I think I've figured out why I keep having semi-anxiety dreams like the one I had last night. There were some dark storm clouds on the horizon with beautiful rainbows. As my family and I were standing outside admiring the view, a tornado dropped down out of the clouds and was headed right for us, picking up debris as it advanced. We ran inside and headed for the basement. It was my house, but it wasn't anything like the house I live in now, of course—you know how dreams are. Then a bunch of other people were showing up as if for a party. I wasn't ready for a party; the house was a mess and I had no food or drinks prepared. I knew I could throw together some munchy food and make due, but there were good friends there and I wanted to treat them right. Apparently, I forgot all about the tornado headed my way. (Brilliant photo ©2004 Eric Nguyen.)
Translated, this dream is telling me that I need to prepare my HOW Design Conference presentation sooner rather than later. It's what I think about either as I fall asleep or as I wake up. While I have the entire thing (big-picture-wise) nailed down, no problem, I have some great ideas for details that I've not written down (I know, I know!). Doing it sooner will give me the chance to offer it up for practice to local places before I head to San Francisco in June. Later will mean three months of anxiety dreams. Later just isn't an option for me.
I don't know how people like my HOWie pal Von Glitschka can sleep in the months leading up to their talks. He, in the past anyway, has waited until the week before to create his presentation. Obviously, it works for him; his presentations are always solid. My HOWie pal, Crystal Reynolds, is giving a presentation today that in her own words, "I have been terrible at practicing." I think she's understating her prep work, but even if I'm wrong, I know her enthusiasm can carry her talk. I also think that we all struggle making the things we know in our heads happen outside our heads.
For example, I know I need to create my presentation—with details—soon. I know I need to get in better shape if I'm going to dance with all the people I want to at Neenah's closing reception at HOW. I know that I need to get the rest of my deduction calculations done today for the appointment with the tax man later today. And yet—here I sit, typing into my little light box, hoping that some combination of words and ideas will trigger a light bulb to go off over someone's head while they're on their light box somewhere else in the world, thus making their world a little better, a little brighter.
So, my advice to you (but mostly myself) when faced with the daunting to-do list that stares you down, daring you to tackle it, is to do one thing first—either the smallest thing, or the heaviest thing. Get that one thing DONE. Then you can pat yourself on the back and enthusiastically cross that bad boy off your list of stuff you gotta do. Since I've already had my exercise today (thanks to zumba for Wii), I can scratch that off my list!!! One small victory for today! Yippee!!! Now, on to my tax stuff.
Thanks for reading!
Good juju-spreader, speaker, graphic designer. I'd love to hear from you!