Beginnings and Endings

I think I have way too many beginnings and way too few endings. Too much starting and not nearly enough finishing.

Anybody able to relate to this?

I find my morning conversation with Herself laden with a multitude of, “I should… I need to… I’d like to… I wish I could…” or similar phrases. Some connect to things I’d really like to begin or to investigate, others connect to many, many things that I’ve begun, attempted, or engaged with and allowed to fall by the wayside. 

But rarely in these ponderings do I find things like, “I’m done with… I’ve finished… I’ve wrapped up…” or the other ways one can sum up a job well done. (Or at least ‘done’ – I’d settle for that at this point…)

I have too many beginnings, and not enough endings.

It’s easy to do – we all get really excited about beginnings. New starts, new things to learn, new skills to try, new new new… When it comes to starting, we’re all fiercely ADD – “OOOOH! NEW! SHINY! PRETTY!” 

Which lasts right up until the next new shiny pretty thing gets on the radar. Then the previous new shiny pretty thing ends up under the bus.

Dost thou doubt the veracity of my words? Then ponderest thou this…

How are those New Year’s resolutions working out for ya?…

The prosecution rests, m’lord.

“So how are YOUR resolutions working out, smug little writer boy?”

Fine – because I haven’t made a New Year’s resolution in a good 30 years. I have more than enough stuff thrown under my bus – the poor thing is 6 feet up in the air, wheels spinning futilely. Sad, really.

Too many beginnings, not enough endings.

“Hold on, buckaroo,” I hear you cry. “Not everything is supposed to have an ending, right? Some things endure, they go on, and they become habits, right? So no endings needed, right?”

Point taken. 

But… (“Dang. I KNEW there was a ‘But’ coming…”)

For those things that should endure, that hopefully make their way into habit and part of life, there’s still resolution. They may not have an “ending,” per se. But they should have a resolution. Or, at the very least, when we’re reminded of them, we won’t feel ashamed, thinking of them as one more thing we started, and let fall by the wayside.

Example 1: Tai Chi.

I’ve kind of thrown Tai Chi under the bus. When I began with an introductory class a few years ago, I thought I had found my forever friend. Tai Chi gently stretches my joints and makes them stronger in the process. The arthritis that impacts my daily life, especially my legs, and makes me into a big ol’ bag of crunchy-style stuff seems to be lessened through the gentle practice of Tai Chi. 

(How big of a deal is it? In March of 2011, I went out for my first trike ride of that season…

And went and went. I racked up 30 miles that day, not having touched my trike since the previous fall, and not having ridden even a stationary bike all winter. That’s the longest ride I’ve ever done.

What made it possible? Tai Chi, strengthening my legs. Yup – it’s a big deal.)

And yet… 

I stopped going to class – it wasn’t “convenient.” I just didn’t have “time.” I’m too “tired.” 

THUMP. Another one under the bus.

Too many beginnings, not enough endings.

Anybody able to relate to this?

Example 2: Life 2.0

My surgery was March 30, 2010. And in the first months, I was amazed at how little I would eat. Herself and I could make a meal out of a 5 layer burrito from the value menu at Taco Bell… Yup – one burrito fed the both of us, and I was STUFFED.

But, my capacity has increased. My range of food I eat has increased. And so has my weight. I began well, I hold my own day by day, but little by little things slip. 

I’ve begun well. And I’m not done yet – nothing headed for under the bus here. But certainly something to keep an eye on and to pray over.

Anybody able to relate to this?

Example 3: The DAB – sometimes it works…

I’m into my third year of listening to the Daily Audio Bible, making our way through the Bible in a year. And it’s a part of my life – that gentle daily orientation to God and His word has become as essential to me as my first intake of protein in the morning.

It’s one of those things that’s simply part of my day. Yes, there are days when I might miss my listening time. Even a few days when life gets a little crazy. But every time, I’m eager to catch up and continue on, rather than shrugging my shoulders and giving up as something else lands under the bus.

Even if I get a week behind (Like I am right now, for example…), I know I’ll catch up. Because it’s too important to just let it fall. So, yeah – sometimes there ARE endings, or at least resolutions. 

But still – far too many beginnings, not nearly enough endings. 

Example 4: Riding the Trike – And sometimes it doesn’t…

Yeah, my days as a Stone-Cold Trike Rider (Death from Beside – and Slightly Below…) have been too few for the last few years. Gone are the days where I thought of a 10 mile ride as “short” or “easy.” And gone are the days where I’d hope for a sunny day, to be able to ditch the car and trike everywhere I needed to go.

Not so much now. Too long from it, too much hassle, and the lovely feeling one gets from trying to start something over from scratch, having full and detailed memory of how things were when you were able to just get on and RIDE. The sheer memory of the number and steepness of the hills between home and anyplace I’d want to ride pretty much kills any glimmer of hope or thoughts of starting again.

Too many beginnings, not enough endings. And not enough good stuff that sticks, while the bad stuff stays.

BUT… (“Dang! Stop it with the BUTs already!”)

After a long, some would even call it brutal, winter, spring appears to have sprung at last. Renewal. Hope. Light. And a living reminder that everything can start again.

So, beginnings… Some new, some familiar and needing a new start. 

And a bunch of endings… hopefully of the bad stuff that really needs to get gone, to give room for the new stuff to grow.

Too many beginnings. Not enough endings. 

But hope? Yes – always hope.


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