That’s the “story” I like to tell myself, though it isn’t true: I am not a finisher.
I recoil at the examination of my life as such. Why?
Because my life is a veritable trash heap of unfinished projects.
I start all kinds of things — scrapbooks, craft projects, closet clean-outs, books, writing books, pet adoptions, sandwiches — and leave them in an abandoned heap.
The guy I married? He is a full-blown, obsessive finisher. Point of fact: On Thanksgiving morning, when I was running around trying to get breakfast made for the guests that would arrive at 9:30, he was perched at the end of the kitchen table with his reading glasses on the end of his nose — FOR AN HOUR AND A HALF — working on screwing in ONE SCREW in my daughter’s eyeglasses.
One screw. 90 minutes.
At 2 minutes before the guests arrived — after I’d made a full breakfast for 11 and set the table with the help of the kids — I said: “You have 30 seconds to put that away.”
The screw and the glasses case are on my desk, to this day.
A Single-Minded Idea
I admire my husband for his single-mindedness. When I see his ability to “stay on task,” I see a spotlight on my own failure to finish. I have not “gotten published” yet. I have not “succeeded” in life yet. He has. He’s a vice-president of something. He makes the beaucoup bucks, and I’m the stay-at-home artist and parent.
But hey! I’ve set goals for myself and achieved them. I ran TWO 5Ks, right?
One thing I’m tired of, though, is feeling badly for the way my mind works.
After all, while my hubs sat at the end of that table, I DID make an entire breakfast for 11, and set a gorgeous table and corralled the kids who made place settings for the guests and even made sure the dog got fed.
As a mom, wife, volunteer, I invest a LOT of time in other people. It’s EASY to say “yes” to the stacks of requests that come home in folders. “Yes” to helping with the Rudolph T-shirts. “Yes” to organizing the fundraiser and to being the social media guru of, well, everything, and yes to editing someone’s manuscripts and yes, to this and that and those and these and …
Uh oh. Here comes the piles.
So I don’t see myself as a “finisher.” That’s not the idea of I have of myself anymore.
I’m am the Great Goll Darn Achiever, navigating my day using an equation that balances math, science and art:
(Time + Energy / Kids to the Factor of Husband) Creativity + Love = Me.