The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

A process to remember

These last days I’ve found myself a lot on the floor. It all started with a part which was worn out, I then realized that sun and cleaning had marked it and that I needed to do something about it.

Painting it today I was reminded of a common theme for any project.

First, there is excitement.

A new idea, a new project, a new action.

Then there is the hesitation.

Will I make it? It’s daunting. It looks big.

Then there is the preparation.

Setting plans up, figuring out how it could work.

Then there is the action.

None of the steps are dispensable. There is no shortcut.

Going back to my floor.

I had done some planning that allowed me to have a general idea of how I could do things. Then I had started to prepare details here and there. Things only got going once I had started to move things out of the space instead of moving them aside.

There is this moment where you’ve got to engage in the work. Otherwise, it never gets done.

That doesn’t make it happen though.

There is still a slow start, where everything still feels like being ahead. It takes time until there is a sense of “I got this”.

And it happens with every single step. Getting things out of the way. Sanding the floor. Painting the floor.

Every step teaches us something different. The doing transforms the learning.

And even, when we know that we’ve got it, there’s still a dip ahead.

These moments in between, we’ve done well, we see the progress but then the excitement of progress drops as we see what’s still ahead. Everything feels as if it’s slowing down.

It takes a while until we start to feel the achievement of what lies behind us.

And then, when we think we’re done. There is this extra step we’ve lost sight of or thought we could do without. As I had been spreading the oil it looked as if I had grasped how to spread just enough for the wood to soak it in. Wood never soaks anything evenly. It’s my task to even it out. While planed, the need to polish almost felt like a surprise and an additional step.

If there is anything we need to learn about projects, then it’s that they are a constant cycle of highs and lows. Moving forward and hesitating.

The task is to keep the energy going and care for it to be there.

The rest is learning from the execution.


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