Do the next thing

Yesterday I finally managed to (somewhat) organize my office. Today, as if by magic, I now feel like writing again!

Surviving a natural disaster is as life-changing as you've heard everyone say it is. For several weeks over the last 4 months I even questioned THIS. Should I keep teaching? Should I keep writing about knitting? Should I just go find a hostess job at one of my favorite restaurants instead? I gotta tell ya, it can get pretty lonely around here while waiting around for contractors to show up, or watching them rip the doors out by the frames, leaving more mess to clean up in the process of finally tackling the last really big replacement job. My life has revolved around putting the house back together, a job I did not sign up for!

So what happens then, once they miraculously return and finish the 5 little, but messy, jobs that remain for them to do? Then I clean out the garage (again). I find the boxes (still packed) of stuff that goes on the walls, and decide what gets hung back up and what doesn't. I clear enough room in the garage to stain and finish five pieces of furniture (what was I thinking??) so I can unpack the last of the books/photo albums/knitting notebooks. I send hubby downtown to Port City Glass to have them put in a replacement for the glass that got shattered on our (sort of) antique China hutch when it was being evacuated to dry ground back in October. I call back the floor guys to redo the trim around the fireplace that snags us if we walk by in socks (handknitted ones, even!).

In short, I will...


Years ago I read this advice somewhere and it has helped me greatly. I can easily become immobilized when faced with bigger than normal challenges. When I can't figure out how to get through the next month, it helps to focus on getting through the next week. Or the next day. Or the next hour. To just do the next thing.

In doing the next thing, over and over, I have managed to regain a sense of equilibrium and focus. I have found again the joy in my job that was sadly missing for a while. I have accomplished much by doing the next thing.

I've spent this week getting ready to teach at the SC Knitting Guild's annual Knit Inn, and while there are some knitting samples that have been lost since the flood (and may turn up the week after I no longer need them), it has felt good.

When challenges come in life, and they will, remember to do the next thing and then the next and then the next. Before you know it, you will have survived and when you come up for air, you'll have something to show for all your struggle.


I'll be teaching stranded Fair Isle this weekend--featuring the Mr. Deeds hat, worn here by my beautiful daughter. Dog was indeed spoiled in the taking of this picture.