Follow-Through…Finishing….Closing the Door

Sports have been a big part of my life as far back as i could remember – more watched than played, but still a big part.  For the middle part of my life, my dad was a baseball coach.  I remember when he would have camps for the little league kids during the summer and one of the fundamental lessons he would teach would be follow-through.  When you swing the bat to hit the ball, follow through.  When you catch the fly ball and throw it back, follow through.  When you’re trying to beat the throw to first, run through the bag (follow through).  The follow-through on the action is what adds the power to the action.  That is why a line drive off a major leaguer’s bat can break a guy’s neck!  It’s not about muscle strength or force.  Strong muscles and exerted force aren’t what allow golfers to drive balls “miles” down a fairway, it’s the follow-through.

Too bad we don’t get follow-through lessons in other things in our lives.  Or in other words lessons on how to finish.

I’m at the end of the pregnant phase of my life, and I’ve learned that I’m pretty terrible at finishing.  I have a stack of started crafts that prove my point.  I have rooms in my house that are 95% clean that add to the evidence.  Now, I’m not expecting my house to be “magazine worthy” clean – I live here, Ken lives here, we have a dog – I know better than to expect that level of clean.  But it’s the pile of opened mail that I know just needs to be sorted through (trash, act, or file).  Or the stack of fast food cups that sit on the counter beside the trash can that should have just gone in the trash can the first time they were handled.  Or the clothes that are laid over the chair that don’t get put up – since they’re not in the floor, they’re really not in the way (translation: I won’t fall over them on my way to the bathroom in the middle of the night).

And cleaning house isn’t the only place we’ve failed to learn the lesson of follow-through (it’s just the first example this nesting preggo things of).  People also fail to follow through with their money.  You say you’re going to get out of debt, you even pay off credit cards, but then what do you do?  Is the account still open?  Is it still attached to your SirShopsAlot account?  Is the card still in your wallet?  Well, you made the promise to yourself that you’d set a limit and make sure you budget enough money to pay it off each month so you don’t accrue interest, that’s enough right?  How’s that working for you (as Dr. Phil would say)?  And speaking of budgets – what does your budget look like?  Is it on paper?  Has everyone who has access to the money agreed to it and understands the consequences of not following it?  You might have a written budget plan and it’s even hanging on the fridge for everyone to see, but where is your money really going?

Yes, follow-through seems to falter in the areas of our life where self-discipline (and self-motivation) is required.  Cleaning, money, health, relationships – all require us to work.  But that’s not the only areas follow-through needs occur.  So many opportunities present themselves throughout our daily lives – they sometimes walk right up to us, look us in the eyes, and jump in our hands.  Opportunities for new relationships, new experiences – learning more, doing more, living life more, sometimes even earning more.  And what do we do with them?  The business card goes in that “black hole” pocket of the wallet; the napkin with the phone number ends up disintegrated in the washing machine; the email or text message goes unanswered.  I wonder what we’re all missing out on?

This blog itself has been a lesson to me on following through with things.  I started this blog on 8/9/12 in Evernote on my iPad.  Something interrupted me in the middle of typing it (I really don’t remember what – went to lunch….got a phone call… had to pee) and when I finally got another minute to work on it, my excuse for finishing it was “I lost my flow of thoughts”.  Thus, in Evernote and (in my psyche) it sat – until today.

When I think about the condition of my psyche, it makes me think of Alice in Wonderland.  Alice walks into this room – it’s a round room, with doors of all sizes encircling her.  How does she get out of this room?  Most of the doors are locked.  In the end, she has to eat the cake on the table that makes her shrink so she can fit through the unlocked door.  But what if all the doors were unlocked?  That’s how I believe my psyche works – just like Alice’s room of doors where I can go through any of the doors I choose, and as long as I don’t let the door close behind me, i can come back to my room of doors and pick a different door on a different day.  The problem is that nothing ever gets completed which leads to me frantically running from one unfinished task to another (and not truly finishing any of them thanks to this thing call entropy – aka the chaos that ensues when you’re not applying energy to the situation) and then leads to the walls of my room being so full of opened doors that there’s no room for anything new in my life, that finally results me being stressed, frustrated, unhappy, and unable to relax in my own house.  What kind of life is that – especially since we’ll have a new baby around?!

Step one: yesterday’s to-do list (just ask Ken or my MIL & FIL about it).  Step two: this blog. Time to close some psyche doors, finish some tasks, and follow through on some opportunities.

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Wedding Week – Tuesday

Today was the first day of hard labor…though it didn’t start off that way.

We first went and got our eyebrows waxed. Then we went and got pedicures. Then we had lunch. Then all the work started.

We took 3 car-loads of decorations to the church. Unloaded and sorted everything. The guys set up tables for the reception, while me and sis cleaned the lobby. And amazingly, it didn’t take as long as anyone projected. Efficient workers? Probably. Expert packers? Thanks to the years of moving out of dorms and apartments and learning from the packing queen, my MIL, yeah buddy!

We had some “who’s wedding is it anyway?” moments, but we survived.

After the hard labor, Alex, Christa, Ken, and I went shopping at the mall and out to eat. I got me a dress to wear for rehearsal and Christa some things to complete her wardrobe for the honeymoon. The boys went to the book store.

And I think Ken was lonely because he’s now joined the “red” club. The back of his legs got sun burnt today playing golf. We love aloe and aleve!

God did something nice for me!

If you follow me on Twitter or on Facebook, you’ve probably heard a little about the troubles the roofers have caused me in the past couple weeks.  I told this story to the teens Sunday morning, and I wanted to share it with the blogosphere – complete with pictures!

About three weeks ago, the roofers finally made it to start working on the building I live in, putting on a brand new roof.  After about 4 days of work, a monsoon hit and stayed around for about two and a half weeks.  On about Day 12, I was on my porch watching a fantastic thunderstorm go by, when I suddenly heard the sound of rushing water (I was thoroughly expecting a car to come rushing through the river of a parking lot, sending water 15 feet into the air).  Instead, the noise was coming from inside the apartment!  I turned to see water pouring out of my ceiling, about 3 inches away from my lamp!  I rushed to get a towel and empty a trash can to prevent a huge mess.  I called the emergency maintenance line, but they said “just watch it, and we’ll check it in the morning to get it patched and clean the carpet.”  They never came.

Memorial Day weekend was the first time we had seen the sun in what seemed like forever.  As the sun continued to shine, the roofers got back to work.  Then last Thursday, I was in the kitchen fixing supper, I could hear the roofers still working.  A few minutes later, I walk to my bedroom to put on some shoes to go to my car and I see a chunk of sheet rock laying on the floor and some smaller pieces in the frame of my bed (becuase my mattress doesn’t fit quite as snugly as it should – Image 1).

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I look up and there’s a pretty good sized hole next to the ceiling fan (Image 2 & 3).

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So, I turn the light on to take a closer look at the mess on the floor (which the light switch also turns on the fan).  Suddenly, pieces of sheet rock go flying across the room!

I found some behind the door (Image 4).

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And some more by the window (Image 5).

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When the foreman came to look at the damage, he told me that because they messed up my carpet (I had a nice puddle of water under the hole as well – not pictured), I would not have to pay to have the carpet cleaned (per my contract with the apartment complex – worth $75) when I move out!