When You Start A Project, How Far In Advance Do You Think?

Cooking a meal, for example. 

When you plan what you want to eat for dinner that night, how far in advance does your brain project your actions?

Mine goes all the way to the cleaning. Including putting away the dishes. 

And if I’m being 100% honest, that’s a big part of why the meals I cook right now are so limited.

Because I’m dreading the cleanup. 

This phenomenon extends into other arenas, too. 

(This is gonna be a TMI part for some readers, so be warned.)

Like sex.

Anal sex in particular. While I really enjoy the way it feels while it is happening, I have a very hard time shutting off the part of my brain that is screaming the entire time, “This is gonna be such a mess to clean up when you are done!”

No matter how much prep I’ve done before even. And this holds true for any butt stuff at all. I’m hyper aware of the cleanup afterwards to some degree the entire time the feel goods are happening. 

And the thing is… the cleanup is never as bad or never ever as gross as my brain builds it up to be. As it should be if you take the proper precautions and have a partner that asks for consent before diving right in. 

Yes, every single time. Situations change! 

So, now that I’m aware of this pattern of my brain looking so far ahead, I’ve started paying attention to it. Or trying to, at least. Sometimes, still, I get too wound up and forget to look for my patterns, but I’m getting better at it every single day. 

I’ve found kind of a correlation between this cleaning up pattern and creating art. 

Let me explain. 

When I learned how to write, my instinct was to use my left hand. My teachers were requested not to let me be left handed, so I learned to write with my right hand pretty quickly. I was a people pleaser even then. 

But I was also pretty stubborn, so I still held my writing utensil like a left hander. 

Still do to this day. 

And do you know what this means? This means that when I’m writing or arting with paper and pencil or pen or crayon or oil pastel or whatever, the side of my hand is getting dirty. And sometimes, depending on the utensil, that mess’s getting all over the paper too. 

Hands are my least favorite body part to be dirty, so I’d either be twitchy the whole time I was arting or writing or I’d be constantly cleaning the side of my hand. 

Yeah, I know part of this is the OCD talking. 

So, if you follow me on Facebook, you’ll know that I have been arting these spoopy patterns using Procreate and my Apple Pencil and I have been having SO MUCH FUN. 

I was sort of kind of inspired by the friendly creatures my friend AJ creates, but without her incredible level of talent and skill. 

I’m just doodlin’, but, man, am I having fun. 

But then there’s been this mean little voice in the back of my head the entire time telling me many things, trying to discourage me from enjoying myself. One of the main things is a variation on this theme, “You could just as easily do this with pencils and paper.”

Except I couldn’t, for a couple reasons. 

  1. The dirty side hand would occupy my brain and not allow me to relax and really let go and doodle.
  2. There would be eraser holes all over the page. My OCD needs me to erase things completely and it’s often easier to just get a new sheet of paper and start completely over than it is to erase a portion of a page to my brain’s pristine standards. 

Drawing on my iPad, I can erase or undo completely and my brain is satisfied, so I can move on. And just doodle. And it’s allowed me to create some really fun stuff!

But more importantly, I’m having fun. 

I dunno, I thought unlocking that bit between the dirty hands and not arting for so long was a pretty good thing to realize. Knowing how far my brain thinks in advance when making a decision about something has really helped me hone in on when it’s making a positive or negative decision. 

Like, for example, I’m working on decorating a pumpkin for the Melvindale Public Library’s annual contest and my brain keeps trying to get me to simplify my vision. 

I ain’t listening though – I keep asking it, “Why don’t you want me to try this [fill in the blank]?”

And the answer is most often, “Because if it doesn’t work out you’ll be a failure and why even bother continuing then?”

When I think about it – my brain tries to do this to me quite often. So now, I’m acknowledging it and telling it to STFU.

Trying my best to, at least. 

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