Thursday, January 29, 2009

Whip those WIPS into Shape

What is a WIP? It's a "work in progress."

Who doesn't have at least a couple WIPS laying around? Or a couple dozen in some cases.

Whether they are unfinished craft projects or unfinished household projects, those WIPS lead to a lot of mental clutter. They create a lot of guilty feelings ("I really should finish THAT before I start THIS") and they take a lot of effort trying to keep track of them and store them.

The truth is that very often, we are over them and will never finish them. They are just sitting there mocking us.

Hobbies are a great example of that. Most people who are engaged in hobbies have moved from one to another over a period of time.

For example, I used to do a lot of counted cross stitch. But let's be real - my post transplant, over 40 eyes just don't let me enjoy it that much anymore. Why cling to those unfinished projects? I would never finish them. Beyond being physically unable to finish them, I simply wasn't interested anymore. Once I really admitted that to myself, it was easy to let those projects go. The usable patterns and supplies were either sold at a garage sale, donated, or passed on to friends.

Now is the time to pull out all those WIPS and be honest with yourself. Look at each one and ask yourself if, given a completely free, no obligation weekend, would you work on completing it? If the answer is no, then give it up without guilt. You've simply moved beyond it.

Sometimes, it might be just one or two items in a favorite hobby that has lost your interest. Let them go. Life is too short to create something that isn't pleasurable.

Sometimes it's an entire hobby that no longer holds your interest. It can be discouraging when you think about the time you spent to learn it or the money you have spent in supplies, but the reality is that that time can never be recovered and the money is already spent. Admit to yourself that you are no longer interested in quilting, macrame, or fly tieing and pass that stuff on to someone who is still interested in it and can actually make use of those things rather than just storing them.

I'm going to go through my own WIPS and reevaluate them. For those that I choose to continue on with, I am going to place them in my planner and actually schedule time to work on them.

I challenge you to only keep the hobbies and projects in your life that you truly enjoy. Even more, I challenge you to organize your WIPS and plan their completion.


Mary said...

I needed to hear this ... so many knitting UFO's, sewing junk everywhere and scrapbooking? I noticed YOU didn't even mention that one!

Carla said...

Scrapbooking? Never heard of it.

I'm actually going through a lot of my scrap stuff and giving some of it to someone on Freecycle. I'll still scrap some, but mostly I use the stuff for cards. My plan is to not replace items as I use them up.

Which shouldn't be hard since the yarn hardly leaves any room for anything else.

Mrs. Jelly Belly said...

I have tons of WIPS. And all the best intentions of finishing them. The thing is, I still enjoy them and think I will get back to them when I have time - so I won't get rid of any of it.

The worst part? When I do go back to them, I discover there is more new stuff that I MUST BUY and add to the piles. Sigh. And I call my HUSBAND a packrat. :)

Denise said...

Tons and tons of WIPS here...ugh. I'll start on that task tomorrow..... ;)

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