Who begins too much?

Found this German saying in the newspaper this morning: “Who begins too much accomplishes little.”

Uh oh. Is that me? As I woke at 5am, churned away at spin class, got home, ate breakfast, threw laundry in washer, thought about working on the writing project I’m developing, checked email instead, received message on how to use my camera better, spent next hour and a half playing with camera settings and taking random photos around the house, finally sat down at desk to work and started a new blog post. This one.

All the while, this is my morning to work while Kev hangs out with the kids. ie. my time is limited! And what have I done? Is it my habit to dart from project to project, from activity to activity, never fully developing the potential of any?

Maybe my word of the year should be focus. Or choose. Or limits.

Ugh. I don’t want a word like that. I want to do too many things. Not just do them, but master them, become expert at them. IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK?

(Yes it is, at least all at once, if experience is any guide.)

But everything in me wants to deny it. Wants to embrace the opportunities, chase all interests, learn with a hungry and curious mind.

Look at it this way:

**This morning I challenged my body and put in time and effort toward racing goals this summer.

**This morning I ate breakfast with my kids.

**This morning I learned something new and useful: how to adjust the aperture and shutter speed settings on my camera manually, and what effect these previously mysterious numbers have on the outcome of the photos I take every day.

**This morning I recorded, briefly, where my mind is at.

**This morning I connected with friends in person and via email.

And now I am going to open a word processing file and spend an hour, **this morning, working on The Big Fat Juicy Belly Worm. Yup. My project in development is a story for children. I read the first chapter to my kids last night, and I think they’d like to hear another one. What could be more motivating?

Sorry, German saying. You’re probably right, but I’m going with my manic energy this morning.


On a completely different note, this blog post titled “Read and Loved in 2011” by The Keepin’ It Real Book Club reached out of the blue and touched me **this morning. Read it and see for yourself.

The week in suppers: festive edition # 2
Read the manual


  1. I used to think when my kids were little I was a plate spinner– the kind they had on the Ed Sullivan show — ( I know that shows my age) –the trick was to get those plates going, keep em twirlng balanced and spinning so none crashed .. was a beautiful thing – on Ed Sullivan. Me, I had some crashes. I say yes, yes, yes, to embracing the energy. Besides, no one could write a book like Hair Hat without also knowing the way to find balance.

    And as for me , I can hardly wait to see the children’s book that will flow from your pen. I’m somewhat biased when it comes to children’s literature and think they deserve the best .

    Enjoy the joy ride.

  2. Such a lovely post about you Carrie, and all so true! How nice for you to read that!

  3. Thank you for sharing that. I feel my thoughts being written for me on the page. A mother of 5, yes, I understand twirling plates. A professional artist and wife of a minister. Need I say any more?? Thank you for reminding me it is okay, even permissible to take time to focus and enjoy today doing my best. THank you.

  4. Ah, Sheree, it is a JOY ride! Thank you for your poetic response. I will find a way to post it and keep it.

    Tricia, it was so awfully nice, kind of hard to say exactly how nice. Thanks for going and reading too.

    Annemarie, it is lovely to meet you in Blogland. Your life sounds like a joy ride too! 🙂

  5. Thanks for linking my way, Carrie! Glad to have added an extra pick me up to your morning — you do the same for me all the time!

    (And as a fellow chronic too-mucher, I can tell you I wouldn’t want it any other way.)

  6. Thanks for sending people my way, Carrie! Glad to have added a little pick me up to your morning.

    (And as a fellow chronic too-mucher, I’ll defy my German heritage and say I wouldn’t want it any other way.)

  7. Hi JK,

    Thanks for your comments (they are similar, so I’m guessing you may have had trouble with my comment form, which others have mentioned). I can’t pick which one I like more, so I’ll keep them both! 🙂

    Glad to hear back from another chronic too-mucher. Hope you have a very busy day!


  8. Sorry for being late at the party…

    I start too much. The large quantities of half-(or quarter-. Sometimes tenth-)finished projects around the house are a testament to that. But I wouldn’t say I accomplish little, proverb or no. Just not everything. And that’s ok, because I accomplish enough, most of the time.

  9. And to add to your thoughts, Nath, you’d never finish ANYTHING if you started NOTHING. Part of finishing something is figuring out that it’s worth finishing, or that it’s the thing that needs finishing right now, or that you want to finish. But starting thing and discovering you don’t want to finish them is part of that process too.

    Anyway, you finish enough. I finish enough. And it’s nice, when one thing’s finish, to still have a bunch of other things on the go.

  10. Yes! Exactly! How do you know it’s not worth finishing if you didn’t start in the first place!! And I do also think it’s nice to have a bunch of other stuff on the go, waiting for me. Gives me a sense of purpose, maybe?

  11. Gak, I had a lot of typos in my response to yours, Nath. I hate that! But I’m too lazy to go back and redo it.

    Anyway, I’m with you. I like having perhaps too much on the go. If I ever get finished with everything I won’t know what to do. I need that sense of purpose.


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