Stepping Away Gracefully

Sometimes my problem with follow through isn’t so much that I can’t follow through as much as I can’t always tell when I’m actually finished.  When is it okay not to finish something?  When is it time to step away gracefully.  I think some of my follow through problem really stems from a sense of not knowing exactly when to quit.  That, of course, also reaches back to not being very good at saying that infamous two letter word to people.  Do you know (oops, too many letters there) the word?

We’ve all done it.  Shouted “NO!” in our minds while our mouths are spouting off some yes, I’d love to help you with that project nonsense.  The problem then becomes that our heads are fully invested in projects that our hearts do not support.  Personally, that set-up is a big, problematic formula for lack of follow through that starts with the “I’ll worry about it later” statements.

I’ll give you a personal example that hit close to home this very week.   After two years serving as PTA president at the elementary school, I should have been finished.  I was done.  Burned out even.   All my “i”s dotted and “t”s crossed.  However, we have a rather small school and the need existed for a Scholastic Book Fair Chairperson.  When I should have been gracefully fading into the sunset, I opened my mouth and agreed to take on the position.

Now it’s the new year and my heart is screaming at me that I have other priorities now and I should be done with all this.  My head is telling me that I made a commitment and I have to honor it.  It’s the responsible thing to do.  I’m honestly not sure who will win this battle.  I tried to gracefully step away today and couldn’t quite do it.

Another example of not being sure when to let go, this one more about stuff than committees.  I spent a few years hoarding my sons’ t-ball and soccer shirts from the rec leagues where they’ve played.  I was going to make one of those super cool quilts of their sports t-shirts for each of them.  One day, I simply had to face it.  My boys are not star athletes and did not care about the t-shirts.  I’m not a seamstress (by any stretch of the word).  I finished that particular project by admitting to myself that it was not going to happen.  I stepped away and let the shirts go.

Knowing when to step away gracefully as well as when to call it quits on certain projects can sometimes hinder my follow through efforts more than I’d like to admit.   Do you struggle from the mind/heart battles as well?

This post is part of the 31 Days of Follow Through Series.

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5 thoughts on “Stepping Away Gracefully

  1. Deanna

    I always struggle with that concept – when to walk away and just admit not defeat really, but more like it doesn’t matter that much to me. Which is why probably I see so many craft projects at junk sales and thrift stores partially started. Sometimes I will ‘rescue’ a project, and honestly I have no idea why LOL

    I need better control at that – just saying I’m done because I don’t care enough. Even like some of the books (but I haven’t read that yet, gotten my money worth) or a cake pan (decorative type)that I haven’t baked a cake in yet, and on and on.

    I’m hoping you’ll do the book fair thing, but just stop going to PTA meetings in the future LOL That way there’s no guilt on your part for not stepping up.

    1. Jean Post author

      Oh dear, don’t go rescuing projects that you didn’t start! You know the answer though and it’s a tough one, just stay out of those stores 😉 I do much better if I stay out of the stores. It is VERY hard to give up on a project. I do like your solution for me regarding the PTA meetings. I’ve felt obligated to go to a few and be supportive but I know the world won’t end if I don’t go to them.

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