW I just forgot you can cover your plants or bring them inside to save them. Duh.
Before I could even reason with myself, I had grabbed my little red hand shovel and added new seedums to the cool “ladder vignette”, a cool term I adopted from a plant artist.
This ladder was washed ashore at Lake Superior. We were trying to watch fireworks while slapping bajillions of kamikaze mosquitoes when I found this in a pile of driftwood. Scott caught me trying to shove it under the seats of the van. I just smiled and said, “Don’t look and it won’t hurt.” Like a good husband, he didn’t look and this ladder has been a part of our decorating for about ten years. I like to pretend it was from the Edmund Fitzgerald, a sad part of Duluth’s history.
It’s the details that add to the vignette, or so she told me. I always wondered what to do with this cool, rusty pulley I never could throw away.
A rusty lock with no key finds home on the ladder, too. I didn’t have to look hard to find a rusty nail. Somehow, all my husband’s tools and supplies always get left out in the yard.
Repotted my aluminum coffee pots with seedum, then arranged with the lids I couldn’t bear to throw out. They have such great glass knobs.
While I was digging around for the coffee pot lids, I found the antique picture I have been looking for.
To finish another project I had to finish before I went into surgery. The picture is now hanging on the right side.
What am I trying to project away this morning? Fear, nervousness and more fear. This morning during the conference I have a 3-4 minute appointment with the editor to pitch a book idea. 3-4 minutes? It takes me that long to clear my throat. It’s in a group setting. I am sweating already.
As I try to analyze my fear I realize that for 22 years I have been Mindy the Mom. Since I joined the Northwest Christian Writers’ Association
last November, I have been Mindy the Writer. People usually don’t ask me about my kids, what home schooling curriculum I am using, which diapers worked best, or a few tips on poddy training.
Instead, they’ll ask what I am writing, what successes and failures I have had (we embrace them both), what I do for writer’s block. This is totally a new world for me. A wonderful, exciting, world, but a little scary for me. It feels like I haven’t talked grown-up talk for a long time. It also feels like I have barely been out of the house alone except for those exhilerating runs to the grocery store for diapers or milk. The trips where you drive extra slow and take your time reading all the labels in the store just to prolong those wonderful moments of alone time.
This morning I had to calm myself. I had to dig in the dirt, praise the Creator of all living things, sing hymns and prepare my heart and mind. Had to. But now, I am running behind. I will end up rushing until the last minute. I might end up in my appointment stuttering and stammering with dirt under my fingernails, but that’s OK.
It’s a Mindy thing….