Sunday, 30 January 2011

I've started so I'll finish........well maybe tomorrow!

I’m great at starting things.

I’m great at coming up with new ideas.

I’m terrible at finishing what I’ve started.  Honestly I have a sewing project downstairs that I started when I was eleven. 

It was the first year of senior school.  In needlework we all designed and made a patchwork cushion or bag.  On each patchwork square we tried out the different embroidery stitches on the sewing machines.  All I need to do to finish mine is sew up the opening where the stuffing went in!  Half it is already done but I suddenly stopped, ran out of cotton, ran out of time and found something better to do…  I’d obviously brought it home from school to finish – fatal!

I’ve got several craft projects on the go, a scarf I need to finish knitting; I am up to the casting off stage.  A knitted bag that needs stitching together.  I have a box of beads to make bracelets and a stack of card and paper to make cards.

Besides the craft projects I have at least half a dozen books under my bed or beside my bed, all of which I’ve started, on the quest for the elusive book that’s going to be so captivating that it takes me away from my current woes to a land of make believe.  You’d be amazed how many novels I have on my bookshelves that are about losing a husband – these have been relegated to the bottom of my “to be read” pile – for now.

Then there are the novels in my head I want to write.  The short story ideas.  The thousands and thousands of words I’ve already written.  My “novel” also deals with a death, this time of a wife, hmmmm can’t quite bring myself to finish that one at the moment – one day…

That distant “one day” when everything will become clear and perfect and complete – ha! ha!

Andrew was also someone who started things, who had dreams of all the things we could do in the future.  We had so many plans.  Ideas for children’s talks at church, bus trips we could organise for fundraising.

What he was exceptionally good at was taking things apart.  They were usually broken anyway but he had these ideas that he could fix them.  Upstairs in his den is a laptop, a camera and two mobile phones all in pieces!

Now he had his moments of glory – he fitted our son’s mobile phone with a new screen bought cheap from Ebay.

He sometimes pondered these little problems for weeks before coming up with the solution.

The camera and laptop upstairs were still at the pondering stage – although quite honestly they are broken beyond repair.  I’m typing now on my new laptop and we got a new camera.

They were jobs he’d started intending “one day” to get them finished….or “one day” my nagging would have got too much and he would have admitted defeat and they would have made it to the wheelie bin where they belong!

They are a reminder he was here and that he didn’t plan to go.  If he’d known maybe I wouldn’t have so much to sort out.  Although if we knew maybe the mess would have all melted into insignificance.

Today as I drove to church I passed a cyclist pedalling up the hill.  It’s a very steep hill and I wouldn’t attempt it on a bike.  I would have stopped and pushed the bike up, after a very long rest and maybe and ice-cream en route! 

But it reminded me of what I’d written in my diary last night.

    Another Saturday filled
     Another late night trying not to remember
     The walls close in
     With things to do
          half completed,
                        then abandoned

    Don’t stop!  You were climbing

    Freefall takes no effort
       but you have to carry on
    And finish
         And finish to the end
                 the top
                      and see the view

     The satisfaction of completeness

It’s a bit of a rambling diary entry even by my standards! Can you call it a poem?   I’ve had a good week and got lots of things sorted but there are so many things that I’m in the middle of.  Things that have been started and left because I don’t know how to finish them off.

If you are in the middle, it means you have to come back, you are not ready to leave…

This week I finally chased up the whereabouts of Andrew’s bags from work.  They were full of stuff found in his locker off shore.  There really was nothing exciting in them except a photo of him.  It was obviously a photo that was stuck on a notice board showing everyone on his shift.

He has that half smile on his face and his eyes are almost laughing at the embarrassment of having to have his photo taken.  To me it is beautiful because it was such an unexpected find and he is just as I remember.  Our youngest son hugs it and tells me how much he loves and misses his dad.

The photo has made it upstairs and I am using it as a bookmark in one of the many books by the bed.  The bags haven’t made it out of the lounge yet!  I don’t know what to do with the clothes, overalls with his name on and bag of tools.

It’s just another job half finished.

Like sorting the finances and the tax forms and the mess that’s in every room. 

And the broken camera and laptop upstairs!

Of course there are some things I have finished things in my life…

I finished my wedding dressing in time to get married!  We finished decorating our youngest son’s bedroom before Andrew died.

Then last Friday I started and finished a project in a day!  I made this heart.  Not only did I make it I wrapped it and posted it to my cousin for her birthday.  But this photo is a reminder of what I can achieve.

It’s the end of the month tomorrow and I want to “finish” as many things as I can, even the little things like getting to the bottom of the ironing pile and putting the ironing board away.

Because now I have a new plan, a new idea, I can make some more hearts.  I’ve proved they don’t take long to make.  I’ve found my beads and buttons….

….there are things to finish but there are always things to start.  Life is on-going and some things never end…


  1. One day Sarah "everything will become clear and perfect and complete" God promises us that one day everything will become clear to us.
    God's love never ends and slowly but surely you will accomplish all that you need to do, there is no rush.
    Now is a time to be with your boys and to stay close to God, the rest can wait

  2. God remembers what I am
    and what he whants me to be
    and not always what I do
    That is why we are called human beings
    not human doings