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UFOs in a Shame Spiral

UFOs cause shame...

A while back, my friend Ember Sky, who is a cosplayer, was torn between two projects.  She had one thing she needed to finish to have Costume A completed.  But she really wanted to start work on Costume B.  I told her to start Costume B.  My logic being, if she forced herself to do Costume A, her heart wouldn’t be in it.  Which meant she’d be dragging her feet and not really concentrating.  This would invariably lead to mistakes.  Which meant MORE time before she could work on Costume B, as she would then need to correct the mistakes before calling Costume A completed.

This was both simultaneously very good AND very bad advice.  It was very good advice for the reasons I listed.  If Ember start’s Costume B, the time will fly by and she will be productive because she will be working on what she is called to work on in that moment.  It was very bad advice because by caving to the desire to work on what she wants to, two things happen.  First, she was not practicing willpower, which is always a good trait to have.  Second, she was contributing to her UnFinished Objects (UFOs) pile.  Now, given that the one item she needed to complete for Costume A was in fact needed for a fast approaching convention, I knew she would complete the item.

And then there is me.  If I put down an object, it may be decades before I pick it up again to finish it.  This is not a joke. A literal decade may pass before I complete the item.  I have an entire Box of Shame of UFOs that I sort of look at and realize I should just re-cut them in to quilting squares.  Because there is no chance anything in that box would ever fit me.  I have a jacket that I cut out and assembled 9 years ago, all it needs is buttons and button holes.  I found it while cleaning out a closet.  It now sits in my cutting table, a constant reminder of my shame.  It even has a matching skirt that has never been worn…because of buttons.

UFOs cause shame
Shame shame shame…

I have only gotten slightly better over the years. I have gotten to the point where I purchase or cut off bits of fabric, but don’t actually cut them out.  This creates a Schroedinger’s effect…until it is cut, it is both UFO and not UFO.  Which is how I find myself in possession of a huge, outdoor bin of fabric.  I can look at 95% of it and know exactly what I was going to make of it.  I am just not excited for that project.  So I have storage bin of UFOs/non-UFOs projects.  And the shame continues….