01 June 2014

Take a Moment to Gloat

I’ve been reading Finished Being Fat, by Betsy Schow. It’s not a diet book—like I’d be reading one of those—but more the tale of one woman’s journey to change her life. It started with weight loss, and turned into so much more.

There is one chapter in which she talks about basking in the thrill of a finish. The first time she got that on-top-of-the-world feeling was when she finished her first half marathon.

I’m not running a marathon—half or otherwise—ever. Ever.

Instead, I do crazy thinks like taking black belt tests and writing books.

For me, it’s all about the finish. Some people get seduced into a new goal/project simply because it is new. They love the fresh start, love the thrill of the take-off and adore the way a new beginning makes them feel.

I hate starting things.

No, let me restate that, I won’t start things from which I don’t have a clear vision of the finish line.

Maybe because I hate wasting time, or maybe because I’m a pansy. Or a chicken. If I don’t think I can finish, then I’ll simply walk away.

Plus, I hate failing.

This isn’t always true, but for bigger goals and aspirations in my life, this is how I roll.

Finishing, however, is a whole different story. I love finishing so much that I’ll make daily to do lists, just so I can check things off and prove to myself (and the world, if they care) that I have, indeed, accomplished something today. Usually three or four things.

Neither way is bad—the world needs both starters and finishers. I’m a finisher.

I’m impossible to live with if I’m not finishing things.

For instance…I’ve been working on my current work in progress (Book 2 for New Sight) since last fall. The beginning was rocky—I struggle with creating—but I managed to pull out a rough draft during a writing retreat.

Yay! Go me! I finished!

And the next day I dove into revisions. Which didn’t go well. I took the next four months of me revising it twice and it still wasn’t right. I’d made a personal deadline to be finished by February. Well, March… April? No, not April, that’s book launch month.

Fine, by the end of the year!

No, not quite that bad. I finished the revision at the end of April and then looked at my schedule in May.

Full. Weekends, weeknights, weekdays…all full.

I heaved a sigh of regret and figured I wouldn’t get it finished until the end of June.

Well, people, I’m here to tell you that miracles are real. I spent a good, hard 30+ hours over the last two weeks at my computer editing this dang book. And by the grace of a power much higher than mine, I finished it Thursday afternoon.

I put the last period on the last sentence and stared.

Was that it? Have I missed a bunch of words somewhere? An entire swath that’s about to jump out and say boo?

Alas, no. Done.


I basked. I sent a text to my husband reminding him that I was awesome and that I deserved a treat. Too bad I’d sworn off treats for the week. (sugar overdose, don’t ask) I was so happy that work the next day didn’t even phase me.

Now my point is this: I’d just finished something that had been kicking my butt for months. I sent it to beta readers, and now I don’t have to think about it until I get it back. Yay!

I went to Kempo class that night and probably grinned through every single stupid squat jump because I was so happy.

But then, Friday afternoon—not even 24 hours later—I let something set me off. It was stupid. There may have been hormones involved. But it dissolved my good mood like salt on a slug, and I spent the rest of the weekend kind of grouchy.

Okay, a lot grouchy.

Which is stupid.

If you’ve finished something great lately, take a moment to really celebrate. Whether it’s your fitness goals, your project goals, your not killing your family goals or your being happy goals, put some effort into a self-high-five.

Trust me, it’ll be worth it. Finishing is great. Don’t let yourself toss your accomplishments aside, and try to ignore that voice in your head that says, “Don’t get too excited, there’s still a whole mountain range to traverse regarding this project.”

Ignore that guy. He’s a tard.

1 comment:

Elsie Park said...

I enjoyed this cute post, Jo! FUN!