The Smaller Picture

When learning about things, most things, the bigger picture is an important element to consider.

The key for me, in pursuing projects within my skill set, is to focus on the smaller picture.

Two recent tasks projects have brought this into focus recently.

The first is the paper purge project, in which I am sorting through documents, discarding the redundant, and filing the relevant. This project started at the very beginning of March, and it isn’t done yet. I know where I want to be with it upon completion, and after making those decisions, proceeded to focus only on the small and attainable steps to get there. It will take another few weeks to tackle the remaining steps, Attila needs to help me move boxes around. By focusing only on small segments of this project, it has not been overwhelming, despite the chaos.

The second project is the apron sewing project. That project was started in February, and has been on hold since the paper purge project began at the beginning of March. Because the equipment is setup on my desk, there is no need to put everything away at the end of every sewing session. The project is being tackled in short segments, fitted in between more routine activities like milling flour, baking bread, and cooking every meal from scratch. Sewing projects are easy to break down into small tasks. I find thinking about the finished project introduces impatience and frustration into the mix.

For example, this morning I spent time listing the tasks for the next step of the paper purge, and that was enough of that for today. All morning I’ve been intermittently working on the apron. Even when the sewing machine had a hissy fit, needing to be cleaned and oiled, it was just another small task to complete. This first version of the apron is a prototype, made from old worn out sheets, to test the fit. This complicates the project, since the material didn’t fit the pattern, so the fabric is being patchworked together, which takes time. Time will tell if this pattern produces a desirable style.

Attila has begun his gardening season. Over Easter weekend he planted peas, spinach, Swiss chard, and beets. The rhubarb is coming up, as is the garlic. The lilac had buds, as do many of the trees around us. Spring is such a lovely time of year.

The weather is downright bucolic today. There is a breeze, the sun is shining, the temperature has reached 12C and rising. The rooms I spend my days in are sunny, the curtains flutter in the breeze, the birds chirp just outside the windows. There are no longer sounds of construction, that were loud and constant while the rentals units were being built. Of course there is always the remote hum of traffic, it is quite difficult to get completely away from that. Somehow though, the near and smaller elements of the environment, the gentle and pleasant, have ascended over these larger world rough and ready vibrations.

It is a beautiful day in the neighbourhood.



11:00 AM EDT Friday 14 April 2023
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.3 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 11.6°C
Dew point: 6.1°C
Humidity: 69%
Wind: SSE 12 km/h
Visibility: 24 km


“We all have different gifts, so we all have different ways of saying to the world who we are.”
Fred Rogers
1928 – 2003

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Maggie, you are a wise woman. I, too, find focussing on the small steps is the most comfortable and least stressful of ways to live in my early seventies. We have so many projects ongoing that it can easily overwhelm me. Some days if I make even the tiniest advance, I count it as a triumph. My unbendable rule now is no marathon jobs where your every hour of every day is consumed by the project.


Hi, Maggie! We had some lovely weather last week. We even made it up to 27C! Amazing. Of course, this early in the year you have to pay for that kind of good weather, so today and tomorrow our temps are hovering between 5 and 2 and we have rain and melting snow.

The nice thing is that because of the previous warm weather, we went from no tree leaves yesterday to about 40% of our trees having leaves today. Yes, that quickly!