My dad has a saying which he used to (and sometimes still does) repeat to me whenever I’d open my big mouth and say something beginning with the words “I meant to …” or “I started to, but …” The saying is this: “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” – and it haunts me. It haunts me nearly every day, because, you see, my road to hell is a beautifully paved one. In fact, it even has rest stops.
My problem is that I get excited about new projects, and they are never small … and they never get finished. I am so easily distracted, that the old projects get pushed aside to make way for the new ones, which get pushed aside to make way for the even newer ones – and all of their various components are scattered all over the house. Poor Jeff. Jeff likes order. “A place for everything, and everything in its place” – and here I am with piles of clothing in a half-organized closet, boxes and boxes of photos waiting to be put into albums, pieces of artwork left in the scanner, and half-painted oils (one of which he gave up on me finishing, took off the easel, framed it & hung it in the basement. I look at it every day and say “I really need to finish that” and yet still it hangs, waiting …). The list of my “great ideas” goes on & on, so I really do have to give my husband credit. He patiently waits until I haven’t fiddled with something for a while, then finds a new home for it. I usually go ballistic on him when I realize it: “Out of sight, out of mind! Now I’ll never finish it & I really, really want to!”, and I’ll grump away somewhere and mutter things like “ye of little faith” or “totally unfair assumptions being made of me” – and then I’ll bang my way on downstairs to get something or other, see that half-painted framed oil, chew my lip and feel really guilty about getting so upset. Then I hear my dad’s voice “The road to hell…” Sometimes, I get this flash of a memory of my wedding day, when at the reception my dad made a speech. It was a lovely and very funny speech – but I remember waiting for him to add in something like “she’s all yours now – muhahahahahahaha!” But he didn’t. Guess it would have been a little too much like “the pot calling the kettle black” – you see, I come by it honestly. As they say, “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”, and my dad’s tree is trimmed nicely with half-finished projects of his own. The problem with me, though, is that so many of my projects are meant to benefit someone else, and that’s where I add another mile marker in my road. (My dad, at least has the efficiency to finish the projects for “other people” first.)
Today I have been reflecting on 3 or 4 of said projects and have set myself deadlines. I can’t really function unless I know something is “almost due”. So, I am asking each of you a favor – come December, do me a favor and ask me “are you finished”? Then, maybe, I can tell the devil to send back that new Jersey Wall he ordered.