Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Blank Canvas

Well, the first day is here...the first OFFICIAL day of the new semester, the first day of quiet in my house, the first day of not being the cruise director, the first day of no lingering Christmas stuff (well, the tree is still sitting there in the living room, but it's been stripped of all it's decorations and is waiting patiently for the Scout Master to return from his business trip so he can drag it back up to the attic.)

You would think that on the FIRST OFFICIAL DAY of my new year, after about 30 days of busy, festive celebrating and 7 days of lazy, happy relaxing that I would be chomping at the bit to get something going.  Anything, right?  

Well, here's what I did instead this morning...

I made breakfast, got children to Seminary and school, cleaned up the aftermath, made my bed, said a really LONG prayer, and then...I just sat there wondering what the heck to do next.  Why is it that the blank canvas I've been longing for so much is now so daunting and scary?  I'll tell you why!  It's because I'm afraid to mess it up.  My year is perfect right now, clean, beautiful and shiny.  What if I pick the wrong thing to do?  What if I spend my whole year writing stuff that's just fluffy and uninspired?  What if I eat the wrong breakfast that isn't on my clean eating menu? Or what if I start the first day of this new year with vacuuming and that sets the tone for an all-cleaning rest of the year!!  I don't know when I became so afraid of trying things, or when my list of things I'm good at dwindled down to less than four.  But this blank canvas of a day has been staring at me for the past 5 hours and I still haven't managed to do much about it.

And then I walked into Flowering Buttercup's room and saw this...
This was some kind of blank canvas at one point.  But then she just started putting stuff on to it.   I love this board because it's so different from the way I do things, but yet so inspiring.  I do symmetrical and straight lines.  I do clean and uncluttered.  I clear the old things off and put up new things that are relevant and current.  Unlike me, Flowering Buttercup isn't constrained by the borders of the bulletin board, or the theme of the background paper, or what other people might think if her mother takes a picture of it and posts it on her blog.  She knows what's current and relevant because it's on the top where she can see it.  But she also has all the old stuff to remind her where she's been and how she's changed.  It's a working, useful, functioning board, not just a decoration in her room that she assembled once and never touched again.  She didn't just clear it all off because it was a new year.  She just started from today and added to what was there yesterday.  Maybe the first thing was crooked or wrinkled or didn't really match the pink background, but after all those other things went up, who really even notices that first thing anymore, or remembers what it was?  

Perfection is an unattainable goal.  And not worth pursuing.  It might be a better plan to just LAUNCH something onto that blank canvas and keep LAUNCHING things until I get something that looks a little like this bulletin board...layers upon layers of tiny moments in my life that add up to a vibrant, joyous, worthwhile adventure.  

I hope you're not stuck trying to figure out what to put on your canvas.  Just pick something and start.  It may not be the exact right thing, but something is always better than blank, shiny and perfect.    


  1. I love that! Megan is so much like your daughter, I am like you. I am the clean line scrapbooker and she has the Smash book and smashed in together. I wish I could be like her, and well, I wish she could be more like me too (a clean bedroom from her would be nice) I bought a Simple Stories Snap book hoping to find a nice place in the middle not totally smashed but not so structured either, time to LAUNCH it!

    1. All three of my girls have Smash Books. I've got to break down and try that smashing technique. I might get a lot more done! <3

  2. Haunani - thanks for stopping by - so fun to connect with you again! Your family is adorable and you are certainly a gifted writer . . . I've enjoyed your thoughts and love your word LAUNCH!

    1. Thank you so much, Kyra! I will definitely be a frequent visitor to caramel potatoes!! :)