Champagne & Cake are Just Across the Finish Line

I hate finishing things. I’m not one to bail out early; once I start something I want to see how it turns out. But once I hit the climax, what’s the point of going any further? What’s the point of tying up loose ends, tidying up messes, or rehashing the story one last time?

It’s not that I don’t see any point to these activities. It’s just that in comparison to starting something new and exciting, these mop up activities are a snooze. However, I’m also learning that quickly hopping from one exciting thing to the next only leads to burnout. So this month, I’m trying to do things differently. One of my goals for November is to tidy up lingering projects that can be completed. I will get a lot of practice, between the election wrapping up and transitioning parts of two or three of my jobs over to other people.

Before I can make much progress on this, I need to sort out my huge aversion to the final clean-up. I’m borrowing one of Havi‘s useful tools: Metaphor Mouse!

Ugh, the dreaded Final Clean-Up

What are the qualities, aspects, associations, attributes of my PERSONAL DEFINITION of the problem word (including what *is* working — if anything)?


  • Sad it’s over
  • Boring
  • How do you know when it’s finally done?
  • Dealing with piles
  • Guilt about what wasn’t finished
  • Frustration – I thought this was over?!?
  • Wasted time
  • Face the emptiness, the vacuum after a project is over
  • Fuzzy boundaries
  • Dependent on other people to still be engaged “after” the project appears over
  • Uninspiring
  • Tiredness

Reminds me of? Makes me think of? Having to execute a will after someone has died.

Learning more about my IDEAL metaphor (THE FINAL CLEAN-UP = ?)

What sort of qualities, aspects and feelings does the thing I want contain?

  • Clear boundaries
  • A clear ending
  • Tidy
  • Happens with ease
  • Time for grieving the loss
  • Playful
  • Light
  • Clear expectations with others

Reminds me of? Makes me think of? It seems like a transition ritual and ending ritual are both needed. The transition from the climax into clean-up is like the Epilogue or a movie that intersperses some fun clips into the credits at the end. Like The Hangover showing “pictures from the lost night in Vegas” during the credits roll. The clean-up needs to revel in and celebrate the fun times of the actual work that was done. And once we bust out the clean-up we get to have a huge-ass after-party when the REAL fun begins. With champagne. And cake.

What needs to happen next?

Clean-up tasks for each project need a separate to-do list from the next project tasks. I need to set a date for each after-party, so I can buy champagne and order the cake. Who wants to join me at the after-party?


One response to “Champagne & Cake are Just Across the Finish Line

  1. Pingback: Oops. A better late than never November check-in | Off Trajectory

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