Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Finishers Wanted

New Year's Day as I was thinking about what goals I should set, or what I wanted to accomplish this year, the phrase "finishers wanted" kept coming to mind. This has actually been a mantra (can't think of any other word but one of my tricks to prevent getting side-tracked is to keep repeating that phrase in my head) of mine for a while, ever since I read President Monson's talk by the same title. Here's how the talk begins:

On sunlit days during the noon hour, the streets of Salt Lake City abound with men and women who for a moment leave the confines of the tall office buildings and engage in that universal delight called window shopping. On occasion I, too, am a participant.

One Wednesday I paused before the elegant show window of a prestigious furniture store. That which caught and held my attention was not the beautifully designed sofa nor the comfortable appearing chair that stood at its side. Neither was it the beautiful chandelier positioned overhead. Rather, my eyes rested on a small sign that had been placed at the bottom right-hand corner of the window. Its message was brief: “FINISHERS WANTED.”

The store had need of those persons who possessed the talent and the skill to make ready for final sale the expensive furniture the firm manufactured and sold. “Finishers Wanted.” The words remained with me as I returned to the pressing activities of the day.

In life, as in business, there has always been a need for those persons who could be called finishers. Their ranks are few, their opportunities many, their contributions great.

From the very beginning to the present time, a fundamental question remains to be answered by each who runs the race of life. Shall I falter, or shall I finish? On the answer await the blessings of joy and happiness here in mortality and eternal life in the world to come.

So, thinking about projects that I wanted to finish, that day I took a few "before" pictures. The living room actually wasn't too bad, so that's where I started.
You could tell that we were enjoying watching bowl games in the family room . . . and that we were in the process of de-decorating.
Then I peeked into the laundry room, and got discouraged.
And it was even more disheartening when I opened a cupboard.
After documenting the piles in the computer room, I didn't dare go into the bedrooms!However, I decided that my "home teacher" goal for 2009 will be to each month FINISH at least one of the things that's been on my perpetual To-Do List, some of them for years. A lot of those to-do's are cleaning out closets/cupboards and organizing papers. Some of them are unfinished craft projects. The rest I'm not even sure about, because obviously I don't look at the list very often. But I AM going to make progress - hopefully weekly, but the goal is monthly.
Soooo, to start, today I finally boxed up the wedding gifts that didn't fit in the newlyweds' suitcases. They're ready to go into the attic later today and I've made a note on my calendar to pack them in the car this summer when we visit Utah. (If there's not room in the car, we'll have to come up with Plan B.) However, now I can look at this corner of my bedroom without cringing! I first put the boxes on that chair, until I decided what to do with them, last May . So, that qualifies as a long-term unfinished to-do that is now done!
I even unburied my reminder note (clearing off the bulletin board will happen another day) and I've posted about this as a way of making myself accountable.

One of the reasons these nagging items don't get done is that in the grand eternal scheme they're probably not really that important. At least, that's one of the reasons I use to justify procrastinating. However, cleanliness and order are god-like traits, and I always need to be improving in that area.

President Monson went on to say that we are not left without guidance in our decision to be finishers. Vision, effort, faith, virtue, courage, and prayer will help us succeed in all of our righteous goals.

Hmmm, I wonder what the next project should be?


Cheryl said...

I don't remember that talk, but I love this idea! Thanks for sharing.

Harlene said...

Great post! I also think this is a great challenge for the rest of us! You can update us each month on your progress and we can check in with you on ours.

What do you think?

Becky said...

Cheryl, you don't remember the talk because it was given before you were born! Even the reprinted Ensign article was written when you were a little girl.

And Harlene, I was kind of hoping someone would want to join me in conquering the UFO (Un Finished Object) pile. I think I'll be more likely to finish this goal if I have some company :)

Meg said...

I forgot that we didn't take all of our gifts! I'm sorry you got stuck with them. But that's exciting for me! :)

Beckstrand7 said...

Count me in,too! I can do that much, right?

Linda said...

I'm inspired. I'm joining the league to conquer UFO's. I think you're very very brave to photograph those "before" shots, but it's so inspiring to look forward to the comparison of the "after" shots. I'm going to do the same. Thanks!