My wife is an amazing “homemaker”. That’s probably not even the right word for what she does. Sometimes she is a DIY furniture maker. Other times she finds obscure antiques or knick-nacks and turns them into statement decor in our home. She is also the self-proclaimed “fastest painter in the world.”
She finds a color she likes, picks up a gallon, and we are moving furniture to the middle of the room that evening. We don’t obsess over color selection. She knows what she likes when she sees it. If we get it on the wall and don’t like it we can paint over it.
We are both impatient. We like to paint the room, move the furniture back and take the “After” picture. The project needs to feel complete before we go to bed. While we are still passionate about the idea we want to leverage our energies toward completion.
I’ve adopted and love her get it done now mentality with painting. However, I have come to realize that I carry this same attitude with me into everyday living. Undone projects tend to eventually become the things we’ll get to “one day”. So I rush through to get the job done. After all, no one ever takes an almost finished picture.
The problem is, a lot of things worth doing can’t be done quickly. Financial responsibility starts with a decision and hard choices initially, but it’s never really “finished.” Weight loss or healthier living is ongoing. Educational endeavors take time.
So what do we do?
Stop comparing your “work in progress” to someone else’s “finished product.”
- The reality is they probably aren’t finished either. They just may be a little further down the road than you. It’s also important to view everything on social media like you do the objects in your rearview mirror.
While the mirror tells you “objects are closer than they appear”, social media should come with the caption “not as fabulous as presented.” The perfect Instagram picture of their clean house doesn’t reveal the dirty laundry hidden behind the door.
- The glowing Facebook post about their weight loss journey doesn’t show the lingering insecurity in front of the mirror.
If you allow yourself to be shaped by someone else’s well-crafted narrative you’re setting yourself up for unnecessary heartache.
Appreciate the benefits of “sleeping on it.”
I can’t tell you how many times we’ve painted a room, cleaned up, moved the furniture back and gone to bed, only to have the light of a new day reveal a spot we missed. Taking a little extra time gives you a perspective that finishing too quickly will rob from you.
My dad says he has two financial decisions he still regrets to this day. Both were made without walking away to sleep on it and returning the next day to close the deal. There are very few things that can’t wait an extra 12 hours.
Remember the original “why.”
Pastor Mark Batterson talks about the power of a picture in a cow pasture.
It’s not that the cow pasture has any power. It’s just that he originally felt the call of God on his life walking through that cow pasture. So he went back and got a picture of himself standing in the pasture and hung it in his office. On those days where his job feels “unfinished” he looks at that picture to remember his excitement for the original calling.
Why did you start out on this journey? Why did you originally go back to school? Why did you originally want to save money? Why did you commit to purity before marriage or faithfulness within your marriage, in the first place?
If you can remember WHY, you’ll eventually figure our HOW.
If you’re like us you love to finish the job and cross the item off your to-do list. But don’t be afraid to embrace the work in progress.
It’s where life is actually lived!