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Pieter Breughel the Younger: Christ and the Woman Taken in Adultery (circa 1600)
When he meets the Adulteress, Jesus writes: "He that is without sin".
Based on a painting by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, in the Courtauld Institute Galleries, London (The Princes Gate Collection, 9), 1565, grisaille
"HomeMaking's not a solo occupation …"

I recognize myself as indecisive. I only very rarely directly confront any challenge, but choose, either by habit or nature, to obliquely approach sideways. This tactic doubtless leaves me looking indecisive, but I sense that I'm more deciding than choosing not to decide. I take my time. I'll take your time, too, without first asking. I seem to need some space to make up my disordered mind. I consider from several angles. I play likely scenarios. Exhausting those, I run through a few of the more prominent unlikely ones before finally engaging. I tell myself that I am not procrastinating, though any observer might feel fully justified in questioning my assertion. I take almost forever to get started, but once started, I tend to be all in until I'm finished. I do not give up my heart on whims. Once I agree, once I engage, I'm dependable and make my commitment. I just do not commit lightly.

I consequently shove a considerable bow wave before me.
I maintain a backlog of chores I have not actually started yet. My brain's already working overtime, triple-tasking before beginning, single-focused once started. I'm actually Sidling, a skill, I insist, often missed by the more decisive. Those who jump in both feet first might later regret their initial haste. I more often later regret my stalling, for I feel as though I'm falling ever further behind work I haven't officially even started yet. I regret weakly, though, certainly never with enough force to seriously consider reforming myself. I'm accustomed to this trait that renders me late for starts. I might have become a master at recovering, though. Once engaged, I'm almost frantic in my effort. I will not be dissuaded, never easily distracted, for by then I have already decided. I've worked through alternatives to the point that I'm certain and sure of whatever I'm doing.

This resulting certainty sometimes blinds me to alternative strategies. The Muse might, with little apparent thought, peek in and point out some obvious shortcoming in my approach. I do not warmly welcome her suggestion. I tend to first deflect it, and I can get nasty in my rejection, for she's blown up my world, a fundamental conception, hard won, and I won't easily surrender my focus for even a clearly superior alternative. I became a true believer before I started. I'd consulted little with any other who might have had their own two cents to offer. I will be all in already and fundamentally unwilling to reconsider. A tractor beam will have me then and I will not likely receive advice as friendly. How we've managed to stay together this long baffles me. I almost always relent, after spending my disappointment on cheap rebuttals. Such course corrections open cans of worms I must find a way to swallow with relish before I can change my course and proceed, usually the better for it.

I am a plotter. I might have been born to keep my own council. I speak warmly of collaboration but usually only noisily collaborate. I will not usually agree to spontaneity. I seem to need to first console and council myself or else I feel distracted. I guess I distract myself first so that I might later maintain my focus. I doubt that anybody enjoys doing anyone else's bidding, and when it comes to something I consider to be my job, I turn terribly territorial, as if sharing effort might undermine my purpose. I say that I'd rather do it myself, but this might be nothing more than false witness. Once I've figured something out, I blanch at starting over from another perspective, though precisely this focus usually improves the result. Still, I start by Sidling into rather than by simply stepping into. I check the exits. I consider the angles. I prefer to play the board in my head clear to checkmate before moving my first pawn, even though nobody could foresee through all the eventual complications. HomeMaking's not a solo occupation, but in my hands, it might just as well be, at least until The Muse intrudes. Thank heavens!

©2021 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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