The Story of the King Finisher: You’re Not Going To Believe This

Well if you’re still here, thank you for following my endings-Journey!  I’m still delicately moving forward, full-blast.  (Gently Slamming On the Gas? Lightly Stomping Along?)

This evening I had a nice long conversation with my King-Finisher husband.  He is one of my mentors in all things “Ending”.  (But I am so so blessed to have quite a few mentors. You might even meet some someday!) However, so that you might understand what I mean about His Royal End-ness,  I need to tell you a little backstory.

You see, for much of our marriage, (9 years of it) … (out of 10) … I believed wholeheartedly that my husband loved doing the dishes after a long day of work.  (**insert close friends and family groaning in unison, “This story again??”**)   I knew he enjoyed it. To me, it was so blatantly obvious that I never felt any need to question the idea. “These are the things that I adore about you” I would think as I watched him get grooving on the dishes without a second thought.  “Who loves to do the dishes? Only my husband!” *(Doe-eyed Grin)*

I knew this as well as I could know anything. Because it is almost impossible for me to do something I dislike THAT well and THAT quickly.  And it is actually impossible for me to do it that consistently for that many years.  The only way I could ever do anything through to completion, the way that my husband can do the dishes, would be that I thoroughly adored the task.
Some people (raises hand) need an external-force to get us finishing this type of tedious undertaking.  (A bad smell, for example, suspiciously eeking out of the sink. Or an exceptionally busy day ahead- and the stress of thinking about living that day in an unsanitary kitchen. Or a friend coming over for dinner. Or a strong sense of no longer being able to stand the emotional torture.. are a few examples.)

So you see? Of course, he loved to do the dishes.  It was a few of his favorite things as far as I could tell.  May as well have been the pot of gold at the end of his rainbow.

As luck would have it, I eventually shared this sentiment aloud to him in passing.  His response, however, changed my life.  I know it sounds like an exaggeration, but what he said next became the single greatest paradigm-shifting-moment of my decade.

“What?? No. Kath! Honey, Nobody loves to do the dishes.  Everybody hates to do the dishes. I hate to do the dishes. I just know they need to be done so I do them.”

Wha??? Is there a way to describe, in cold hard type, the image below? A way besides, “Whaaa?? You mean…. But I thought…. Wait. Hold UP… STOP THE PRESS!”

tenor

That was a real game-changer for me (for many reasons) as you can imagine.  In one fell swoop- I retrospectively saw the entire past 9 years of our marriage flash before my eyes.   So many things in my mind had to be reviewed, and re-sorted! I mean, he wasn’t as perfect as I had thought all these years because he didn’t love to do dishes!? – But oh man! He was even BETTER than perfect because he hated to do the dishes but (very often) did them anyway!!!??  Oh no. I have been so very much worse than I had ever imagined all of those years!!!  Oh no. Oh… I was even WORSE THAN THAT because I just.. I mean… who is that dense???!!!!  *(raises hand)* I am still wrapping my head around it all to be honest… *(one hand still raised. One hand gob-smacking-me)*

Many of you are probably thinking, “yeah. This is… I mean… Kathryn!!!!  Girl!!!!  This is basic adulting 101. No this is adulting 100.  I mean- This is Pre-Adulting. (The class you have to pass before you take Adulting100..)” And you are probably right.  I mean, I wouldn’t know. I obviously didn’t go to that school.

But man-o-man- all of the implications of my social density aside, when I realized that my King-Finisher could do the dishes for years without ever complaining!  While DISLIKING IT ALL ALONG?!?! I mean.. I’m still at a loss. I’ve been talking about this for months.  People can do this?? This is a thing??

Which brings me back to this evening’s conversation.  I again was reminded while discussing our family budget that there must be some eternal, cosmic truth regarding the force of Yin and Yang- And I can see clearly this force manifesting itself perfectly from within my marriage.  My husband has been given, through (Nature? Nurture? Both?), the buffest, heftiest self-will you could imagine.  His self-will is John Cena. The reigning champ!! For me, however, self-will is one of my weaker (est?) points. “Interesting” wins out over “Adulting” more often than not.  I am going to have to tread lightly with myself. Until my self-will grows at the bare minimum, at least one little bicep.

So, for the sake of getting on with it- a few ground rules to my enders-game are slowly manifesting themselves to me.  The first one is easy. “Tread lightly with myself.” *shrug* (I can’t really quantify that or anything. But I think the ground rule itself implies that it’s okay if I don’t quantify anything.)

The other one that I have made out, through the fuzz of not having focused too hard on this, is that I think maybe I should pick only tasks that end.  Laundry, for example, is great! I KNOW I can win at it sometimes. But though I could feel like a rockstar today when I finish it… tomorrow  I will look over at that laundry basket, and the only bicep I will grow is the one that is hefting that baby down to the washing machine.   You know what I mean? (Yes. Of course, you do. You went to that school. We’ve established that.)

So, at my school, I did learn a thing or two.  If I don’t want to overthink this, I should probably invest in some momentum. Which means I should probably get started on literally anything.

So… *(glancing to my left)* next to my bed where I am currently typing, there lies a project just, giving me that look.

IMG_1828

THE WICKER CHAIR PROJECT.

This wicker chair cost me 5 dollars and was purchased from Facebook Marketplace last October.  I have already dreamed that project – fully- through to completion.  It was so fun!  First I strengthened it with hemp fiber because I saw someone on youtube do that to theirs.  Then, I pressure washed it because I saw someone on youtube do that to theirs too.  Next, I painted it white- with a power-spray painter tool that I borrowed from a friend (because….)  And then I finished it and used it at the writing desk in my living room. All perfectly-dream-style of course.

So you see? It is all completely done! Except for the actual doing. I have every supply needed to get started and I did actually begin strengthening the chair at one point with some hemp fiber. But it was harder than I had day-dreamed, not nearly as quickly-finished as I had imagined, and hardly any fun. So I said I would finish it tomorrowmonth. Not to mention the fact that I had no idea what I was doing. (still don’t completely, but I’m not going for pcefert.. I know this is not how one restores a wicker chair. I’m not going for wicker chair-restorer. I’m going for Queen-Finisher! Fine, novice finisher. )

So here’s to THE WICKER CHAIR project. *cheers* I’ll keep you updated with how I’m faring. Wish me luck? Send me some of your finishing dust? Project number one is on deck! Endward ho!

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Necessary(?) Side Note

So- I’m sorry to be like this. I don’t think it matters really for this Journey-Toward-Many-Endings- but it might matter to someone. And so, for the sake of transparency, (and for a little more background,)  here goes.

Just over a year ago I was diagnosed with ADHD.  I am 38 years old. If you can’t possibly relate to why finishing something might be so difficult; if you can’t wrap your head around the elation and (it turns out.. medication..) I get from dreaming up, obsessing over, and learning everything about newfangled ideas and interesting things… or if you find yourself thinking “well everyone has things that are half finished.. why is this a big deal?” Well-  then you likely do not have ADHD praise Heaven above! (Honestly- if you have read the entirety of this blog thus far without skimming or skipping; you likely do not have ADHD. Again, thank Heavens!)

**Although there is the possibility that I am just THAT engaging. Which would be a huge compliment! ( It should be my goal! Be interesting enough that busy-like-minded individuals can read this. It should be everyone’s goal actually…) **(If I were allowing myself to plan ahead enough to have a goal that is.) **

I only mention this because of the 1 in 10 people in the USA who have a similarly distracted-by-shiny-objects mind.  It’s for the 1 in 10 people nationwide that are married to someone like me and living this roller coaster life.  I take medication.  But I still leave so many things un-ended.

And since 1 in 10 people in the United States are also quick burning matches– how fun to attempt a journey to the “other” side!  It may not be possible, to be honest, (and I am open to discovering that if you are) but I might keep the motto “To boldly go where no busy-brain has gone before!” in mind.  And very sincerely, it still boils down to how much a steady supply of good-old-fashioned-finish-line-crossing could really work wonders for my soul.

 

Loose Ended: Careless and Unprepared

Well, I’m frankly a touch mistrustful of the lasting power of this journey.  It began too spontaneously. It wasn’t thought through. I just boom did it and didn’t think much about it.  A classic recipe for long-term failure (according to pretty much everyone… amiright?) However, there is a fair amount hope mixed in with these fixin’s.

You see, my repertoire usually consists of endlessly researching something for days or weeks.  I ponder, I plan, and animate everyone around me in the process.  I sell my grand supporters (my incredible spouse and my hesitant family) on my fantastic idea – and then just as quickly- FIZZZzzzzlllleee.  The flame goes out.

This quick burning match may have found a slow burning candle in plan-less doing. When a roller coaster process is historically my standard fare- I wonder if a lack of over-thought will be just what the doctor ordered.

For that reason, I will also, for now, be keeping all the classic-Kathryn-hype to a minimum. I don’t want to think about this or talk about it too much.  (I am contemplating posting this on social media, but if I do, I may have to pretend that I have no idea what you are talking about if you bring it up to me.)

And you know, I actually find it refreshing that I didn’t obsessively plan this out.  I haven’t had all the fun already! I haven’t used up any of my excitement or energy in researching and dreaming.  (Some of us can live an entire life-long adventure simply in the planning and dreaming phase.*raised hand*)   This could really work for me, you know? But here’s the tricky part. How does one go about not-planning (or over-thinking) which loose end to tie up first? *fingers.itching.to.make.an.exhaustive.list…* *it.would.take.weeks.though.*

Where would you start?

 

Every Ending Has A Beginning

This morning, as I was lying in bed, waiting for my mind to fully awaken, I was uselessly perusing facebook.  I noticed a person on some group, somewhere, (possibly bullet journal junkies. guilty.) asking if anyone else works for VIPkids or some other company- that teaches english to children living overseas- and do they have a way to keep track of their lesson plans?

This really peaked my attention! You see, I had spent hours one evening, a year or two ago,  researching VIPkids. I studied  how to apply for the job, (which was a little bit complicated I recall thinking) and then watching video after video on youtube of people teaching you how to get hired. (Pretty sure they received a commission.)

“I could do that!” I recall thinking.  “I love to teach! I love languages. I have learned a few of them myself. I love children! I homeschool my kids. This would be such a great way to earn some extra money. Maybe I could finally afford to give my kids those ballet lessons they have been wanting.” And down the rabbit hole I had fallen.

Ultimately, however, I realized with the seemingly long application process, and the need to make a semi-professional video and so on and so forth- this company wasn’t for me.  Why not? Well, because it was too much work. It was complicated sifting through all of the advice and videos to figure out what was really required.

And then there’s the most honest reason of all. I knew, from myriad past experience, that even if I had landed the job, I would likely start off on fire, impress everyone for a solid week or three, and then miss a class. I knew from experience with myself that eventually,  I would get fired or quit. Nope- not worth it.  I have too much hard-life-evidenceof great ideas that start with a bang- but which I am never able to finish.

Some of you more altuistic types are likely thinking “but you can’t think like that! You have to think more highly of yourself!” and some of you emotionally well types are thinking “wow. This lady could use some self esteem. Or counceling.” And maybe… just maybe…. some of you are thinking, “I get her.”

As an asside: And for some credibility on my part: My husband is a king finisher. And before I married him, I tried to explain it to him. I really did! And he thought he could imagine what I meant. But now, 10 year down the line, he laughs and shakes his head and says “I know you tried to explain it to me- but I couldn’t even begin to imagine what you were saying.”

Surprisingly, for my altruistic readers, I do have a healthy amount of confidence- in my own way.  I am flamboyant and audacious. I love to perform. At my church, I teach and speak in front of audiences regularly.  So why wouldn’t I be able to do it for a small part time job that would afford my family extra cash? A little job that I would likely enjoy? A job that was right up my alley?

All of these questions have influenced my journey to today’s blog– But there was something even more profound that went on in those miliseconds on facebook.  The real kicker.  You see, when I read this person’s question about VIPkids lesson plans- I felt the familiar flash of interest, the straightening of my body in excitement, and the itching of my fingers to go look up VIPkids and watch some of the videos on how to apply. AGAIN!!!!

This time, the entire scenario gave me pause.  How interesting/odd That I would still find this compellingly tempting! But how hollow and sad for me that I would never attempt it.  What is stopping me? What is really stopping me??

And so this blog idea was born. (The blog itself being another “great idea, with a great beginning.”) You see, I knew exactly what I needed.  I needed to finish things. I needed to gain some confidence in my own ability to finish what I start.  I needed to finish something, (anything!), well.

A glance around myself reveals so many places to start finishing. So many things un-ended. So many knots untied.  (You will see in future posts that I’m not kidding. Ideas come at me so quickly- (good ones too!!) that I easily have 3-5 years’ worth of projects/ideas to finish, in my brain, right now.) Maybe starting with some small ones (finish that blanket! Finish that book!) can build me up to the really large ones that require grit and determination. (Finish that education! Finish that job! And finish it with style.)

Come along on the journey with me will you? It is going to be the ultimate self-esteem challenge for me. It is my biggest hang-up to success. I am going to journey from ending to ending- until I conquer my endings altogether.