Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Resolved: I Will Overcome the Hartwell Syndrome

It will surprise none of you who know me even a little bit that I do things differently than other people.  It's part of that whole "folded fitted sheet thing."  That, or I'm a total bad-ass rebel.

That, or I'm a little whackatoodly.

It could go a lot of ways, really.

The point here is that, if given an opportunity to go down a completely different path, unless somebody can convince me that I'm not under any threat of A:  spiders, B:  tornadoes, or C:  lately, it's been bears, but it vacillates between those and pumas...well, I'll take that path.

Consider, if you will, resolutions.  I'm speaking of the New Year's type of resolutions, the kind wherein you vow to eat better and lose weight while there are still Christmas cookies in the house and you have to get through the championship games, Valentine's Day, and Easter before the weather heats up enough for you to get out and walk a sensible thirty minutes a day.  I fail at these resolutions miserably, usually, because it's fricking cold for two months and I am too busy hibernating to be any good to anybody, much less MY body.  So in a fit of rebellion (or whackatoodliness), last year, I decided to shake things up a bit.

Instead of pinning my "new year" on the dead of winter, I pinned it on my birthday.

Self-centered, much, Heather?

Yes.  But I think it's OKAY to be self-centered here, because...hello...it's MY resolution, right?  I'm not asking my children or husband to jump aboard my fast train to awesomeness (unless they want to.)  And I'm certainly not going to ask a bajillion other people to join me in starting the new year by shivering and starving.

My birthday is in June, y'all.  Nobody shivers in middle Georgia in June unless she caught some kind of insect-borne illness or her husband turned up the AC again while she wasn't looking.

Also, my resolution is not related to losing weight or getting healthy.  I mean, that would be nice and I'm working on doing that in a hit or miss kind of fashion, but I haven't set it as a goal for myself.   Instead, I am working on unfinished business.

There is a running joke in my family that we trot out from time to time whenever some project gets abandoned.  We call it "The Hartwell Syndrome" after a beloved and procrastinating uncle, and it has been applied to a varied list of half-finished attempts including:  houses, landscaping, out-buildings, swimming pool pavers, gardens, cars, and furniture.  I have used the term exclusively toward my male relatives, but I have come to accept that I, too, suffer from The Hartwell Syndrome.  I'm not sure if there's a cure for this disease, BUT I have given myself a year to try and work that mess out of my system, beginning with the following:


This would be my "cookbook."  No, I am not kidding.  Yes, I wish I was.  It is basically a smudged, sticky, unsorted stack of recipes in page protectors gathered from websites, emails, and magazine pages that grew too big for the binder I put it in. I go back to these recipes all the time and constantly find myself shuffling through the main courses looking for cookies (the ones here, btw, are faaaaanttttaaaassstic) and weeping bitter tears over my lack of organization.  So one project I'm working on is putting all the recipes into one file and getting it printed out somewhere.  Anybody have any good sources for cookbook printing?  I don't need anything fancy, just better than...um...this pitiful display.

Also in need of attention:  


The crochet bag, filled with at least four different projects in need of completion.  The one on top left is a blanket I'm doing for my bedroom.  It's almost finished, but will require that I purchase a few more skeins before it's done, which will mean I'll have to go to a craft store, which will mean somebody will have to come with me to prevent me from getting something else to start a new project.  I NEED somebody to drag me away from the paper aisle.  Volunteers?  The beautiful swirl of rainbow colors is the fabric strips I sewed together to crochet a rug for my kitchen.  Alas, having sewed and ironed the entire thing, I discovered that my giant rug-crocheting hook has disappeared. Because of course it has.  Once I find it, I think I can get this and the blanket finished up before the fall sets in, when I will move on to...


A super-secret cross-stitch project for Will.  I'd tell you what it was, but then I'd have to kill you.  Or at least, you know, yell strenuously at you not to tell him.  I should go ahead and tell you that, yes, that is a King Arthur Flour catalog on the table behind my cross-stitch bag and, yes, one of the recipes within is in the stack of recipes on my desk.  Also, yes, my cross-stitch bag is one of those wine bags you get at grocery stores.  Make whatever assumptions you need to make, my friends.

Moving on:  



This is a two-part Hartwell Syndrome catastrophe in that 1:  the pile of clothes on top of the tub is actually a pile of Jeffrey's old tee-shirts which I will be making into a blanket for us.  I love tee-shirt quilts.  But also, 2:  the tub is big.  It's one of those tubs into which you could conceivably hide the body of a friend who was told about a secret project.  (Gah.  Am I macabre today or what?  I blame the low pressure system sitting over us right now.  Or the chigger's I picked up during the weekend photo shoot I did.)  Anyway, this big tub is filled to the brim with all of the craft junk I didn't throw away during the Purge of the 41st Birthday Resolution (more on that later) and that would not fit into the smaller tubs which are stowed neatly in the office cabinets.  It's got fabric, clipboards, various pieces of felt, doilies, random bits of doodads for jewelry...it's stuffed.  My PLAN is to get it empty by Christmas, but to be honest, I think that I might be feverish when I say that.  Pretty sure I have chiggeritis.

I've set aside an hour a day to work on the recipes (so...many...recipes) and have made myself a Word template and everything and I can work on the crocheting and cross-stitching sitting in the car rider line waiting for the kidlets.  After I tackle the blanket and tub, I'll turn my attention to shoring up projects around the house that are still unfinished, like the laundry room shelving system and the kitchen pantry door.  And then...a year will have passed and I'll be coming up with a different resolution, filled with the pride that comes from defeating a hereditary plague and bringing joy and completion to my loved ones.

Or something like that.

What about you?  Think something like this would work for you?  Hit me up in comments about your most successful resolution strategies!

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