Monday, August 2, 2010


"All of us are guinea pigs in the laboratory of God. Humanity is just a work in progress."

~Tennessee Williams

We are all, as individuals, works in progress. Or that's what I believe, anyway. It's certainly true for me.

I first encountered the term “work in progress” (or WIP) when I started following knitting blogs. Knitters categorize their projects as WIPs, finished, or frogged (gave it up, ripped it out, it was eaten by the cat, etc. It is an ex-project). I have many knitting or crochet works in progress. Many, many, WIPs.

In fact, my life has always been full of works in progress. The scrapbook with all but 3 pages filled, 10 diaries, each with 3 pages filled, the first 2/3 of a quilt measured, cut and sewn together, the dry ingredients for my favorite lemon scented pancakes measured, sifted, and in an airtight container as they wait for their wet counterparts... Of course these are all examples of projects started as an adult. My WIP history started years before I knew how to measure or craft.

One of my favorite games as a child was Reporter. My sister and I would taste tic-tacs and then write a news article extolling the many dangers of Tic Tac Addiction. Day after day, I would sit at our very large computer and edit, edit, edit the article. Sometimes I would even start with a completely fresh document. I can't remember finishing one.

This is not to be confused with Perfectionism. I'm sloppy, disorderly, impulsive. I enjoy mistakes. I'm just a lover of Beginnings. The first chapter of a book is my favorite. The first stitches cast onto knitting needles are the most interesting. The ideas and anticipation of writing is most fulfilling for me. I'm more excited in those first miles of a road trip than I am when I get to my destination.

So I love throwing myself into growth and progress as an individual. Few things are better than finding a piece of myself previously undiscovered and cultivating it. A certain level of self-awareness helps, of course; but this love of beginnings— this passion for the new— lives next to my avoidance of the end. I now wonder: What happens to the last 3rd of the project?

I'm not talking about death— I'm talking about making use of my growth. It's easy to set aside a lace shawl, to throw out unused ingredients for a new cooking recipe. I choose not to ignore things I learn about myself. My most recent self discovery sounds just as easy to finish as my other projects were to lay aside: my AD/HD has become unmanageable. I need to finish my degree. I need to take medication.

There's the idea. My journey has started. The path is laid before me.

But how do I continue?

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