I just had an epiphany and recognized one of my major stressors: almost finished is not enough. Well, it was my mother’s birthday and I needed a gift. As always I was very early with the thinking and planning, then ordered a book on amazon on time. But then I had an idea: wouldn’t it be a good idea to give her a copy of the song that I sang at my sister’s wedding and that we recorded almost by chance in September? Good idea. Six days before her birthday we even mixed the song and I burned it on CD.
Then it happened (and I fall for this trap every single time): I thought, “Oh, I’m almost done.” and forgot about it. Put a little reminder in my PDA to mail it two days before her birthday. On the mailing day I had to do this:
- Burn the CD again, so I didn’t have to give her my only copy.
- Design a cover and print it.
- Find a jewel case without scratches.
- Find an envelope.
- Find the drawings my son had made for her.
- Find the photo CD that I had meant to give her for months.
- Write a few kind words, and maybe find a birthday card. (I solved this by writing directly on the drawings.)
- Find a marker and put her address on the envelope.
- Find a stamp and find out how much postage it costs.
- Go to post office before 5 p.m.
Okay. All of this took 90 minutes! (Never underestimate the time for anything done with computers.) For one measly present. that was “almost finished”. So imagine me doing Christmas presents. And birthday presents for most of my husband’s family who un-conveniently were born around New Year.
I did fell all smug before, because I have done almost all my Christmas shopping. But I’m not so sure anymore. It might be a good idea to look at everything again before Christmas actually comes around. Maybe there are more presents who need a little 90-minute attention.
My husband (who is often wiser than I) says that it takes the same amount of energy to do something from start to “almost finished” as it does to do the last ten percent of it. That would mean my “almost finished” is “only half done”. Argh.