Discipline? What’s that?

May 17, 2009 at 2:07 pm (About Me) (, , )

It’s a lovely spring/summer day here today.  I think it’s supposed to get up near 80 ultimately, although I’d be quite happy if it stayed at 70 or 75.  But even so, it’s a perfect day for gardening.  I was just out planting some things, and am taking a break before I go out and plant some more.  Container gardening on a patio that gets very little sun is terribly frustrating sometimes, but I have to admit that it is rather nice to have the whole set up 15 feet from my living room couch.

It’s got me thinking, though, about one of my most common personality traits.  I’m really very bad at following through with things.  I have lots of big ideas about all sorts of things, but most of them never make it past the idea stage.  Even some things that do, I don’t finish.

It’s not a trait I particularly like about myself.  It’s just not very nice to think about all the things I want to do, and remember all the things I haven’t done.  I don’t do this out of laziness, since a lot of the things I want to do and never finish are pretty sedentary activities (like movies – I am so bad at actually finishing movies).  I sometimes half wonder if I have a very mild form of ADD that, because I can function in society without any external assistance, isn’t really a disorder.  Because the reason I don’t end up following through on ideas is that I just have so many of them, and the one I’m currently working on is always the least interesting of them all.

And the other part of the problem is that I just have so many interests.  It’s not exactly true that I’m interested in everything, but it’s not actually as much of an exaggeration as it might seem.  Still, there are only so many waking hours in each day, and I have to devote a whole lot of them to working.  I’d probably have more time to devote to useful pursuits if I didn’t genuinely enjoy goofing off, too.  It’s a luxury that I intend to hang on to as long as I can, because this is the first time in my life when I’ve truly been able to do that on a regular basis (and I know that won’t last if I have kids).

Despite all that, I’m taking it as a good sign that this whole gardening project has managed to keep my interest long enough for me to actually buy plants, and plant them.  I’m not done with the planting part (mostly because it’s hard work, and I enjoy it more if I take breaks each time I finish with a container), but I’ll finish it today.  I think what I really need to do is learn to tailor all of my interests to this known and seemingly intractable personality trait.  Maybe I’ll never be the best at most of what I do, but that doesn’t really matter as long as I’m good enough to please myself.

So basically, I think the reason I might actually manage this gardening thing is that I’ll spend the bulk of my free time this weekend putting plants into containers…but then all I really have to do most of the time is keep them watered.



  1. Kristan said,

    Um yeah. Reposting this. Because: DITTO!

  2. Anticipating accomplishment • kristanhoffman.com said,

    […] Mary’s post “Discipline? What’s that?”: I’m really very bad at following through with things.  I have lots of big ideas about all sorts […]

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