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Thursday, February 9, 2012

I am not a "finisher"


It turns out that for most people (and by most people I guess I mean I can really only speak for myself, but  whatev) by the time you are approximately 3 decades into this life, patterns of behavior are pretty well established. Personality, temperament, learned associations, classical/operant conditioned responses, however you want to look at it, most of the time we are who we are by a pretty reasonable stage of our adult lives. And something that I know about myself by now is that I love to start things - projects, crafts, recipes, etc.  But, I frequently leave them in partial stages of completion and move on to something more exciting, or just different, before ever finishing what I started. I do this All.The.Time. I have so many crocheted items that aren't finished off, or truly are not even halfway done. I have multiple scrapbooks that have 3 pages completed and a stack of photos waiting for the perfect creative streak to transform them into awesome layouts.  I have bags from Michaels and Joanns full of supplies for DIY gifts I meant to make for Christmas.  3 years worth of Christmases.  I have bags of clothes I once sorted and intended to donate, but never called Purple Heart/drove to Goodwill and got rid of, just hanging around.  Right this moment, I have fabric cut and my sewing machine on the dining room table, where it has been for the last 2 weeks since the day I cut the fabric and realized I didn't have the power cable for my machine.  I picked it up the next day, but still haven't plugged it in.  I have piles on my desk, in my closet, in the basement, etc, of things that are crying out for organization, and sometimes I start with lofty ideals of a scene that goes from something like this:


Not my own closet, but you get the idea


and ends looking like this:  


But before I ever get there I get distracted/overwhelmed/tired/busy and leave it in whatever stage of pre-completion I might have achieved before moving on.  Sometimes that is just the idea of starting it, sometimes it is actually sorting piles, only to shuffle them back into a mess when they never find their new home, sometimes it is actually purchasing some item to help me with said project, but moving on before actually putting it to use. But the problem is, these partially finished projects really do bother me that they aren't complete.  I just can't find a way to harness the free time I do have, which is extremely limited, and prioritize which one to pick up and work on to its end.  

Sometimes I think I have too many varying interests and dreams and things I want to pursue and I get scattered when I try to harness my energy into just one of them for a prolonged period of time.  Sometimes I think I lack willpower to make myself follow through on undesirable tasks (cleaning/organizing/purging) and start up something else that I deem more fun for that moment, but I'm not always committed to following through on that task as I only started it to fill up space for something else I should have been doing. Sometimes, I just get really tired and can't stay awake long enough to finish a project, and by the next time I have free time to work on it, something else has come up with a higher priority status. 

I don't have a resolution to this problem...as I mentioned at the beginning of this post, these are habits that I have spent most of my 28 years and 8 months perfecting.  But I do know that being a slob, being unorganized and perpetually feeling like I'm running late because I can't find what I need to get out the door, having projects I started with love and the intent to give to someone I care about sit in a bag and get dusty, these things bother me.  I love the feeling of having things in their place and ready to go. I love the sense of accomplishment when I finish a project and feel proud to give it to someone I love. I love just don't know how to keep myself motivated to stay in a place where this consistently happens. 

What do my more organized friends and family think?  Any tips/challenges/help for this time challenged, sleep deprived, cluttered mama that would point me in the right direction?  




















1 comment:

  1. Hi! I found you via mothering.com (i still need to go read part 2, but I'm glad to see both of you are doing ok now). I struggle with this tendency too - ALL THE TIME. The way I started digging out from the chaos was just not allowing myself to go back to Michael's, Joann's, the scrapbook store, etc., until I'd finished a set number of projects. For example, say you have three bags of Christmas gifts. Just DO one. One night, put in a movie, sit down and DO it. Force yourself, if you have to, because once you get done with it (and it is wrapped, tagged and put in the top of a closet for next Christmas/Mother's Day/Birthday/Shower) it will feel SOOOOO good, and it will be less difficult to force yourself to do the next project. Just keep going until you get that craft closet emptied of Joann Bags. =)

    For bigger projects, I set a timer. Right now I'm working on the big closet that everything got thrown into when we moved (um, in JUNE). I set the timer for 20 minutes and get to work - it's not that long that I'm overwhelmed and don't start, and if I get going I can go longer.

    I hope this helps!!!

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