Thoughts on… Finishing.

Someone commented on my new “blogging” venture lately, “Oh, another thing to add to the list of things you haven’t finished”. I found it to be an interesting comment, not only because she knows me so well, but because it made me think. It was interesting that it didn’t bother me – that I had no intention of “finishing” (what does that mean?) this little jam session. I might carry it on for another week, or maybe a year. Who knows? Does it matter?

My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start. So far today, I have finished 2 bags of M&M’s and a chocolate cake. I feel better already. Dave Barry quote

I have started many, many projects from as far back as I can remember. What can I say – I was born with a brain full of ideas and thoughts and a heart for adventures and occasions. What I was NOT born with, however, is focus, energy (I’ve also been tired for as far back as I can remember…) or stick-to-it-ness.

To finish a work? To finish a picture? What nonsense! To finish it means to be through with it, to kill it, to rid it of its soul, to give it its final blow the coup de grace for the painter as well as for the picture. Pablo Picasso quote

My architectural degree – left it 5 courses short to have Kid #3. It will not get finished (I did, however finish my diploma – that must count for something!). My art degree – left it in second year to get married. I might do more courses one day, because I loved doing them, but I’d go back with no specific intention to “finish” by doing a bunch of classes that don’t interest me. Why waste my time doing anything I don’t enjoy unless I have a specific goal in mind?

If I’d had some set idea of a finish line, don’t you think I would have crossed it years ago? Bill Gates quote

I have a stack of things not yet done – a few books, that screenplay, my scrapbooks are not up to date, more chef’s training, french classes, photography practice, sustainable building research, my business website, other housing research – you name it, I’ve probably started it. Although sometimes I look at all those unfinished projects with a slight tinge of failure, for the most part I’m at peace with my day. And I’m happy to have gone out and tried.

There are two kinds of people, those who finish what they start and so on Robert Byrne quotes

I have no set idea of a finish line of any kind in my life. I think of all the things I would have missed if I had been completely focused on ONE thing, if I hadn’t been so scatter brained, and SOMETIMES I’m glad to have no focus. I had a mentor once who informed us at his first lecture that he “LIVED architecture. Ate, slept, breathed architecture”. After a moment of intrigue at seeing someone so focused, I just felt sorry for him, and thought of all the other joys in life he was missing. (Not to mention my belief that in order to understand sheltering people, you need to get out and understand as many people as possible, but I digress…).

Nice guys finish last, but we get to sleep in. Evan Davis quotes

If any of those unfinished projects are really that important, I’ll get back to them when the time is right. For now, this is today, and tomorrow might bring by something totally new and interesting. And I’d hate to pass up anything interesting!


Another day, another dolla’

Tt loves toys. Partly because he’s completely spoiled rotten, and partly because he just loves toys (I was never spoiled rotten, and I still loooooove my toys, so I’m sure it’s not ALL linked to being spoiled). Anyhow, every time we go out now, he asks for a toy. My fault. Entirely. 1 monster, created by me. But, now that he pretty much has any toy that costs less than $10, he’s set his sights a bit higher. $40 higher, to be exact. Actually, it’s $50US , so… ya, anyhow.

BUT, I figure, what a great way to teach him about money, counting, saving, etc. We have the piggy bank all set up, so why not teach him how it works? So we briefly reviewed how when we get some money, these different variations of coins equal $1.00.

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Then we talked about how out of each $1.00, some goes to “INVEST”, some goes to “SAVE”, some to “TITHE” and the rest for “SPEND” (about $0.60 on the dollar). He doesn’t really get it for now, but that’s ok. He does know that all my spare change goes into his various jars.
But, really, I just wanted to teach him patience, and the exchange of reward for work.

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So, we instituted 2 things – allowance, and child labour. Allowance is now $5.00/week, and once he divides it all up, that’s about $3.00 in his pocket. He has to clean his room and toys for free, but he can help out around the house (cleaning all the tops of those baseboards with a wet rag was a great one) for some extra allowance. When he has a babysitter, he can make some money if I hear that he HELPED babysit his little brother (plus I get peace of mind that the sitter might possibly want to come back one day!). If he gets “gift” money, he can keep some in his “SPEND” jar.

And, OF COURSE, we set up a chart for him to follow and keep track. (I love charts like I love spreadsheets and lists…).

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He’d been doing mostly great – even told a friend once that “I’m not buying a toy today because I’m saving my money”, so I offered him an extra boost ($50 is a long ways off for a $3.00 allowance, after all). I told him if he wrote (dictated) and drew out a story for me, I would pay him $1.00 “royalty” on every copy I made to give away as Christmas presents to family. He did such a fantastic job of creating a story about a Knight named King Arthur (how orginal) and a dragon named Filosoby, I added $10.00 just to his “SPEND” pot alone.

51yqxdfqoml_sl500_aa280_By the time he was just a few dollars away from his $50 goal, Hubby took him to buy his hard-earned treat (with one more allowance “owed”). I wasn’t there, but apparently Tt asked if it was “on sale”, and when it wasn’t, he chose a $10 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle toy instead. Just as happy as a clam.

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I’m not sure he got much out of the exercise, except that for just a few weeks he actually said “no” to new toys all by himself, and that now he actually has spending money in his piggy bank because he saved it. And of course his enabler mother bought him the Lego for Christmas.

We’ll try to do it all again later (counting, money responsibility, etc).
(and maybe next time we’ll explain US exchange and taxes/duty to him…).