Unfinished Things

So much of the time, it seems that the things that remain unfinished are marks of failure of some kind. They sit around reproachfully – stacks of half-read books, that craft project that needs finishing, the house projects that need to be done. But I’d like to think of them differently. Maybe the unfinished things are reminders that we’ve tried something.

I’m someone who makes elaborate to-do lists, attempting to make sense of my tangled overactive brain, trying to calm the anxiety that is convinced I’ve forgotten something – let’s face it, I often have, with my ADHD brain. Those lists sometimes just sit there, not doing anything. But I go back through them sometimes and they’re like photographs of life – of things I wanted, needed to do, the inches of progress I’ve made, my concerns at the time. Proof of trying, basically.

In the spirit of things not-quite-done (yet?), here are some fragments of projects, either abandoned, on the go but currently waiting for me to start them up again, books I’ve started reading but have put down for a while, and things I’ve started and haven’t yet finished.

  1. A blanket of knitted squares that I started in March 2021. We were in a third lockdown at the time, and my sister had inspired me to knit my own blanket. I’d been aiming to finish it last autumn – it has 216 squares and by last count I had 74 left to knit. I started stitching the squares together too but haven’t picked it up since early summer. It’s getting cold now so I think I will pick it up and attempt to finish it by December!
  2. My fantasy novel. Now, I have a few things like this that I’ve written but haven’t finished. The last time I worked on it was 2015 and that was such a hard year and I think it was the start of burnout for me. I hold some hope that I will get back to writing fiction again. When I really got into it, I loved it, and I love reading so much. I’d like to find myself in that state of creative flow and hyperfocus again.
  3. Unmasking Autism by Dr Devon Price – I know this is an excellent book. I know it will change my life. But I’ve been carrying it around with me after reading like 3 chapters since May, in various bags, and the dustcover looks like I’ve had it for years. I’m a bit of a butterfly with books sometimes – I hop around, especially with non-fiction.
  4. An embroidery hoop that is basically finished apart from wanting to paint the frame green and needing to stitch the back up properly.
  5. Re-grouting the bathroom floor tiles. Self-explanatory really – not a fun job, boring but necessary!
  6. Skillshare courses I’ve yet to finish: Creative Personal Writing by Ashley C. Ford, 30 Day Poetry Challenge by Zachary Phillips.
  7. The Studio Ghibli review project that I started with my husband Dan on our blogs. We may get back to it one day. We still both love Ghibli films and I return to them often. My favourites are Kiki’s Delivery Service and Howl’s Moving Castle but I have a soft spot for My Neighbour Totoro and The Cat Returns.
  8. Sorting through my sister’s soft toys and children’s books for charity or to keep. I know I have to do it but it’ll probably not get done until the house viewings are finished!
  9. Webtoon (an app of mostly free comics, you sometimes pay if you want to read the next episodes ahead of free releases) comics I’m reading: Lore Olympus (I’m also collecting the physical books now), Lilah’s Magic Shop, Eleceed, Seemingly Dark, The Croaking, Brimstone and Roses, Crumbs – and lots more where that came from (I have lots of recommendations)! I think the only comic I ever finished on Webtoon was Gourmet Hound which is excellent.
  10. 100 Days of Heart to Hearts – an Instagram project I started with my sister but we didn’t manage to get to 100 days. We did manage about 46 days and I wouldn’t say no to doing something similar with her again. The hashtag on Instagram is #100DaysOfHeartToHearts if you want to check it out.

It doesn’t feel too bad to acknowledge that unfinished things might stay unfinished. It could be that the process of doing them means something or gives us something we need. Or maybe they’re just passing interests, which is fine too. I’ve had years where Nano Poblano has been difficult and I’ve had to stop or just couldn’t keep up the momentum. But in there is the gift of attempting and challenging ourselves anyway. We don’t have to always finish for something to be good, and to fulfil a purpose. Although, I wouldn’t recommend leaving house DIY unfinished for too long!

This post is part of NanoPoblano, a Cheer Peppers production! If you’d like to see what other people are writing and sharing, please click the image below.

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