Things I’m Never Going to Finish

There are some things I will never finish.

Reading. I may finish a book, but there is always another book, another poem, another play or blog or essay collection.

Writing. I always have more stories to tell. And some days I feel like I will never finish writing the stories I have already written.  To paraphrase Ernest Hemingway, all writing is rewriting.

Learning. Thank goodness. I love to learn and there is always something new to discover or read about or try with my own two hands.

Questioning. This could go along with learning, but it feels separate. I am forever doubting something, second-guessing one decision or another.

Loving. My husband, my kids, my parents, my friends, etc. I keep right on loving them, day after day, even when it hurts and is hard, even when they are far away or uncomfortably under foot.

I could go on. I’m sure you have lots to add to the list of never-finished. Laundry would be a logical addition, am I right?

I’M SITTING IN THE MIDDLE OF PILES OF NOT-FINISHED TASKS RIGHT NOW.

Mostly, they are enjoyable tasks. I started quite a few books over the summer, and my month-long journey to Honduras slowed my reading quite a bit. So I have a stack of books to finish. I’m behind on the Project Life album I create for my sister every year. I have photos from my trip to organize into a book of some sort. I have a classroom that isn’t 100% how I want it organized. I still haven’t gotten through level two of Rosetta Stone.

I found myself staring at my Goodreads list of “Currently Reading,” and I felt stressed. Too many books open at one time. I need to finish a few. I noticed when I picked up my bedside book, I was speed-reading. I just wanted to finish. I opened my computer file filled with pictures of my nieces and nephews and thought, “I have got to design pages for three months right away.”

I’ve been rushing through enjoyable activities just so I can finish them.

WHY IS FINISHED BETTER THAN IN PROGRESS?

There are certainly tasks I would rather just get through and be done with, but how much of life am I missing out on because I focus on finishing.

If I can just get through this school year … How many special moments will I gloss over because I focused on finishing the day or the week or the year? My youngest has a middle school dance today and my oldest just joined the football team. One plays in the band and one is learning to work a scoreboard. They are learning and growing, and I am busily attempting to just finish their childhoods already.

I’d like to tell you I am stopping all that right now, but I know myself. Instead, I am going to slow down at least some of the time. I will enjoy the book I am reading while I am reading it. I am going to see the child in front of me instead of the adult I want him to be one day.

I’m going to finish, but I hope to remember the journey when I reach its end.

You who are young, make the most of your youth.
Relish your youthful vigor.
Follow the impulses of your heart.” 
Ecclesiastes 11:9

*originally published on Middle Places
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