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August 24, 2001: Blame it on the stars

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Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of nonessentials. --Lin Yutank

Whenever I read the description of a Gemini, I am often amused by a fairly common thread. Since this sign is the Twin, the Gemini is usually described as apt to get into a lot of things at once. Problem is, doing this means you don't finish everything - you just keep starting new things and end up with a pile of half-completed projects that make you feel guilty every time you walk pass them. "Remember me? Remember how you said you'd love to work on me? That was before you got Mr. Sexy New Project, wasn't it, and now I'm cast aside."

I love to sew, but the hardest part of any sewing project I've ever undertaken is finishing it. I've got half a dozen started projects - counted cross stitch, rug hooking, even the pieces to stitch for a quilt - and they languish while I dive into something new. I finally had to make a stern promise to myself that I'm no longer allowed to buy new pattern books until I've finished at least one thing. My desire to sew comes in spurts - there are days when all I want to do is sit down with needle and thread and sew for hours, and then there are days when I can stitch for only a few minutes before I desperately need to do something - anything - else.

I have great plans for cleaning the house but get side-tracked halfway through scrubbing a floor. I write marvelous beginnings and endings for stories but can never force myself to work out what happens in the middle. I have plans for organizing things, and even sometimes go so far as to purchase the necessary items before I am haring off into something new.

Having cats has curbed at least some of my scatter-brained tendencies. After all, one cannot leave the pieces to a half-done puzzle out for days when one has furry creatures that find those pieces just the right size for carrying off and burying in between the sofa cushions. But it still hasn't stopped me from accumulating a shelf full of notebooks full of scribbled themes ideas just waiting to be put together into something a bit more coherent than a few fascinating paragraphs interspersed with 'insert more info here'.

I fully accept that I'll be fighting this (sometimes losing) battle against my enthusiasm and the follow-through for my entire life. Do I think that this was predestined by my birth date - that I was prone to it by the very nature of being a Gemini? Not in the slightest. It's my own nature and nothing more.

Heh. I wish, like the quote above, that I could find something noble in all my half-done projects (and don't get me wrong. With the exception of all those undone stories, all my projects eventually get completed - it just takes time). But alas, for us more common folk, leaving things undone is just a simple sign that I need to work on my own self-discipline.

And who knows. Maybe one of these days I *will* finally finish one of those stories and (gasp) get it published. I wouldn't hold your breath though. I'd get the letter to the publisher half-typed and then something would catch my attention (the state of the bathroom grout, for example), and it, too, would languish, ignored and alone.

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