I have a habit of making mountains out of molehills. On so many occasions, I put way too much thought and detail into a project, to the point where it becomes this insurmountable task I keep putting on the back burner because it’s just too complicated. Do you ever do that?
Our yard, for example. Since we moved in, I have envisioned this glorious sanctuary with these amazing gardens and creative play spaces for kids- all of which I know I’m capable of building if I had all the time (and money!) in the world. But alas, life goes on and I try to chip away at some of these ideas- sometimes successfully, sometimes not- and I try not to get discouraged when I look around and think about all this work I have to do, which really only exists in my imagination.
So this morning, while reading Fancy Nancy with Claire, I had an epiphany. (Yes, thank you Fancy Nancy for that!) While we admired the artwork in the story, I began to observe the spaces described in the drawings. A little kiddie pool with a couple of homemade boats in it, a small picnic table for art and other projects, and finally- a simple swing hanging from a tree. Just a piece of wood with a rope, tied over a branch. “I can do that!”, I declared, and together we headed into the garage to see what we could find.
We spotted some rope near the garden tools (hope you didn’t need that, honey!), and found a good sized (mostly smooth) board for a seat. My inner mountain-maker started to chime in, “It’s not cedar, it’s not meant for outside.” “So what?” I fired back at myself, “I’ll be happy if it lasts two weeks!” We grabbed the drill, and off we went to find a suitable branch.
Here, again, I began to battle with myself. I had already put some thought into a tree swing, and I had limited myself to a certain part of the yard because it’s where we typically hang out. There was nothing there that was conducive to a safe swing, so we had to explore other, more remote locations, and I started to freak out because that meant I couldn’t see it from my kitchen window. I spent a lot of time “shushing” myself as we wandered the yard, and finally settled on a nice, low branch on our maple tree. “Let’s do this,” I said to Claire, and we laid out all our materials.
Maybe 10 minutes later, we were looking at a wonderful little swing, ready for enjoyment. I couldn’t believe what a big deal I’d made about this in my head! Of course, I’d still like to work towards building that beautiful A-frame with the two strong swings and the delicious grapevines growing over it (’cause everyone should eat chokeable food while they’re on a swing…), but for now, this swing will do just fine. Claire even told me so!