I flood my mind with conundrums, so that I don’t have time to think about what really matters:
Life Sometimes Deals You An Impossible Hand
A friend sent me the above text this week and at first I read it and thought oh, that’s poignant. Then I spent the next few days thinking about Sherman’s words. I often contemplate projects that I have not completed, however, I am fairly certain I am finished with them (e.g., becoming an accountant in my twenties or trying to be hetersexual early on in my life — more difficult than the former).
Then there are projects that I believe I have completed, but as life often dictates, I cannot finish. One of many examples is my teeth. I pine over a tooth that I lost and I go to the dentist for an expensive, but necessary, implant. After much discomfort, a great deal of money, and many office visits, I get a new tooth. I walk away satisfied and feeling complete; however, I am far from finished. A few months will go by and I’ll either have implant problems or another tooth becomes problematic. I am never finished dealing with my teeth. Unfortunately, teeth issues will persist throughout my life. I feel better when I recall that both my parents had a mouth full of dentures.
As I have said before, I am an avid list maker. The satisfaction I get from being able to check a project off as completed is greater than I can or should admit. However, the number of times I thought something was done and done and it wasn’t, is too many times. You get to sit and just enjoy and admire your completed deck only to see paint peel during the next rain. You finally save enough to buy the latest iphone and then you drop it three days after removing the packaging. You tie the knot and smile lovingly at your new husband only to have him spend the day in his underwear on the sofa (the last not my story). We seldom completely finish anything.
There have been a few instances in my life when I felt that I had completely finished something. Sometimes this knowledge give me a feeling of satisfaction and gratitude and other times, it leaves me feeling blue. I have to stop and tell myself that these mixed emotions are to be expected.
There is a danger in convincing yourself that you are done with something and then having it resurface or even worse, having it thrown in your face. It has become apparent to me as I grow older, that being prepared for any outcome is helpful for peace of mind — the worst case scenario. I’m learning to take a deep breath before I react; sometimes I’m more successful than others. The power and ability to forgive, is all yours.
Why Finishing Something Matters
How many times have you silently said, “I’m finished with you?” Self-preservation is a gift not all of have embraced. Walking away from anything toxic is a good thing, but not always easy to do. If someone does something terribly egregious to us or to humanity, they do not deserve our love.
Another thing that seems to be difficult for many people, is allowing others to finish their sentences. I often wonder if people who are poor listeners have any clue about how rude it can be to cut people off. We’ve become terrible listeners and one of the reasons for this is that so few people are willing to confront the culprits. Every so often I get very angry with someone for constantly cutting me off before I finish a thought. I say something like, please let me finish, but it doesn’t stop them from doing it over and over again. The old, “I was so excited I couldn’t help myself,” just doesn’t work for me anymore. Let’s try to be courteous people. It shows respect and caring when we listen. Good listeners go far in life; mostly because it’s such a rare asset.
Finishing matters because a sense of accomplishment feels good.
On to the Next Thing . . .
I’m going to keep making lists and dreaming up new projects until the day I die. It provides purpose and hope.
Here are some of the things I have finished, but not completed:
- learning how to speak Spanish. Funny thing is, as I learn Portuguese, the Spanish resurfaces.
- traveling to all 50 states in the U.S. (there are some states I have decided to stay away from)
- cooking organ meats
- a novel I started 25 years ago (trust me you wouldn’t want to read it)
- I started learning how to paint landscapes years ago and decided I’d never complete a painting . . . I haven’t and I won’t
- musical instruments have forever been spared my lips and fingers
- I started reading the classics 20 years ago and stopped six months in
- I once started the process for finding a surrogate mother for a child I never fathered
- I did Rogaine for awhile
- tried mushrooms — not shiitakes
- collected antique furniture (thank God that’s over)
- I ran marathons for a few years and ruined my right knee; stupid man
- I lived in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Maine (although I do miss the lobster)
The list goes on . . .
What’s Next in Travel
I was scheduled to travel to Stockholm in a couple of weeks, but due to COVID-19 the airlines and hotels have cancelled my plans. If Berlin opens back up to travellers in December, I will go there for a few days. As always, I will be cautious and careful. I was scheduled to be on a Crystal cruise to four Asian countries on January 6, 2021; that cruise has been cancelled. I have booked myself on an Asian cruise in January of 2022 — this one will be longer and it starts in Hong Kong. COVID-19 has taught me patience . . . oh *shush.
*shush: verb 1.tell or signal (someone) to be silent.”she shushed him with a wave”