Finish

8minI actually like the thought of a piece of art that reads “Finish” but is never finished. I’m not so sure that life is really about finishing. So many things are meant to be a process of doing or becoming. So many other things (says the former SAHM in me) are about doing over and over and over again every single day because they become undone.

Dishes, laundry, feeding people. What to make for dinner is just was just as much a challenge then as it is every day when I come home from work. Maybe made harder by so many distracting things wherein there is joy in the journey.

Relationships are never finished. Even when they end abruptly, such as when someone we love dies but we carry them in our hearts or when someone moves away and we miss them or keep our unfinished business with them in our thoughts.

Unfinished business. That’s what chases sleep away every time I wake up in the middle of the night. There seems to be no finishing a night’s sleep.

I’m often both satisfied and sad when I finish a book. Sad because I will miss characters I have come to love–The Book Thief–and also because once read it can never be read for the very first time again–Harry Potter series. Just to name a few.

Just yesterday I glanced up at the shelf full of unfinished quilt projects in my laundry room. I thought with some guilt how I still haven’t finished James’ baby quilt that just required a back, quilting, and binding and also with longing over the stack of Civil War prints in blacks and reds that were meant to be hand appliqued into a sweet little Celtic pattern and how of all the unfinished projects that may be the one I may have most been looking forward to seeing completed. I wonder how to fit in any finishing when I come home from work a little done for the day still a few hours before the day is finished.

Aside from the occasional quilt back in the day and races such as the half marathon my son just completed or the sprint tri I once completed back in the day when I found time for walking and biking for hours upon a time, I’m at a loss to think of what else we do that is ever really finished and doesn’t demand to be ongoing or redone or done over and over again?

I’m never really finished writing, which is why I prefer blogging to being published. I can always find the edit button to complete an unfinished thought, correct a punctuation error that has been bothering me, or exchange a careless word for one that better suits. But I rarely if ever reread anything I’ve written that’s already in print. Because I know I will find another of the many imperfections (I’m really fine with imperfections–perhaps because that’s why seeing life as an interesting journey and not a finish line is reassuring) and once it’s on the printed page it’s too late to amend.

My 8-minute timer went off. Perhaps today I will ponder the meaning of running out time before finishing a piece about not finishing.

[Day 7 of Ann Dee Ellis’ 8-Minute Memoir]