I’m a hurrier. I move quickly through my day, grabbing and tossing and scrambling. I like to get things done and over with, dust off my hands and move on to the next thing. Tick all the boxes on my to-do list. Finis.
But with age (and a less lengthy task list) has come a the desire to back off, to slow down. I have a new awareness that there will be time and that it’s alright to shift those undone things onto tomorrow’s index card of things to do..or even next week’s index card. Or maybe some days it’s alright not to have an index card at all.
But it can be a struggle for one who doesn’t like the in-between, for one who likes things completed and off the list. I feel uneasy with unfinished projects hanging over my head.
Right now there is an enormous project in this stage of in-betweenness. It’s my book, Life In General, the one I’ve been thinking about and working on for the past couple of years. It’s done, but it’s not done. It’s on the road to being in print and it’s almost there...but not quite yet.
I had planned to be farther along in this process by now, had planned to be in the very last round of editing and nearly ready to print. I had dutifully made my schedule at the beginning of this year, parceled out the months and what needed to be accomplished in each to bring this book to fruition. I ticked off every deadline, right on schedule.
Until I got to the end, and then I stopped short.
Even though I am a hurrier, I am also adept at the art of procrastination. So for quite a while even though the pages were ready, I wasn’t ready to let it go. Steven Pressfield (The War of Art) calls it resistance. "Resistance is experienced as fear; the degree of fear equates to the strength of Resistance. Therefore the more fear we feel about a specific enterprise, the more certain we can be that that enterprise is important to us and to the growth of our soul. That's why we feel so much Resistance. If it meant nothing to us, there'd be no Resistance.”
I was resisting it big-time. Resisting the idea that this book project was finished. That it would be done for the world to see and judge, seeing and judging me along with it. Resisting the awareness that it was time to move on to something else.
Then I brought myself back to the reason I’m doing this book in the first place. It’s really for ME - it’s a way I can hold in my hands the culmination of everything I’ve learned about myself and life in general through the writing I’ve shared through my blog over the past decade. The pieces I chose to include in the book were those that defined me and every life passage I went through during that time. The pieces that helped me make sense of Life In General and my own in particular.
It’s a gift I’m giving myself. I’m happy to share it, but sales are not the main motivation for its creation. As much satisfaction as writing on the internet has given me, it’s not ever going to be quite as satisfying as holding a book in my hands - holding a printed book filled with words I’ve written, thoughts I’ve labored to share.
Reminding myself of the impetus for creating Life In General gave me the incentive I needed to move forward with the next and final steps toward the creation of that book.
So even though I’m still somewhat in-between, I’m moving closer to the day when I can tick off an very important box on the Life In General checklist.
The one marked The End.