Have you ever come across a person who is very enthusiastic and full of interest when they are starting something so much, so that you find yourself caught up in the excitement of the moment? Well that person is me but and it is a big but indeed, I have never been able to complete a project. It is true, however much I try to deny it or try to blame the non completion of all my project on many factors but the fact remains that I am unable to complete anything that I start… do I need help?
Actually, for a long time my friends and family saw my penchant for starting projects that I never finished as a quirk until it started to affect not things not only financially but also started affecting me psychologically. I started to feel like a failure who could not see things through. This feeling started permeating into every aspect of my life and I was starting to feel that I was not meant to achieve anything but I also could not stop myself from starting new things.
I am 27 years old, my name is Harriet, I have been married for two years to Martin (that is one project I finished, thank god!), the only child of older parents (mom is 67 and dad is 69 years old), and I am stay-at-home wife. We are trying to have a baby and we had decided that since Martin is doing well in his job and our house was fully paid for, I need not work. Anyone would think that a young lady in such a situation would be happy but I was not. I was constantly looking out for something that would give me that sense of achievement but had had no success until now. I was really contemplating seeking professional help when help arrived in the most unexpected form – a former boyfriend Pete!
I was out in the market, when I spotted a bookstore and I stepped in hoping to get some interesting books to read when I spotted the arts and crafts section. A part of me tried to resist the temptation to step in but an even stronger part of me pulled me in and I was soon looking at the choices that were so temptingly arrayed on the shelves. Just as I was about to reach for a home jewelry making kit, I felt a light tap on my shoulder. I turned around wondering who it could be and there he was grinning away at me – Pete my ex boyfriend!
He held his arms open for a hug and I found myself leaning into the hug, He seemed so warm and affectionate as he hugged me. He smiled and asked me how I was doing. I answered “Hey! Pete, you are talking to a married lady now. I got married to Martin a couple of years ago.”
He smiled and said, “I am so glad to hear that and I need not ask you if you are happy, you are literally glowing. So what are you up to nowadays?”
I smiled and said “Trying for a baby.”
He laughed and shook his head and said “No! That is not what I meant. I meant about your work.”
Somehow, this simple statement had me in a flood of tears. Pete looked confused and then really concerned. He held me lightly by the shoulders and quietly guided me into a coffee shop where he made me sit and then got me some water. I soon calmed down enough to reach out for the water and sip some before looking at him shamefaced. He sat down on the chair opposite and asked me “Hey! Harry (only he called me that) what happened? Is everything okay?
I sniffled for a while and then found myself relating the story of my incomplete projects to me and how I had started to feel useless because of them. By the end of my tale, he was trying his best not to laugh. I was offended that an old friend who knew me so well would laugh at my misery. I was about to get up and leave when he caught hold of my arm and apologized and begged me to sit. Then he explained that he was laughing not at my misery but because he was amused by my problem. On hearing this, I was once again offended and I told him so.
This time he managed to become serious and said, “You know Harry what your problem is? You have never had to work for anything and this has made you unappreciative of everything and that is why you never start anything you finish.”
The words were harsh but they did have a ring of truth to them. He was right everything had come easy to me. I was blessed with above average looks and had very generous parents who had indulged me and continued to do so. Even my breakup with Pete had been easy and we had even managed to remain friends. Now my husband Martin was also well off and would almost never refuse anything and in case, he ever did say no, I would turn to my parents and they would be only too happy to get me what I wanted.
I shook my head and said, “I know I have been really lucky and spoiled but what that have to do with not being able to finish any of my projects?”
Pete replied, “Actually it has everything to do with that.”
“What?” I shouted
Pete asked me to calm down and asked me “Tell me something Harry, all these projects that you have taken up, who paid for the stuff you need to do them?”
I looked at him defiantly and said “Martin pays or if he doesn’t my parents are always ready to buy me what I want”
“Okay then why do you pick these projects up, if you cannot pay for them yourself?” Pete asked
“Because I am bored and need to do something. And how do you expect me to pay for them? I do not work?” I said
“I know that, but do you even know how much you spent on these projects?’ Pete asked.
I thought for a while and came to the conclusion that it would be in hundreds of dollars considering the number of projects that I took up. I told him that. He looked at me and said that I should start thinking of taking control instead of thinking when I think of my life I want to cry, tell me how to stop.
The first thing he suggested was that I should pay for any projects I took up. When I asked me how I could do that since I did not have a job, he suggested that, I start saving up some money by giving one of the things that I liked. It sounded like a silly idea but I agreed to do that.
I went home and the next time I was tempted by a project I decided to follow Pete’s suggestion. Much to the surprise of my parents and husband, I gave up having wine for a month and saved that money to pay for a jewelry making kit. Soon I was at it and was able to finish the project. Each time I would feel like giving up, the thought of my sacrifice would loom and I would take it up again. I knew Pete had taught me a valuable lesson and I would like to share it with you.
You feel better and more passionate about things when you have earned them instead of them being handed over to you.
You will need to pick things that interest you rather than pick something to do because you are bored to be able to finish them.
You cannot take your resources for granted rather you should cherish and appreciate them.
Taking up some work need not be always about necessity it can be about having a sense of achievement and self worth.