I came outside tonight to finally start reading a book that I ordered, ohhhh, about two years ago. I was so excited to get it, but I knew, as is true with every book I pick up, it would take me forever to finish it. Fast forward two years to me sitting in the backyard tonight by the fire. Not only have I not finished the book, I haven’t even started it. What is wrong with me?!
I sat down tonight to read, and as I finished the first chapter, dusk turned to darkness and every tree frog within a five-mile radius of our backyard started their Call o’ the Wild. Nearly simultaneously, the neighbor’s dog started barking, the other neighbor’s dog started barking, the crickets started chirping, some other bug choir was making a screaming sound, and my fire was dying out. I’m SO distracted by the slightest thing if a task demands my concentration. I tried to battle through it, but I kept reading the same paragraph over and over and over (I can’t tell you how many times I have done this in all the books I’ve read in my lifetime.) So I closed the book and started writing.
Let’s see how this goes.
I was sharing this week with a friend that I have this struggle with starting things. (Although, I don’t think it really relates to my failure to start a book, but it feels like a good place to share this as it does relate to my previous post about the cornhole boards. And, I also can’t read my book right now anyways because it still sounds like I’m hanging out in a jungle with a couple of random stray dogs. And, I gave up on stoking my fire. Poof. It is no more. So, I may as well just write this blog.)
I was telling my friend about this Start-Struggle I have as it relates to personal projects (Not so much in my livelihood, praise the Lord. That would pose a problem, huh?). It’s a by-product of my struggle with perfectionism. I don’t do lots of things that I want to do because I know I can’t or don’t have time to do whatever-it-is exactly the way I want to. So I just don’t do it. I think about doing it and know it would be great to do, but I just can’t bring myself to do it because I know it won’t be done at the level that I expect from myself. This is an obviously an issue. I miss out on a lot of fun things and procrastinate a lot of fun things. Finishing the cornhole boards was a big step for me working through that. Now…honestly…every time I look at them, I see 90 things that I wish I would’ve done differently, or better. But, I’m fine with them and happy I completed them. And even more happy that I started them.
I’m increasingly aware of this and I know the only way to fix it is to continue to force myself to start stuff…even though I know I won’t be able to make it perfect.
It’s finding that balance.
And realizing that I need the balance.
(And going inside before these tree frogs and dogs drive me batty.)
Good night and thanks for sticking around and reading this lament, of sorts. 😄