“Much good work is lost for the lack of a little more.” I can’t remember where I first came across this quotation, but Google ascribes it to Edward H Harriman. I have no idea who this man is, but I do know this line to be true. When I first heard it, my mind was flooded by thousands of ways I’d wasted my work, by not doing just a little more.. mushrooms that rotted in my fridge, because I didn’t get to making them into soup.. herbs that molded because I didn’t get them hung up to dry in time.. clothes that had to be re-washed because I left them in the washer too long during the dog days of summer.. piles of folded laundry that got knocked over and all undone by the kids because I hadn’t put them away yet..
This article isn’t about discouragement, or to tell you to do better, to try harder, to get more done, and to be more productive. Instead, it’s just appreciation. I KNOW I’m not the only one this happens to, and I just want you to know that I know you do more than people see. I know you do more than the finished product makes it look like you do. I know you work hard, and I know you sometimes feel like you’re just spinning your wheels, and that life is just a Sisyphus game. I know you work hard, and I know it hurts when people don’t show their appreciation, or when you think they think you’re a lazy slob. I’m sorry for the times you feel that way. It’s awful.
Believe me, I’m not here to tell you to do more. In fact, I’m going to suggest you do less. Really examine yourself and the days/weeks/months you feel most like you’re working all day with nothing to show for it. What makes you feel that way the most? Is it the summer months, and your garden? The school year and your homeschooling schedule? Your job (within or without the home)? Your hobby? Judgmental people around you? What can you cut out? Can you donate the pieces of that quilting project, and breathe a sigh of relief knowing that it’s not sitting there waiting for you to come (or your kids to get into it and rip it all apart again..)? Can you refuse that invitation? Can you drop the homeschool curriculum and just wing it? Can you integrate your husband or kids more into the garden chores? They eat, too. If it’s just a decorative garden, can you drop it altogether? Or get out there when you can enjoy it, but at least drop the guilt that comes with the overgrowth of weeds?
I’m not here to tell you to pick up more projects. I’m here to suggest you drop them. Do fewer projects, and get them finished. Don’t start crocheting a new thing, until your last is finished. Don’t start math with the kids until you’ve swapped the laundry around. If it takes less than two minutes, JUST DO IT. Why dust that knick-knack, when you could just throw it out?
Don’t do more. Do less, and do it better.