04 Jan Short Stop
Heat rose up my neck and flushed my face.
“What does that mean?” I said.
“You know, the player in baseball that stops the ball from getting to it’s desired spot.” He said with a touch of sarcasm.
“Yes, I know but why did you call me that?” I blustered.
“Because you don’t finish the job.” was all he said.
I went silent. I knew he was right.
I do sometimes leave mail or books on the stairs. My Friday night yoga mat often stays in the front hall all weekend. I have this funny habit of not closing the kitchen cabinets. I cook a lot so this happens ALL THE TIME.
Over the next few weeks, I became keenly aware of my short stopping habits. It was embarrassing how often I wouldn’t take the extra step. The growing pile of mail appeared to have a spotlight and the left-open cabinets mocked me. So, one at a time, I became aware. My yoga mat got put away and I got much better at closing the cabinet doors. And the pile of mail (just like my email) is a work in progress.
What I really want to share though is what else happened. I started finishing other things in my life. Like making that phone call I thought would be hard but wasn’t. Filing the receipts in the right spot at the office. Doing that extra rep at the gym. I began cleaning the litter box more often and taking out the garbage and storing the recycling bags in the right spot. That week, I cleaned out two drawers. After my initial bitterness at the nickname, I started sharing the story with family and friends – and it stuck with a few people who’ve shared similar stories about finishing what was started. You see, like so many people, I get distracted easily – ‘Bright Shiny Object Syndrome.’ Yet I realize avoiding the extra steps causes frustration and clutter of space and mind and much more discomfort in the long run.
When I get home from yoga, all I want to do is kiss the kitties and get out of my sweaty clothes. Now, I still kiss the kitties first, then I put the mat away. Simple – finished.
I’m a work in progress. Now I smile when I recognize my short stop routine in more areas of my life. I’ve lost the nickname but I haven’t lost the lesson.
Now, I must go sort that pile of mail.
by Wendy Bright-Fallon