My October WIPs
I’m not intrinsically motivated across the board, I am intrinsically motivated when it is goal-directed.
I was on a bit of a YouTube clips binge and I heard a phrase that caught my attention: goal-directed activity. It was describing someone in a manic stage of bi-polar and I couldn’t get it out of my head. I’m grateful that depression is one struggle I haven’t had to deal with, but I could definitely relate to the concept of extreme motivation from goal-directed activity.
Anyone who knows me, knows that I like to do things. I fancy myself a bit like Leslie Knope, if Leslie Knope has rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia and crocheted instead of quilting. I will happily produce the most amazing binder you’ve ever seen to demonstrate the game plan for the next big adventure. (Yesterday I got to coordinate an event for about 400 people at Parliament House - that’s my kind of fun!) Do you know the episode of Parks and Rec where they had the emergency simulation? I’ve done that! Also, I was in model UN for several years. I don’t mean to big note myself, but I do want to paint a picture. When I heard “goal-directed activity” I thought, “Well that could explain so much...”
My husband and I joke about how he finds nothing better than being able to stay home and relax, but I find relaxing boring and it stresses me out. As a kid, my mom stayed home full time to look after the four of us, but she would often say, “Mari, I don’t think you could stay home full time.” She knows me well. I have always known that I’m intrinsically motivated, but I do struggle with the day to day grind. That’s why the concept of goal-directed activity stuck out to me. I’m not intrinsically motivated across the board, I am intrinsically motivated when it is goal-directed.
I need something to stretch for and aim for. I need to focus on something and it unlocks so much drive and energy that I can’t seem to access in any other way. You know how you can accomplish so much cleaning when you have guests coming over, but it is so darn hard to maintain? Or how having a deadline can finally make things get done? I’m only just realizing how deeply this applies to my psyche. Now that I know it, I want to know how I can make the most out of it.
Even as a kid, I grew out of the idea of “playing” much earlier than I wish I had. But, what I did love were projects and missions. I would play Maren & Maren & Maren Inc. (aka 3M) for my corporate side. Or I would decide to throw a stuffed animal tea party with my sisters. Or I would choreograph a talent show to perform on the ledge of the fireplace. This is one way that I see a lot of myself in my daughter. Give her free time and she is miserable, but give her an agenda or a task and she thrives. (This also helps explain her deep love of school, which she also gets from me.) Once I noticed this in her, I started responding to it. When she’s asks what to do, I help her work out how to set an agenda for herself. And there’s nothing she likes more than doing some kind of activity that will be special for others.
This need for goals to drive motivation and unlock my potential energy helps explain why my Gray Day Crochet adventure has been so wonderful. It gives me projects and activities to focus on in a way that taps into my creative and social inclinations. I am so much happier having a project to work on or a problem to solve than to just Netflix and chill. Don’t get the wrong idea - I do love streaming shows, but the chill part isn’t fun unless I have something to do. Crocheting gives me that. It gets my brain into that sweet zone where I am focused enough on something that I can actually unwind. Thanks to all the amazing supporters who’ve been joining with me on this fun adventure. Thanks for reading the blog, buying the patterns, liking the insta posts and looking for me in your crochet magazines. I never thought I would accomplish so much with it this past year, but I’m thrilled with all of the new places it has taken me to. I’ve hit all of my initial goals, so I think it’s time to set some new ones. Any suggestions?