Measure in Delighted Dryads

With the onset of menopause (Oh LORD, people! The hot flashes hit me like a fly ball splashing beer all over me at a baseball game!), I decided not to diet.

The book I consulted recommended ceasing dieting because it can lead to the loss of bone mass, and us older ladies can’t afford any of that nonsense.

But after fifty-one years of measuring my weight, I’m addicted to it. And when I am addicted to something, my answer is to transform it into something else. So, instead of getting on the scale once a week, I measure my waist. Taking this measurement changed the way I look at my nourishment and my body. Instead of berating myself for eating a handful of chocolate chips in the evening, I embrace my short morning workout and walk. My new focus welcomes health as I strengthen my bones and body. By changing that one measurement, I’m discarding a judgment that no longer serves me.

This got me thinking, we all measure ourselves and our work in traditional ways. We wrote this many words. We knitted this many stitches. We completed this many pieces. Those measurements all carry a traditional judgment with them.

What if we measured in another way? How about measuring our writing by the number of cliches avoided? Measuring pieces by the number of flowers transformed? By the thrilling feeling of challenges overcome?

Start this process by considering the silliest way you could measure your work. Would it be by the Barbie doll? Maybe in the number of gumballs chewed. What about measuring your woodworking by the delighted dryad?

Make a break with the traditional measuring systems and find a way to judge your work that actually strengthens your process instead of just measuring it.