2019- Ready or Not!

Photo by Jessica Klaus on Pexels.com

As the old year ends, I feel an urge to finish what I started, as if I need a clean slate to begin 2019. And then I laugh. As if that’s ever going to happen.

Just last month, I stopped reading a book I hated. It was for my book club. Which I’m dropping out of. I didn’t like the story or the characters or the writing. Or the members of the club. Or the hard wooden chairs we had to sit on. Can I quit now? It wasn’t worth my time, but I don’t like to leave anything unfinished. 

I have a half-done quilt on my sewing machine, wrinkled clothes waiting on the ironing board, and a Christmas tablecloth with stains I haven’t managed to remove. And then there are all the short stories and essays in progress on my computer.

My kids grew up before I was finished raising them. Wait, I wanted to say, I’m not done. I forgot to teach you to ice skate…or to make a pie…When they walk away, I still want to wrap my arms around their ankles.

My parents died before I understood them. I didn’t ask my dad what his childhood was like. I forgot to ask my mom if she ever doubted her faith.

I dropped freshman organic chem. I didn’t care about the experiments, my grades were awful, and a boy said I was taking the place of someone who had been drafted to fight in Vietnam.  

I dropped friends who moved away. Staying in touch was too hard in our busy lives. Or maybe they dropped me.  

It’s okay. If we hold on to everything we start, our lives would be a spaghetti-ball mess we could never untangle. Life is about choices.  

A new year is about to begin, a turn of the calendar’s page, opening more possibilities. What will I choose to start this year? What will I finish? And what can I quit in the middle of, knowing full well that “enough is enough,” that forcing myself to complete something that is no longer important is just a waste of my precious time? Time I could use for the things that matter.

Do you always “finish what you started?”

Comment on this post and I’ll put your name in the drawing for a copy of The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer, a practical book about inner peace and freedom.

The winner of last month’s drawing is Susan Berrodin. She will receive a copy of Old Friend From Far Away by Natalie Goldberg. Congratulations!

14 thoughts on “2019- Ready or Not!

  1. For years I tried to finish whatever I started but, in these older and wiser years, I have no qualms about setting something down that no longer serves. That goes for books too. If it doesn’t grab and keep my attention, or if I’m not learning what I expected it would teach me, I move on. Life’s too short to waste it on such things,

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  2. Loved this, Linda! I was always the rule-keeper and that included finishing what I started, because to me starting something was actually making a commitment. To not complete it would be like breaking a rule. In these later years, I am beginning to change the rules. In fact, I am sometimes downright ornery about it! Recently I “colored outside the lines” on purpose while painting a picture with a group. I painted something different than everyone else – on purpose. It was so freeing. I expect that 2019 will be filled with more examples of doing life “my way”.

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  3. I also have unfinished things and can’t quite get rid of them. Like the quilt I started for my daughter 30 years ago! I’ve even passed the limit of giving it to a grandchild because I got all boys who are now in their teens and this is a little too yellow, pink, lavender-ish for them, so I’m sure the moment has passed. You’ve encouraged me to be a rebel and let it go!

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  4. I can certainly relate, Linda. But there is such freedom in getting rid of that afghan you never finished and the mending you will never do! Last summer I sold the tent I used once, wall art I will never hang again, and even the headboard to my bed! Mounds of stuff went to The Salvation Army, including some Christmas decorations. I have always been a Christmas fool, but no longer have the heart to go crazy at holiday time. For what? Having some (but never all at the same time!) family with me for one dinner or a couple of days? I kept only those things that give me pleasure, and those that reflect the true meaning of Christmas. I am lucky in that I don’t have an excessive amount of “stuff” because there was a period of time when I moved a lot, so found it necessary to shed possessions I didn’t need or that had no sentimental value.

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  5. Yes, the Christmas decor is one area where, if it’s not enjoyable, why bother putting it up and taking it down in a few weeks? It makes me reflect on each object and what it really means to me. Thanks for stopping by!

    Like

  6. Never, my life has been a series of semicolons, just goes on and on to the next step. Good, bad and ugly and I am beginning to not fret over leaving things unfinished – one has always something to go back to.

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