Finishing something is the best beginning


I probably need to apologize to Steve. The other night during a conversation, I was venting about how I never feel like I get anything done and he gave me a typical Steve motivating speech about how it’s better to get even a small amount of something started than to get overwhelmed by how hard it will be to finish the big mess. I dismissed his encouragement with a vague “I’m not that kind of person. It’s gotta be all or nothing.”

Later we can get into the psychological aspects of me– that my first response to most comments is an instinctual denial, defense or explanation. And then I think about what’s been said and absorb it, realize I was wrong but stubbornly refuse to admit it. So here. I’ll admit it. He’s right.

Today I didn’t get my entire house cleaned and put in order. I did, however, do enough that I can relax with a clear conscience. Not having guilt tonight is sorta remarkable for me. Here’s what I did: I cleaned parts of my kitchen and made a couple dozen muffins. I cleaned most of my bathroom. I had time to walk with Amy– good for my mind, body and soul. I watched the netflix dvds I had here. I updated some apps on my phone.  I finally started a book I received for Christmas (and it’s fantastic!) Before I sleep I’ll fill up the outdoor garbage can and move it out for the garbage truck tomorrow.

I tend to look at the big picture when I need to zoom in on one or two things. The momentum of finishing a smaller task carries me into another smaller task. I get way more done when I think small. It’s why I write over-detailed to-do lists. It’s why during finals week at college, I blew up a balloon for each final paper or exam so I could pop it when finished. Finishing stuff is fun.

And so there’s the balance. There’s the cynical, grumpy me who fights doing things like making the bed. (I’m just going to sleep in it and mess it up later– why pick it up now?) And then there’s the optimistic, encouraging Steve. (Do something. Just do what you can so it’s a little better than before.)

I promise Steve won’t take away all my snark and sarcasm. That’s impossible. But wow am I thankful for the Pooh-like change in perspective he brings to  the Eeyore in me.

About SaraBSutter

I serve as the pastor of United Presbyterian Church in Goldfield, Iowa. My husband Steve and I are excited to be in a friendly small town and look forward to the years ahead. In addition to nerdy church stuff, I love reading books, writing, good coffee, cats, and football.

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