Just Start Anyway

By Patrick McNerthney


I always start a project at the worst time to start a project. Unless it’s a project the boss, err wife, wants me to start—painting, cleaning, taking out the recycling, organizing the basement, indeed, when it’s at her behest, it’s always the perfect time. Or so I’ve learned. 

But for the projects I and only I choose to start well, something significant happens that makes me realize my judgment is as bad as my dancing. To prove my point, here’s a handy evidential list in reverse chronological order (which spares you from the abhorrent video I just made of yours truly, dancing):

  • Last weekend I “chose” to wash the (exterior) windows of my house. It was a (rare) 94-degrees that day, only to be topped by the wind whooshing up and blowing tiny particles from my neighbor’s fresh spread mulch; peppering my (newly cleaned) windows.
  • In February I self-published a book, then got ready to promote it. By March I was knee-deep in a new project that turned into a full-time job. To date, I’ve mailed about 12 promotional copies of my book (100 to go), and sold maybe 10. Ah well. (And they say the hardest part is writing the dang thing.)
  • I opened a coffee shop in January of 2008. Eight months later the world was in the depths of the worst economic meltdown in 90 years. Tough to sell coffee when people freak out and cut back on caffeine, in favor of those beverages that numb pain rather than exacerbate it! Ugh. 

(Not quite like that, but close; I’m more of  a ladder guy.)

So based on my life experience, you may be thinking it probably isn’t the perfect time to act on that great idea you have for an awesome project. You may be a little too early, too late, or not prepared enough. Or something completely out of your control could happen, and you’d be like “Crud!”  And hey,  “perfect time” also implies you have the necessary resources to do that thing you want to do, which is highly unlikely, right? Because you can’t predict the future, so how could you possibly know? 

Okay. Now let me tell you the good news.. 

There is NO PERFECT TIME which means there’s no WORST TIME either–and it’s definitely best to start anyway. After that–keep going! (I’m glad I did in all of my examples even though I have more work to do, at least for the windows and the book).

(Is this person “ready,” or not? Who knows? But they’re at the starting line!)

And resources are all around us—they just may not be the things we expected, hoped, or thought would make it “easy.” 

So in your efforts to help your residents or loved ones through the perils of social isolation and overcome feelings of anxiety, depression, and despair, what great idea for a project do you have—and how can you keep going? 

Fine Art Miracles (FAM) has some GREAT ideas you can lean on any time! FAM uses creative expression to elicit better feelings in the elderly, children with challenges, and those needing help with life’s daily tasks—specifically feelings of self-worth, confidence, mastery, hope, joy and the (ever important) understanding that by being seen and heard, your residents and loved ones matter to the world.  

It may not be the perfect time for you to start Art Therapy, Music Therapy, Multi-Sensory Sessions, Dance & Movement Therapy , or Drama Therapy (and more, whew!) — it likely seems you have enough on your plate already — but the truth is, there never will be a better time, and unforeseen factors may complicate your mission later. However, FAM doesn’t just provide programs, they are YOUR RESOURCE, your guide to overcome any unforeseen obstacles that arise. 

It’s a pretty good bunch over there at FAM — why don’t you drop them a note or give them a holler, they’re happy to help!

Well, guess who started another project today?  That’s right. Digging up some of the backyard and laying new grass. Yep! It’s a nightmare – ground is way harder than I thought it’d be, neighbors keep stopping me and asking me what I’m burying (I feel like it’s obvious what I’m doing, but hey, it’s all good). So not quite the best time to do this, it turns out — but it’s sunny today, so it’s certainly better than doing it in our fall rains, right? Crud! Now that I think about it, the ground would be so much softer!  Ah well…


Skip to content