At work I do a lot of work with students in helping them learn how to be succesful in college. One major part of that is setting goals and finding ways to stick to them. A college student has to have one big long-term goal--to graduate--but they also must have short term goals (to make an A on the mid-term test) or they'll never achieve that long-term goal. They must also keep the short term goals in the forefront of their mind because if not, they'll end up very frustrated and not able to see how all the individual pieces of a college curriculum fit into place.
As a crafter, I live the world of goals. I always have my long-term goal of finishing the project, but I must set short-term goals for myself so that I can see that the long-term goal will come to fruition. Some of those projects I work on take a long-long-long time. I'm also a very good short-term goal-setting and I typically stick to them. (I read Moby Dick in 10 page increments. It was a monster of a book, a huge undertaking, I didn't like it, but I did finish it and can now talk to people about it if they have also read it.)
I think that was one of the major stressors I had with the secret project. I had short term goals but I couldn't meet them for reasons of my own and out of my control. It became very frustrating because my short term goal of "working on it for 30 minutes each day" didn't work. I simply couldn't compel myself to go into the studio and work on the project. I guess it came to symbolize all the ways that I did things wrong and I just didn't like it looking me in the face (thus the entry about teenage projects).
Now that I'm done and have a little perspective on it, I can see how I was psyching myself up for not completing it, but at the same time, not completing it meant that I couldn't make progress on any other weaving project. And I really really enjoy weaving.
I started a new project last night to use up the last of the thread from the secret project. As I was creating (literally on the warping wheel) I got more and more excited about this project. That glimmer of love of weaving was coming back. I have the secret project piled up waiting on its grand send-off and I looked at it and I thought, "That's some really nice work. It finished well." And I was proud of it.
And that is the satisfaction of completing a long-term goal, in bits and pieces of short term goals.