Sunday, April 17, 2011

Unfinished Business

Sometimes I look around and realize that it is time to regroup.  The days pass and I keep following the same paths around all that I have to do while trying to cram in as much of what I want to do as possible.  Add a little bit of "we may never pass this way again" as a mother of a high school senior in on that and it becomes a jumble.  That's pretty much how the last few weeks have been for me.  I need underwear?  I wash whites.  Need to find the sink?  I unload and reload the dishwasher.  But there is no method to the madness...and I have that out of control feeling that comes when you can't even find your to-do list.  Not every day...but definitely for the past couple of days.

Right now, the checkbook is out of balance, and I am sitting here beside a vase of dead flowers even though there are plenty of reinforcements outside just waiting to be cut on my rosebushes.  There is a book review that I promised an author who sent me a free book I'd put on Amazon...ten days ago...and I'm still sitting here in my church clothes instead of changing into what I plan to wear to the Easter cantata tonight.  (Yeah, yeah, it's not technically a cantata.  But it involves a choir, is at church, and is about Easter.  Ergo my liberal use of the word.)

Bad feng shui, yes? 

A tree died in the Northwestern United States to provide me these debit card receipts.
Unfinished business.

But actually, these are just short term issues that will likely resolve themselves over the next few days.  I have some far worse offenders.  Like the cross stitch sampler that I saw in a Better Homes and Garden magazine in 1987 that I thought would be darling to hang in my home each Christmas.  It took me eight years to finish it.  I still haven't framed it eleven years later.  Frankly, I'm not entirely sure where it is right now. 

Or the baby blanket that I started crocheting for the baby that was Jill in 1989.  I still have it because I intend to finish it at some point in time.  I'm thinking that at the rate I'm going, it will be for my great-granddaughter...or will just completely disintegrate from dry rot.  I know not which.

Seriously, an entire herd of elephants with a two year gestation period each has been born since I started this blanket.
I think all of us have unfinished business in life.  Maybe we said something boneheaded to someone when we were a kid or we did some things that we regret and need to apologize for...but don't want to rock the boat now that we hope they've forgotten all about it.  Maybe we've asked for forgiveness and are alarmed to discover that there are still occasional pinpricks of guilt when something regarding whatever it was rushes across our minds.  We recoil at our remembrance of letting someone down, of not fulfilling an obligation, or just losing our cool at a situation that we misunderstood.  If you have done any or all of the're actually totally normal, by the way.  Other than a few souls who have no filter whatsoever...the majority of which comprise our reality shows and guest spots on Jerry Springer...most of us don't go around advertising how badly we've messed up.  For some, it is obvious.  For others, you might be surprised what you'd learn if you could be in their heads. 

Some people feel guilt not because of something that they did...but because of things that they failed to do.  They didn't speak up for someone who needed an advocate, they didn't make room at the lunch table for the new girl, or they didn't answer the phone when someone needed them because they didn't want to get involved.  Those sins of omission, so to speak, are often as awful on the inside as the ones that reflected actual negative actions.  I personally believe that the opposite of love is not is indifference.  Sometimes our indifference is more powerful than we think until our eyes are opened somewhere down the road of life.

So how do you finish it?  Well, that's a tough call.  But you do need to eventually make a decision.  Are you going to put it to rest, give it a proper burial and move on?  Or are you going to keep rehashing it?

For those of us living by faith, we have to do all that we can to make things right, but we also have to ask for forgiveness.  We have to learn from what has transpired and then we have to do the most difficult thing of all...accept that we are forgiven. 

Today I heard the most amazing thing at church...if the Devil starts reminding you of everything you've ever done...pricking your conscience with times you've failed or reminding you of your weaknesses...remind him of his future.  I've read the Book and I know how it ends.  I also know that there are a lot of characters in there who have messed up royally and were given a second, third, etc. chance. 

I don't know what unfinished business you have in your it a project or a relationship.  What I do know is that there is freedom from the weight of it by getting it handled, forgiving yourself or someone else, and letting it go.

I don't care how bad it is...or how long you've been flogging yourself over it. 

As for me, I just got back from getting up to change the roses.  I'd been meaning to do it all day yesterday and the better part of today, but just couldn't make myself get up, walk the thirty steps to the rose bushes, and get it done.  Maybe you are staring at that mountain of laundry or the pictures in your hall that aren't hung.  Oh, wait, maybe that's just me...

You know it is bad when you can point to THIS as a huge step forward.

Progress was made when I got them out of a stack and put them where they are supposed to go.  But I'm thinking that actually hanging them on the wall might be a novel idea.

Enjoy your life, but remember...the most successful among us are finishers.  Anyone can be a great starter...but a great finisher?  Yet that is what we are called to run the race set out for us.  And unfortunately, sometimes that race has an obstacle course component to it.

It is my hope that I will finish that baby blanket soon.  It has been with me for over twenty years now...just waiting on me to stop doing other things long enough to finish it.  There's no rush, obviously, but it has held a little place in the back of my mind for a very long time...and the older I get...the more mental space I am going to need cleaned out just to be able to function.  (On a side note...I do wish I could find the "erase" function for the list of prepositions in alphabetical order that Mrs. Wilson taught us in 7th grade.  Why yes, I CAN still recite them.  Scary!)

Oh well...I'm off to finish something that needs finishing before I load up to go to the Easter cantata tonight.  I actually have some unfinished business in my friendship with Beve that will be dealt with tonight.  She attended the Foo Fighters documentary with me at the local movie theater a week ago, and I'm going to watch her "Easter program" that she swears is not a cantata. 

One final thought...just remember Jesus' last words on the cross were "IT IS FINISHED."  I don't know about you...but that's inspiration enough for me...

P.S.  The "Easter Program" was actually quite lovely.  One song in particular had half of the congregation standing (I assume the half that attends Contemporary Worship...which I do sometimes so I'm not knocking it...).  I just took it all in and enjoyed it.  There was one song that used a foreign language (as all cantatas are required to do) and one that sounded like it was from "The Sound of Music."  I half expected Julie Andrews to come twirling down the center aisle.  But other than those two cantata-ish was great.  :)


  1. So glad you were there and a part of our musical, Changed! It was an amazing blessing as a singer....and the drama touched my heart. Thanks to our friendship, we have learned to expand our musical horizons in ways we didn't know before. So, here's to a wonderful friendship that envelopes all of my family too! The birthday blog fest has been great! I love to read what you write. So, I'm looking forward to another year of My Points in Time.

  2. Karen, I also remember those alphabetical prepositions, but only through the "i's" so maybe my erase function is working, albeit slowly!

  3. What a fun week of following your blog closely! I plan to continue to do so on a regular basis now...You have such a way with words! Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us! By the way, you just finished an awesome week of celebrating your 2 year anniversary on here, so I have to say you are very good at completing some things :)

  4. This is the second day I have been late in reading your blog. The first was yesterday because of church 'nthings and today because I was feeling under with a sinus headache. Your blog today was the best ever, but I will read and re-read for my benefit to understand better when I am feeling better. And as usual, I do like to comment. I don't know why I just like to. So I will be back to read again and comment. Thank you for all you are meaning in my life!

  5. Thanks everyone! Please keep reading and commenting! I love it!!! :)

  6. Don't know how sometimes I can go directly from FB and other times, have to go to My Favorites. Now, we have added Courtney's blog to the list. You inspire us all!