I had a different post planned for you today, my lovelies. An introduction to Tucson and the link to the guide there that I’ve been promising you. I am so excited about this guide- excited about its contents and also about its design. You see, I took an extra minute (or, you know, several hundred of them) to learn something new with this project, something I've been meaning to learn for some time.
I have long wanted to gain a real working understanding of Adobe InDesign and how to utilize the powerful software to create well designed materials for you guys. I have put it off for years (seriously, like a good solid decade), just using workarounds in software that I already understood, knowing all the while that InDesign would be the better choice and that my final product would be far superior if I would just learn it. But it takes time and energy to learn a whole new program, and time and again I have promised myself that “next time” I would take that time, put forth that energy. A lot of “next times” have come and gone and still no InDesign.
So I decided that this would be that “next time,” that I would step back from hurry and half measures and stop putting off my best work. I ignored the voice in my head that said I didn’t have time, that people were waiting for what I’d promised, that this was not the time to indulge myself in the slow process of learning and mistake-making that would be involved. I ignored the urge to wait until “next time” yet again.
Because this is what we do, isn’t it? We assume that at some later date, we’ll have more time, more money, more flexibility, more whatever, and then we’ll finally be able to do whatever it is that we’ve been waiting to do, to start, to say, to change. But how often does “next time” turn into another “next time” and another after that? How many years do we put off the things we want to do, need to do? Sometimes it’s something pretty minor like learning a new software program that will improve our skills and our work, but often we apply that same principle to not-so-minor things too, don’t we? I would imagine I’m not alone in waiting until “next time” to make some big changes in my life, to have some big conversations with loved ones, to take a first step toward a big dream.
This learning process has meant the Tucson guide that I wanted to deliver into your hands has taken me a bit (okay, a lot) longer than I’d hoped. And I ran out of time to get all of the delivery logistics figured out before today’s post, so I don’t have it for you today. I hope you’ll find the delay worthwhile when it lands in your hands next week (yes, I see the bit of irony here...).
In the meantime, I invite you to think about the things you’ve been putting off until “next time” and ask yourself why. Why are you waiting? What will really be different "next time?" What if you started this time instead? It might mean risking letting someone down. It might mean letting yourself down (I promised myself that I would get this guide delivered today and I’m disappointed in the missed deadline). But. Sometimes those short term disappointments mean greater integrity in our long-term.
In this instance it just means a new skill set that will allow me to do better work, to create work I’m more proud of as I move forward. But maybe it can also mean pausing as you chop veggies to pay attention to the ramblings of your five year old this time or using this weekend to finally get down to the beach and take a restful afternoon to listen to the waves.
Maybe we can practice grabbing the opportunities as they present themselves instead of hoping, relying on the idea that some mysterious “next time” will appear, that we’ll have the chance later to do what we delayed today. Sometimes it doesn’t really matter, but sometimes it really does and I don’t know about you, but I can use all the practice I can get at this. So let’s do it. Let’s stop waiting for “next time” and start learning and listening and healing and talking and changing and growing this time.
We can do it, you guys.