10 February 2011

Reflections on: procrastination

Postponing activities is a favourite pastime of mine. It always leads me to discover new, creative ways of procrastination, the latest of which is rearranging all the quilts in my house. Along the way, I have uncovered some of my early quilts that had been half-forgotten.

Most of the tasks I postpone are things I actively want to do. I prefer to think of this as deferment of pleasure, instead of the negative implication of time wasting. Don’t you agree that anticipation is half the fun of any event? The planning, the thinking and the savouring of the enjoyment to come are all part of the complete activity. It makes sense, then, that the longer I can defer it, the more I will enjoy it.

My latest way of deferring writing involved taking all my quilts out of their hidey-holes, admiring and refolding them, and then finding different ways to display them in my home. For many years, I have envied people who have a large amoire in which to store their quilts. Imagine having all that glorious pattern, colour and texture constantly on display!

Inspired by this thought, I inspected my furniture to find a suitable piece. The closest I could find was a large, deep-shelved, timber bookcase. I love this bookcase. It has smooth, rounded corners and is made from glorious honey-coloured pine. I decided it was the perfect candidate for my quilts.

Of course, it was already full of books, so they had to be relocated. This necessitated a shopping excursion and the purchase of a couple of other bookshelves – not as aesthetically attractive as my timber one, but certainly capable of holding my collection. The new shelves had to be put together, so that took another chunk of time.

The couch had to be relocated so I could erect the new bookcases in its place. Then I arranged my books, taking pleasure in dipping into the occasional one, experiencing it as I sorted.

Folding and stroking my quilts provided great pleasure. It was satisfying to examine some of my first quilts; to see how my stitching has changed over the years. It was intriguing to see colour choices that I had made and how often the colour blue has been included in many of them. Each quilt took me back in time as I recalled what else had been going on in my life while I had been sewing it.

I also remembered the ghosts of quilts I had made and given away. The physical quilt may not be with me, but their memories certainly stayed. As I type these words now, I glance to the piles of colour on my shelves and I am thankful that I have taken the opportunity to enjoy my quilts every day. How could such a positive outcome have ever been considered a time-waster?

4 comments:

Sally Westcott said...

I so pleased I'm not the only one who doe this!

Christine said...

Erica, I'm sure this can be classified as "positive procrastination", or put another way "taking time to smell the roses", LOL. I'm sure you now have renewed energy to tackle those jobs you put off so win-win all around. That's my theory anyway, I'm the Procrastination Queen you know !!!

Monica Johnstone said...

Erica,
Fear not, I look at the quilt you made for me every time I go into my studio (a lot). I see it from the doorway, I see it from my sewing machine and overlocker, I see it when I reach fro a ruler. I've got you covered!
~M

Nikki said...

I love your attitude!