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2017-04-05 / Loose Ends

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Finish what you start
Susan Nienow

This is the second installment in my list of 10 or so best ways to run your life. I won’t guarantee they will work for you.

I will begin with No. 6, though it may actually be 7. I listed chocolate, but if you don’t like chocolate or are indifferent to it, substitute any indulgence that is legal, like asparagus tips or french fries.

Six is to try to finish what you start. I fail at this one repeatedly, though I constantly work on it – well, maybe not constantly. I am great at beginnings but terrible at endings. There are reasons. I am easily distracted, so when I go outside to weed one of my beds, I may not get all the way to the bed.

If there is watering to be done, weeding to be done or pinecones to pick up, I will stop and get that done. That means I work my way out in the yard from the back door.

I like crafts, but apparently I like gathering materials for a project better than actually doing it. For me, the challenge is figuring out how to do it. Then I am done. Just take a look at my overflowing craft closet.

It isn’t just gardening and crafts; I am also not very good at finishing cleaning. I get stuck in a corner, but it really shines when I’m done. Finishing is permanently on my self-improvement list, and I keep it at the top. If it were at the bottom, I would never get to it.

No. 7 is to monitor your guilt-o-meter. I am an expert at figuring out ways to feel guilty. In fact, depending on the circumstances, I will choose actions that either avoid guilt or ensure it. It’s not logical, but guilt isn’t. So, I regularly work on removing guilt as any kind of motivating factor. I think it’s working. Last week I looked at my messy dresser and just walked away.

My No. 8 is committing to doing the things I think of at the time they are appropriate. That means no belated birthday cards. It also means when I hear of someone who is dealing with something, I send off a card or call them. I keep cards at home so I never have an excuse for not sending one. Except the “I forgot” excuse.

I would say my last rule for life, either No. 9 or 10 depending on how you count, is to aim for efficiency of effort. Am I going to get enough pleasure out of that perennial bed to justify the raking, weeding, replanting when there is a flower failure and the expense? Gardening is probably a poor example because I will always find it worth the effort.

It’s harder to determine if I will get ample use out of a new pair of shoes or fun out of those beads. I’ll try. And there is always room for another life goal.

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