For many years my personal mantra has been, finish what you start. After holding onto a half-baked cross stitch, half a pair of crocheted slippers, patterns, fabric, crafts, art projects, filling systems, furniture to be refinished etc. for I’m-ashamed-to-tell-you how long, it finally dawned on me. Partially done projects suck. I mean, literally. They suck the energy right out of life. It’s called Myrtle-Lou's Law. Or maybe it’s not, but the theory is this: Every Unfinished Project Diminishes the Joy Level of Any Future One. (Myrtle-Lou's Law is so much easier to say than its acronym, EUPDTJLOAFO)
Don’t believe me? Well, then chances are you have piles of unfinished projects tucked away and me thinks the more thou doth protest, the more of them doth lurk in your closets, attic, basement and garage.
But, you say, I’m going to get around to that someday. Uh huh. And it will be awesome when I finally have time to get into it. Mm hmm. The thing is, someday when you finally have the time, you’re not going to want to go back and finish your old to-do list. If it wasn’t rousing enough to motivate you to finish it the first time, it will likely be a drudgery to finish later. Honestly, don’t you think you’ll find new projects that will interest and excite you more?
Unfinished projects not only take up valuable space in your home, they take up a massive amount of subconscious vigor that's not unlike cohabitation. They demand a ransom in one form or another and you continue to pay it for as long as you are willing.
Unfinished projects become a string of lusterless ideas that hang over your head like a mushroom cloud of guilt. Unfinished projects are Demeantors, sucking the pleasure of out of life; inhaling with the foul breath of culpability. Unfinished projects are like a millstone around your neck pulling you into the dark depths of the sea. Unfinished projects are… well, you get the idea.
So what to do? Are you ready to break free? It’s simple, really, but it takes nerves of steel. First of all, vow you will not paw through the spoils of your unfinished projects. If you do, I promise you’re doomed to fail. Take a deeeep breath and without a smidge of deliberation, injudiciously pull a hood over the evictee's head, (meaning, stuff the project carcass into a black garbage bag) and then before you can reconsider, git it outta theah! Discard or donate it. Remember the card game Old Maid... and how it felt to pass the Old Maid card off to some sucker? Yup, feels like that, but better, because you might actually bless someone's life--someone who is ready to take on a fresh new project! Okay, maybe you're just muddying up someone else's life. Either way, shake off the guilt-residue and inhale again... this time with a deep, unencumbered breath.
After you purge those projects you've been hanging onto, you're going to feel something startling: Pure simple unadulterated relief! Next time you feel the symptoms of a binge (Project Hoarding) coming on, stop and instead remind yourself to finish what you already started. Remember: EUPDTJLOAFO!
Check out my latest book, Reflections of a Ripple: Love in Motion published by Brighton Publications