If you walk into my house, it’s reasonably tidy. Don’t look in our basement though, or our garage. Thar be dragons there. Bins of started projects, potential projects, almost finished quilts, and I got stuck projects. Boxes of papers that seem like they are important, photos that never quite made it into a scrapbook or photo album. If you look around closely, there are repairs that distract my attention when I enter a room, like the peeling paint on the windowsills, a door that needs a door handle, a curtain rod pulling out from the wall and in danger of falling, tile that I bought years ago to install in our DIY basement, a dozen or so blank canvases, or half-finished paintings. Pretty much everywhere I look and in every room and every drawer and closet is a reminder of something I haven’t gotten to.
It creeps up on a body, all of these incompletions. All these great intentions, for creating a great space, full of fun and full self expression.
I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this. Every day feels like performance art, ephemeral. Do some dishes, laundry, kids to their activities, clean something up, work, stay on top of all the inboxes like email, voicemail, work conversations, text messages, facebook messages. Rinse. Repeat.
Never mind my great intentions around transforming language learning. I have disks full of data, drawings, half finished and abandoned apps, boxes of half finished board game prototypes.
Let’s not even speak about that niggling fear of retirement, with so many investments that evaporated or lost money, never mind making money, and seeing my parents struggling to retire from the farm and start to make plans to travel, balanced against settling parents’ estates and caring for aging siblings, updating their own wills and dealing with their own stuff that’s accumulated over the years.
I’ve created a pact with my Mom. This is the year. My friend Kathy told me about Marie Kondo years ago, and when this Queen of Tidying Up appeared on Netflix, it reminded me that there can be freedom in letting go of stuff and keeping the things that bring you joy. Why not have events in our community to finish our projects, while enjoying being with each other and supporting each other? How about a social media blitz of our victories over our incomplete projects?
What I see possible is being free and complete and full of joy.
I’ve taken some ground by going through my clothes and shoes. This weekend I’ve been attacking our boxes and boxes of papers. Next weekend I’m at Startup Weekend Calgary, where I’ll be looking for ways to complete my language learning projects. The next weekend I’ll host a completion party and have friends and family over where everyone brings something they want to finish that evening.
Who would like to join me?
To share your victories and completed projects, tag your posts on social media with #MasterOfComplete.