It’s confession time. I haven’t printed pictures – besides the 10 necessary for my children’s student of the week posters which were printed at 7am the morning they were needed – or completed a photo book in 3.5 years. I’m really much further behind than that, though, because that year I printed hundreds of photos, but I know they’re not in an album and I’m not even sure where they are.
My photo failure keeps hanging over my head and continues to haunt me. In October we went on a wonderful vacation which led to us reminiscing about our past vacations which led to my husband innocently asking if I’d ever made photo books from those trips. I haven’t. In fact, the last photo book I made was when I took my 8 year old son to Mexico to visit my grandpa. That son is now 12 and my dear grandpa is no longer with us.
I’m sure I’m not alone in having this unfinished business taking up space in my brain. But that’s not all it is doing. It’s also become an excuse hurdle that holds me back from moving on to where I want to go. “I can’t start a blog until I’m caught up on my photos. I can’t start back to work until I’m caught up at home.” I can’t, I can’t, excuses, excuses. Which then leads me to question whether it’s the photo failure holding me back, or me holding on to the photo failure so I don’t have to take action toward the bigger goals in my life.
The Excuse Hurdle
The effect of this looming unfinished business is procrastination. I sit worried about taking on a new task knowing that I should finish or at least start my photo project before getting started on something else. And yet I continue to procrastinate and nothing gets done.
I realized something, though, as I hung the new calendar this week; I realized I have a choice. You have a choice. We can choose to face our unfinished business and take action to finish it. We don’t have to do it all at once. It also doesn’t have to be perfect. We can do a little bit at a time. I can make one photo book a month until I’ve completed all of our vacations. I can hunt down those photos I printed so long ago and get them into an album. We can take small positive steps toward completing our unfinished business all the while making that excuse hurdle smaller and smaller until it’s not hindering our progress in any way.
Or, as unconventional as it may seem, we can choose to move on and leave behind our unfinished business if we have better, more positive action to pursue. My photo failure doesn’t need to prevent me from moving on to other things. I can jump over the excuse hurdle in a single bound and move on. And I give you permission to do the same. Jump over. Leave it behind. You and I have better things to do. The choice is mine and yours to make.
I challenge you today to face your unfinished business, make a choice, and take action. What unfinished business is causing you to procrastinate taking action on what you really should be doing? What will you choose to do – tackle it a little bit at a time or move on and just leave it behind?