Journal 3 – simply getting on with it

Journal 3 - simply getting on with it - an inspiring read on how to get back to the land of the living when you're down in the dumps. funkyjunkinteriors.net
New things… new things are scary. Some new things can positively put me in lockdown mode, as if I’m in some frozen state where it’s safest not to do anything except breathe, until things feel familiar again.

Now, new things can be exciting and exhilarating too… so it really depends what one is defining as ‘new’.

To kinda recap where things were last week, you may wish to read Journal 2 – Yo-yo living HERE.

So, over the past week, I was sharing some of the stuff I was going through with a friend, when her comment, that was in actuality so simple, still made me stop in my tracks.

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To loosely quote her:

“I’ve just decided to get on with it. Because stopping everything wasn’t working anyway.”

As I read the words, I let them gradually sink in. 

There was so much truth to this. But looking back, I don’t think I could have implemented it when the ‘new’ was too new.

I think when we are confronted with something shockingly new, we need time to let it saturate us a little. Then once you are truly fed up with all the worrying that does absolutely nothing anyway, that’s when one needs to STEP UP and make ‘getting on with it’ actually happen.

sunset bikeride overlooking the country from the mountain top / funkyjunkinteriors.net

I tried this out with a recent sunset bike ride I was on. I rode up there feeling terrible, and was about to plunk my sorry self down on the ground, and just mope. But before sitting down, I realized something…

I had snacks and a coffee with me. I could sit and indulge, making me not really feel much better, or in fact, maybe worse by ‘eating my worries away’, or… be more proactive.

So I put down my snack gear, and started walking up the hill instead. While still thinking.

It was hard. Every step hurt when you do NOT feel like making an effort. So I erased the effort from my mind, and started focusing on my thoughts, vs. what I was actually doing.

I suddenly had done about 3 up-and-downs the hill, when I realized my step was quickening. Walking became easier. The more I did, the more I could do.

At the end of this little experiment, I was actually RUNNING up hill.

Not only was I working out the scary new thing, I wasn’t hurting myself in the process. Moving is good. Really good. 

Get on with it, indeed.

Right then I knew I was onto something much bigger. I took that theory home with me, and put it in full practice mode. I forced myself to sit in front of my computer, even though I did not feel like it, open up some files, and refine a new stencil design I had been playing with prior.

I was suddenly cutting that design, and dreaming up new ways to use it. I even painted an old crate in preparation to perhaps use it with.

Oh my gosh… I was DIYing… 

Things started rolling from there. I was suddenly putting together a paint order so I could finish the project, dreaming up other creative ways to use the design.

Then I went outside for something. I immediately started to feel the deflate…. you know when you are overwhelmed with too much to do, and it pulls you down? My outside is like that.

“Get on with it…”

garden walkway before / funkyjunkinteriors.net
pallet wood garden walkway / funkyjunkinteriors.net

I rounded up my gardening gloves, and forced myself to pull a few weeds around the pallet wood walkway.

*PUSH* 

Suddenly, I was inspired to do a little flowerbed edging, because I was fuelled to see more pretty.

*Less push…*

Then I grabbed the lawnmower, thinking I’d just quickly do the front yard.

*No push…*

But ended up doing the whole yard.

See how just getting on with it works?

It’s positively contagious! But that first step is a doozy.

The first step is where you will need all the strength you can muster. But I encourage you to just accept the fact that you don’t want to do it, but will anyway.

Then see what soon follows.

chaos before picture of clutter
Purged and painted paint studio with all white walls and table / funkyjunkinteriors.net
Purged and painted paint studio with all white walls and table / funkyjunkinteriors.net

Every room redo I’ve ever started has fired up much the same way. Ever look at a totally cluttered room, only to sigh, turn around, walk out, closing the door behind you?

That’s how the paint studio above transpired.

That is exactly when you need to take that first step… and start gutting that room. When you’ve flat out had enough!

I actually do this quite often when feeling uninspired to create. I walk into a room, hate what I see, then gut it. It gets cleaned, then I slowly feed back only what I love to look at. That’s when I realize how cluttered it had become over time, and how gorgeously refreshed the space takes on. Which often inspires me to travel down to my junk stash and create something new for the space.

Life is so inter connected, like an unfinished puzzle just waiting to be worked on.

A puzzle that’s totally reliant on you fitting in those missing pieces, regardless of what else is transpiring around you.

So you can either choose one big pile of chaos that continues to pull you down, or work on that masterpiece, one piece at a time, with an eventual beautiful outcome.

New happens.
Get over the shock / fear.
Become familiar with it by thinking of different ways to try and make it work.
Take that first step, regardless of how you feel.
Then get on with it!
The more you do, the better you will start to feel.

Just getting on with it is so super critical, guys. That massive first step is what this takes, that will take all the effort you can give… but once you just start?

Catch me… or you, if you can.

Thank you friend. Such very wise words. Who knew they’d inspire an entire blog post?

– – – – 

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  1. I like “just get on with it”. I’m often paralysed with inertia but if I say to myself just start with something small. Most of the time that works starting with something small or simple gets me going and before I know it I’m doing loads. When you work by yourself at home all day it can be hard to find motivation, so you have to give yourself the “just get on with it” talk as no one else will. Thanks for a great post.

  2. I started reading your blog a few years ago when you were talking about the tough times you have had in your life and how you let God intervene. Your words caused me to let God intervene in my life. I have been following your blog since then with a special affection for you. Now that I need another boost in my thinking and in my life, you are helping again. Thank you for letting God use you in a way that touches others. You are special! God bless!

    • Oh Cheryl, your post was so touching!

      I believe if we are just patient and keeping asking for guidance, AMAZING things happen, way beyond our own comprehension. That’s happened to me time and time again, and continues to do so!

  3. Change/new can be polarizing and overwhelming. That first step is critical to moving forward. Sometimes I think we become so concerned with taking the wrong step that we become frozen in place with worry! That gets us nowhere!. Taking the wrong step is better than no step at all. It’s a process of taking a step forward and if it works out great, if it doesn’t take a new step in a new direction.

    I, personally, get stuck in my own head (not always a great place to be) worrying about “what ifs”. Those what ifs can result in fear, which polarizes me. Then I overthink for a few days and finally reach the point where I know I have to do SOMETHING, ANYTHING and (sorry for the language here) reach what I call the “F*$K IT” stage where I figure moving forward, even if it winds up being in the wrong direction, is better than doing nothing. It usually works out fine, but boy it’s a process to get there.

    Thanks for this post, it really hit a chord with me today-as most of your posts do! Going to go take a step . . .Luv ya girl

  4. I was literally laying in bed this morning before I got up, thinking of all I needed to do today. They were things already on my schedule, dentist appointment, business presentation at lunch followed by another appointment hoping I will make it on time.

    I realized the other things I wanted to do and needed to do (for the blog). It has been weighing me down and making me feeling stuck so even though it is first on my mind it is last on my list. I will get to it when I get to it. Because what I am working on is new and unfamiliar, it will require More of me. It’s not as easy as hopping in the car and driving to a dentist appt. that only requires me to sit in a chair or even getting up in front of a group of way more intelligent professionals than me and speak. Most people would be frozen by speaking in front of others but it is familiar to me. I have done it over and over and I know exactly what I am going to say.

    I asked myself why do I forget to ask for help? Not from my husband, kids or neighbors but internally from the Holy Spirit. I just ask to help me get unstuck and get on with it. I know it won’t be easy but just help me to move on to the next step.

    Everything we do in life and don’t want to do but need to do, we have done by putting one foot in front of the other, step by step, day by day. We learn, we grow, we look how far we have come, we smile.

    Thank you for the inspiration today. I can’t believe I read this after literally laying in bed a few minutes ago thinking along the same lines.

    • What a thoughtful take on this Diane! You’re right, new stuff takes more out of us. There are so many more unknowns we have to wade through.

      I’ve been listing all the hard stuff lately, tackling one at a time. It seems to help to have to read it every day. Then when I finally cross it off the list, I feel like throwing a party! Which generally means, running to the deli for a whipping cream filled long john… LOL

  5. Well Donna seems you’ve been reading my mind. Lately I’ve realized that I don’t have to “want” to do it to actually do it. If I wait until I’m in the mood to do it things will probably just get a lot worse before they get better. And yes physical movement is good for those of us that suffer from inertia. Great post.

  6. So well put!!! The first step is always the hardest but without that first step we remain planted!!!!! I MUST CHOOSE and then the journey begins…….

  7. love your journal entries! I feel overwhelmed daily…it’s really all in my head! Glad I’m not the only one!

    Happy to hear you’re working on a new stencil! Don’t know what you’re working on, but I’d love one for the bathroom…just sayin…

  8. “The first step is where you will need all the strength you can muster”…. Oh Donna that is so true!!! Maybe its picking ourselves back up and “getting on with it” or diving in to something new, the first step can be so hard. I really loved this journal entry… Sending hugs and good thoughts your way!

  9. Just get on with it…so simple but strong. Needed that today. Thanks.
    Love your stories and how you cope.
    Go forward and accomplish all you can dream of..push, push, push!

  10. Thank you Donna! You never know how God will use you and he used you to help me and by the looks of it so many others!

  11. REALLY, I needed this today. I got up and was so bummed for some reason. I couldn’t get started. My allergies are driving me nuts and I hate how you feel. After reading this I am just going to kick some butt. Lots to be done.. Thanks,

    Gail

  12. Thank you, Donna, for your inspiration! I appreciate your dedication to you, to your blog and your readers. It’s not often easy to motivate one’s self as an artist/entrepreneur, and your sharing always brightens my way!

  13. Perfectly put!! I pretty use the same mantas to get my self motivated, when no one around me, is moving to do what needs to be done?I love all of your projects! Keep putting these wonderful insights out there??

  14. I had the realization that it’s fine for others to tell me that I’m good at doing something and that they want me on their team or their project. Very flattering. Nice to be invited. But I have had to learn this year that if it’s not what I love doing, I’m giving away my time to do the things others want me to do and not what I want and need to do. So, I’m learning to say no. Making time for me. People don’t like it, but it’s my big hill. Thank you, Donna!

  15. So true! While first recovering from alcoholism (24 years ago) and trying to figure out how to do ANYTHING without alcohol “by my side” was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do! One day when I was paralyzed by fear and thought I might take that first drink, I called a friend. What he said to me has stuck to this day…. “just do the next right thing.” He told me to take a look around and tell him what needed done? I told him there was a blanket on the floor that needed folding and put away. He told me to stay on the phone with him, get up and fold the blanket and put it away. I did so… He asked what I saw next, I told him the children’s toys were everywhere. He said to stay on the phone with him & gather up the toys to put away. I did so…. and this went on for a little bit. After a while most of my chores were done, I felt better about having accomplished them AND I had forgotten about that drink I was considering! So PUSH and “get on with it” may seem so simple but has profound results! Thanks for sharing!

    • This response is for April no. 23. “just do the next right thing.” That wording jumped out at me. First of all, how wonderful someone was there for you. And you started by folding a blanket and putting it away. I speak from experience of how profound that small gesture makes such a huge impact that words cannot express the full impact. It brought back a memory from almost 20 years ago when I was struggling, really struggling with anxiety and depression over the death of my mother. I had never struggled so hard to just survive every moment as it came. It was summer and my boys(little at the time) were playing outside in their playhouse and came to me all worried because the bees were bothering them. I got the can of spray and chased the bees away. My little boys were so happy and gave me big hugs for saving them. I walked to the mailbox that day with tears streaming down my face because I felt as though I was going to make it because at least I could love my children and save them from bees! To me that was a huge accomplishment that day and in my life. Even as I write this I tear up because I remember the anguish and then the hope. Something so insignificant to others but it meant the world to me. ‘Just do the next right thing.’ That is going to be me mantra! I am so happy for you April. Thank you for sharing your story and reminding me of mine and how I want to remember to live when everything is swirling around me and I can’t decide which way to go. Just reach out and ‘just do the next right thing.’

  16. “I’ve just decided to get on with it. Because stopping everything wasn’t working anyway.”–Good advice, but scary especially at the start of something new.

    I’ve applied this recently, but didn’t realize it. I’m not one to jump into “new” quickly.

    I made a mistake and bought the wrong house in the wrong location in the wrong city. I knew this the day after I moved in. I put a new roof on it and put the house back on the market. Real estate lady said she didn’t think there would be an issue to sell it. Eight months later, there it sat. Empty. I’d moved. My home owner’s insurance wanted to cancel coverage ’cause the house sat vacant for so long.

    What to do? Take a $50K loss? (I’d had only one offer from an investor.)

    So I moved from my inertia and decided to “get on with it”. The garage had a tiny apartment above it in dismal condition, BUT it had a bathroom and a closet. (The floor sills, siding & staircase were rotted. The roof was bad. It wasn’t insulated. The plumbing and wiring were from 1930.) I took a deep breath and plunged into the renovation, which meant dipping into my retirement. I hired the best contractor I could find. I prayed.

    It’s now almost ready to rent. It’s completely transformed.

    I will rent the apartment and the front house, and I’ll continue to pray. I held God’s hand every step of the way, and sometimes I squeezed it TIGHTLY.

  17. Nike has made a gazillion dollars with their “Just do it” phrase.

    Great post… “A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.”

  18. Bless you for a blog that has helped just when I was feeling EXACTLY as you describe……..I have felt pulled in so many directions and my work room is the one I walk in only to leave because it feels overwhelming!!
    My creativity suffers. I bet most people go through this but I believe it is worse for us creative types and we tend to “beat ourselves up”… I start thinking I am just a Hoarder and get negative.
    I agree taking the first step really helps, thank you so much for the reminder since I do need to get more furniture painted for my booth.

    I will copy this blog and keep it near to remind me to “Take the first step and just begin….also to appreciate my given gift of creativity….
    Thank you for your inspiration, we are all special, gifted people…

  19. Thanks so much for sharing! I live with MS but luckily am fairly mobile. BUT I live with pain 24 hours a day and your words ring true. I needed to hear them. I love my yard and being out there, I love quilting, I love messing around with diy projects but some days just see it as too much to deal with and do nothing. But the days when I just dig in and “get on with it”, the pain receded from first thought and I amaze myself at the end of the day what I got accomplished and how much fun I had. I may pay for it later but the good feelings make up for it. Thanks for the reminder to just “get on with it”!

  20. I am having difficulty organizing my craft/photography/sewing room. It makes me feel bogged down. I hope to soon be inspired to get it done!
    Love your walking path.

  21. Thanks Donna! Very timely and spot on. You are so right. The first step can be the hardest, yet so important. Sometimes I get so caught up in ALL that needs to be done that I shut down. I am learning to just dive in. Do something, anything, and it starts the ball rolling. Sometimes I will accomplish a lot and sometimes just a little, but that little tells me mentally that I still got it and can do what I need to when I need to. It really is in the head. You have a wonderful day and have fun just diving in!

  22. When I feel myself sliding down the slippery slope of not moving forward I tell myself to get over it and move on. 9 out of 10 times it works. Great journal posting….thank you.

  23. Thank you, thank you, thank you for being so real. Some days I need a little push and reading your heartfelt words does that for me.

  24. WOW!!! “Just get on with it” has got me wanting to just get on with it!! You are such an inspiration! I have been so stuck since we have moved last year and so far away from home at that, that I have not been able to just pick up and move forward. I know what I want to do but I just can’t find the energy to make it happen. It is frustrating to say the least. Thank you for being such an inspiration!!

  25. So timely! We are on the last leg of a huge renovation of a tiny crooked house. It’s taken 3 years and the last year has been the slowest or hardest with so many smallish jobs left to do. Taken one at a time, completely doable. Looking at the big picture, so overwhelming. Rooms with 10 projects, totally cluttered up and decisions to be made pending.
    We have been pulling the trigger lately to get things completed but it’s been hard to get motivated to start. Thanks for the push and the heartfelt words!

  26. I’m absolutely loving the journal entries. Such honest and helpful words to encourage me into the next step. Thank you so much.

  27. wow, did i ever need to read this. I have a junk room that i just started working my way through. thanks for writing this, so inspirational.