Amy Roberts: And for my next project…
I don’t know that it’s a documented condition, but I’m pretty sure I have something one might label ‘idle anxiety,’ a condition related to the addiction of being busy or constantly working on something. Project dependency of sorts. Despite all the benefits of mindfulness and rest and relaxation, when I attempt to implement any of these practices, my disorder only intensifies. I’ve tried yoga, massage, meditation — all of it. It simply doesn’t work for me. I spend the entire session making mental to do lists and willing the clock to move faster so I can escape ‘chill jail’ and begin tackling them.
Friends have insisted I must be doing it wrong, and while I’m sure there is an incorrect way to lie on a mat and close your eyes, I’ve accepted the fact I’m just not down with the downward dog. Admittedly, I find my personal enlightenment and some form of peace in being restless.
Which probably explains my last few months of discontent. I’ve been feeling edgy, bored, unsettled. Perhaps it’s not a coincidence I also haven’t had a personal project in the works for a while. I’m pretty sure there’s a direct correlation. As such, I’ve been giving some thought to the next unknown I can immerse myself in, which has turned out to be more difficult than I expected.
I’m drawn to independent, aesthetic endeavors that require research, problem solving and adaptation. And admittedly, my field of interest is somewhat limited. I have no desire to tinker with an engine or potentially electrocute myself. Relying on others or working around someone else’s schedule does nothing for me. I’m looking for something I can do on my own time, that requires self-teaching and results in some level of gratification.
Planning a trip has long been my project of choice. I can spend months researching places I haven’t been, figuring out how to get from one corner of a country or continent to another, memorizing flight schedules and train tables, reading reviews and blogs, networking to figure out who I might know in the area, and learning some of the language. But right now, my upcoming trips are sorted; all of my PTO spoken for. If you’re itching to go somewhere and don’t mind traveling like you’re a competitor on The Amazing Race, my services are available.
A few years ago I poured myself into writing a book. It filled up an entire year of my life, and I found the publishing process equal parts terrifying and fascinating. There was a lot of trial and error, mostly error. But I checked it off my list.
Interior design and remodeling projects are my jam. I have no formal training in the field, but the dramatic before and after comparison photos have always been something I relish. Now though, after two decades of home ownership, every inch of my house has been updated or remodeled. There’s nothing else left to tear out, rearrange, or replace until my flooring goes out of style.
Running out of upgrade options and home projects is one of the reasons I built a tiny house a few years ago. With nothing left to do to my house, I built another home, albeit a much smaller one. I spent half a year attending the University of YouTube and proudly (and sometimes painfully) figured out some of the construction process on my own. And while it was rewarding, building a tiny house is one of those things you really only need to do once. I’m glad I did it, mostly because I’ll never have to do it again.
So here I am, impatiently looking for the next project, contemplating the next unknown. I can’t seem to settle on anything. For now, my next project seems to be deciding my next project.
Amy Roberts is a freelance writer, longtime Park City resident and the proud owner of two rescued Dalmatians, Stanley and Willis. Follow her on Twitter @amycroberts.
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“It was just the heads of the animal characters of the zodiac brought to life. It was dizzying to look up and see them all and to meander between the animals.”