Monday, September 27, 2010

I Am Not a Finisher

I was doing so good...

I haven't written down a learning in 10 days. I actually haven't written down anything I've eaten in 10 days, either, and that might be why I only lost a pound this week. At least I'm still moving in the right direction.

I went to church yesterday (for those of you who know me now, you know how rare that is). I subbed for someone in the handbell choir. I do enjoy playing handbells. But, that's not my point. While I was there, a friend mentioned to me that she was really enjoying reading my blog. She said that she didn't blog herself, nor did she read very many blogs because she didn't really find them interesting or captivating, but that she liked mine because I could come up with all of these great plans, and then life gets in the way and they all fall through.

Maybe that's my niche. Maybe that should be my blog; all the things I start and never finish. Because there are a lot of them! This friend said she wanted to ask me for some advice on doing some scrapbooking. I told her I would love to help, and that I had all kinds of advice on how to start a scrapbook, but absolutely none on how to finish one.

I say all of this facetiously, however to a certain extent it's true, and it's helping me further define my identity for myself. I am not a finisher. And, interestingly enough, I knew this when I was in at least the sixth or seventh grade. I used to write fiction, and I had all these great dreams of writing a novel someday. I had tons and tons of ideas of what novels to write. I had notebooks full of one page summaries of novel ideas. And to this date I actually completed one of them. Out of the hundreds of ideas, one has actually surfaced into a (relatively bad) story (I mean, I did write it when I was a freshman in high school). But I remember thinking that I would be good at presenting story ideas, and then letting a novelist take over and actually write the story, like so many of those series books I read as a teenager did. I knew, even then, that I am not a finisher.

The thing with all these things I learn about myself is that I need to figure out how to put it into action in my life. So I don't finish things unless I have external forces holding me accountable. I memorize lines because I'm going to be standing in front of an audience delivering them, acting, and not only will I look like an idiot if I mess them up, but the audience will be sorely disappointed. I keep track of what I eat because my husband asks me what I've eaten, and helps keep me on track each and every day. I feed my dog because if I didn't he would go hungry. I do laundry because I need clean clothes to wear.

But I only clean my house when company is coming over. I don't scrapbook, because I'm the only one I disappoint when I don't get it done in a certain amount of time. I follow through when there are consequences that will affect others. I don't mind suffering my own consequences, as long as I am the only one I'm affecting.

So, how do I use this knowledge about myself to improve myself?

Well, first of all, I think I need to do a better job of setting boundaries and determining my priorities. (What else is new?!) And then I have to learn to rely on others to hold me accountable. I've gotten pretty good at that with hubby, and he is so supportive of me in so many ways. But I can't expect him to help me with everything. If it's a priority in my life, then I need to treat it as such, and get others to hold me accountable - expect something from me.

All of this may only make sense to me, and maybe that's okay. I also don't really have a conclusion to this. I don't know where to go from here. But that's part of the process, right? Finding the peace in between - being at peace, even when I haven't reached the end. Because, as we all know, whatever "the end" is, be it perfection or completion or anything else ending in "tion", it is very far away.

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