I'm excited to share my 2015 project today: Unfinished! Here's the story:
As I was casting about for a project (because we all know I love a good project) not long ago, I made an offhand comment about how finishing up all the stuff that's lurking around this joint might be a good project for me. Uncomfortably, this offhand comment started to feel a little convicting—like maybe I ought to actually think about the many things I haven't finished over the years (yes, years) and see if they'd amount to a sizeable to-do list. Ahem.
Then I got a little excited about examining my project sloth slackerdom inability to complete a task when something shinier comes along skill set, and decided it would be well-worth the time to figure out why the HECK I set aside so many things in the first place. I suspect I am not the only person in the world who does this... or at least I hope I'm not. This is why I've decided to turn it into a little accountability series this year. It's not like I don't get many things done (I do!) but I've definitely become a little less accountable when it comes to finishing things in the past couple years. Matt pointed out (rightly so) that perhaps I shouldn't be so hard on myself—and it's true, we have had a ridiculously crazy couple of back to back (to impending back) moves, so I decided that whatever I do in 2015 will be infused with gentle accountability-kicks in the rear vs. hard, unpleasant ones. And I'm not just talking about creative endeavors—garden variety household tasks fit neatly into this as well.
As I began sorting through the many unfinished things I'd like to tackle around here, I sketched out some reasons why they're unfinished:
1. Actual, real-deal busy-ness. It is hard to accomplish 100 things when realistically, the minutes only exist to accomplish, say, ten things. But then, of course, it's also easy to throw one's hands up in the air without a good system in place to tackle those ten things.
2. Sloth. Painful, but true. Sometimes I just don't wanna, even if I know it will make me happy and I know it's something I want to accomplish. I guess I should change that to sloth + crazy.
3. Unfinished thing not on fire. I am very good at putting fires out, and completing tasks both great and small when things are in the smoldering/burning down category. What I'm not good at is reviving things in the interim.
4. I'm a starter who loves shiny things. Also painful, also true. I am easily distracted. Some people call this a "monkey mind." Sigh.
5. Directional challenges. Sometimes I want to finish something, but I'm so stuck on a dead-end of how I've chosen to do it that I can't correct the course, eventually leading to total abandonment. Once a project moves into dormant mode, it's not like you can just jump right in—it's still a process to evaluate, tweak, and fix the problem while regaining creative momentum. And you know what? Sometimes it's OK to let dead-end dormant move to dead-end dead. I'm not really good at that either, even if it makes the most sense.
6. List-less means listless. I know, ironic—after spending the past year working on lists as my project... but it's true: when I don't have a real-deal functioning to-do list, I'm listless. Renee and I used to challenge each other to list it all out and share with each other so we'd be on track about what needs/wants to get done, and I seem to have lost this ability on a regular basis of late.
So.... what does this all mean?
Starting this month, I'm going to commit to finishing up ONE (I know, aim big) project that remains unfinished for one reason or another. If I finish up more than one, fantastic. If I start something new afterwards, that's OK. At the end of each month, I'll share what I worked on and provide a place for anyone who wants to play along to link up to their own unfinished/finished work. (So play along, please!) It could be anything from filing tax paperwork to sorting school tubs to completing your eldest's baby book—whatever is lurking counts. Unfinished things are especially good at doling out guilt, so that means a minimum of twelve giant sighs of relief by the end of the year.
On the first Monday of the month (except for this month—which will be exchanged for the first Tuesday) I'll be sharing an interview with an expert maker, photographer, do-er, crafter, artist, writer, etc. so anyone reading can really think on this unfinished business with new and interesting perspectives. If January's interview is any indication, this is going to be a super-fun little feature. (Yay!)
Are you in?